PLC Programmers are often employed by electrical engineering and IT companies working with electrical or IT systems that utilize programmable logic controllers. The main responsibility of a PLC programmer is to maintain the systems or machines that have programmable logic controllers installed in them.
What Does PLC Stand For?
A programmable logic controller, which is also referred to as PLC, is a ruggedized form of a computer system, and its main application is industrial automation. Programmable logic controllers are used to automate specific processes, machine functions and sometimes even entire production lines. Depending on the input and outputs of a PLC, it can monitor, record real time data and automate processes or generate alarms in case of a malfunction.
A PLC programmer usually knows the ins and outs of how a PLC is supposed to work. They not only programs a PLC, but also connects it to the machine and controllers etc. They are also in charge of the all the inputs including relays, sensors and outputs such as engines, valves and conveyer belts etc.
PLC Programmer Job Duties
The responsibilities of a PLC programmer usually includes the designing of control programs for electrical systems and machines, in order to automate these processes. They also develop processes and later optimize them in order to make things easier for the industry workers. Maintenance and fault diagnostics of these processes is also one of their tasks.
Sometimes, PLC programmers may also work in sales and/or provide training and customer service to the clients. These are usually the clients, who have purchases industrial machines integrated with PLCs and need to learn their operation. PLC programmers make sure that their clients are familiar how to use PLC systems integrated into their machines and how to perform conversions.
PLC Programmer Proficiencies
When it comes to skills, PLC programmers have a wide variety of skills that are required to perform their jobs. A PLC programmer is usually very proficient in the field of computer science and is a professional when it comes to programming languages. Good English skills are also desirable, especially for PLC programmers working in sales or customer service jobs.
Apart from the skills mentioned above, most PLC programmers are required to have an engineering degree in the fields of Electrical, Electronics or Mechanical. Non engineering students especially from computer science backgrounds are also eligible for most PLC programming jobs. At postgraduate level, PLC programmers usually study control and automation engineering. Other than that, there is no specified training or course that is required in order to become a PLC programmer.
With the boom of technological advancements in the industry, there has been an increase in the number of jobs for PLC programmers especially in Europe and North America. On average a PLC programmer is paid anywhere from $35000 to $65000 depending on their educational background and experience in the field.