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In the context of HVAC, plumbing, piping, and building automation, "controls" refer to the systems and devices used to manage and regulate these technologies. Controls ensure the efficient and effective operation of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and various plumbing and piping systems. These controls are essential for maintaining optimal performance, energy efficiency, and safety in modern buildings and industrial processes.

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Job Opportunities in the Controls Sector

The field of controls encompasses a variety of roles essential to the operation and maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, piping, and building automation systems. Key job titles in this sector include:

  • Controls Technicians: Responsible for installing, programming, and troubleshooting control systems. These technicians ensure that HVAC and plumbing systems operate as intended.

  • Controls Engineers: Design and develop control systems, focusing on integrating advanced technologies to enhance system performance and energy efficiency.

  • Building Automation Specialists: Work on the integration and maintenance of automated systems that manage building operations, including HVAC, lighting, and security.

  • Field Service Engineers: Provide on-site support and maintenance for complex control systems, ensuring they function correctly and efficiently.

In-Demand Skills and Qualifications

Professionals in the controls sector must possess a mix of technical skills and hands-on experience. Key qualifications include:

  • Technical Training: Certification in control systems and relevant technologies.

  • Experience with Control Software: Proficiency in using and programming control software and systems.

  • Licensing: Necessary certifications and licenses for working with specific control systems and technologies.

  • Problem-Solving Skills: Ability to diagnose and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Career Growth

Advancing in the Controls Industry

The controls industry offers numerous opportunities for career advancement. As technology evolves, professionals can specialize in advanced control systems, smart building technologies, and energy management solutions. Career growth can take several paths:

  • Technical Specialization: Developing expertise in specific control systems or advanced technologies.

  • Management Roles: Moving into supervisory or project management positions, overseeing large-scale control system installations and maintenance.

  • Consultancy and Design: Offering specialized consultancy services for the design and implementation of advanced control systems.

Educational and Certification Pathways

Continuous learning is crucial in the controls industry. Professionals can enhance their careers through additional certifications, such as:

  • Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST): Recognized certification for technicians specializing in control systems.

  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM): For those focusing on energy efficiency and management in building automation.

  • Advanced Degrees: Pursuing higher education in engineering, computer science, or business management.

Recruitment Insight

What Recruiters Look For in Controls Candidates

Recruiters in the controls industry seek candidates with a strong technical foundation and practical experience. Key attributes include:

  • Technical Expertise: In-depth knowledge of control systems and their applications in HVAC, plumbing, and building automation.

  • Hands-On Experience: Proven track record of working with various control systems and technologies.

  • Analytical Skills: Ability to analyze system performance and implement improvements.

  • Communication Skills: Ability to convey technical information to non-technical stakeholders.

  • Certifications and Licenses: Relevant certifications and up-to-date licenses.

Preparing for a Career in Controls

Aspiring controls professionals should focus on gaining practical experience and relevant certifications. Building a robust resume that highlights technical skills and hands-on experience is essential. Networking with industry professionals and joining associations related to controls and automation can also provide valuable job leads and career advice.


Controls are a vital component of HVAC, plumbing, piping, and building automation systems, ensuring their efficient and effective operation. The field offers a wide range of job opportunities, from technicians and engineers to specialists and consultants. With continuous advancements in technology, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in the controls industry. If you have a passion for technology and system optimization, consider a career in controls. Explore the latest job openings and take the first step towards a rewarding career today.


What types of jobs are available in the controls industry? Jobs in the controls industry range from technicians and engineers to specialists and consultants. These roles involve the installation, programming, and maintenance of control systems.

How can I start a career in controls? Begin by enrolling in a training program focused on control systems, gaining hands-on experience through internships or apprenticeships, and obtaining necessary certifications.

What skills are essential for controls professionals? Key skills include technical knowledge of control systems, experience with control software, problem-solving abilities, and strong communication skills.

What are the career advancement opportunities in controls? Career advancement can include technical specialization, management roles, and consultancy positions. Continuous education and additional certifications can enhance career growth.

How important are certifications in the controls industry? Certifications are crucial as they validate technical skills and knowledge, making professionals more attractive to employers and ensuring adherence to industry standards.

What do recruiters look for when hiring controls professionals? Recruiters seek candidates with technical expertise, hands-on experience, analytical skills, effective communication, and relevant certifications and licenses.

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