Are you thinking of becoming a LEAD AUTOMATION ENGINEER or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a LEAD AUTOMATION ENGINEER, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new LEAD AUTOMATION ENGINEER job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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How To Become an Automation Engineer

An automation engineer uses technology to streamline and automate various manufacturing processes via machines and software. If you have mechanical knowledge and troubleshooting abilities, you might benefit from a career as an automation engineer. In this article, we will cover the steps needed to become an automation engineer.


Earn an engineering bachelor's degree.

Most employers want to hire automation engineers who have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. These programs should include courses such as statistics, robotics, and artificial neural networks (ANN). Automation jobs combine engineering, science, and information technology, so you should try to take courses that focus on these areas. Depending on the role and employer, you might need a master's degree in a related field as well as experience working on manual and automated testing procedures.


Gain entry-level experience.

While enrolled in undergraduate or even graduate-level courses, you might be able to obtain hands-on experience, whether it's through an internship, externship, or volunteer capacity. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the industry. Shadow workers to learn more about what you can expect out of the job, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your entry-level job in this field might be as a junior automation engineer where you test parts of the project to make sure the codes work.


Hone your skills.

To be a successful automation engineer, you need to possess several specific skills. Some of the more common ones include the following:

  • Adaptability: Since this is an ever-evolving industry, you must stay up to date with the latest technologies and techniques as soon as they develop.
  • Communication skills: You might be tasked with explaining novel and complex ideas to a multidisciplinary team. Written communication skills might also be needed to keep records, which is a key part of this regulated industry.
  • Computer skills: One of the more important skills needed involves working with computers, particularly in programming and software development.
  • Problem-solving skills: You will likely encounter issues and be required to troubleshoot them and find effective solutions.


Obtain certification.

Although automation is a relatively new field, certifications can help you stand out when looking for an automation engineer job. Try to get at least one of the following automation-specific certifications:

  • Certified Automation Professional (CAP): Offered from the International Society of Automation (ISA), the CAP designation demonstrates competence in the industry since it covers a range of automation topics in the exam.
  • Control System Engineer License: Issued by the National Society of Professional Engineers, this qualification places a focus on process control.


Further your knowledge.

Just like other computer-related careers, automation engineers must stay up to date with changes made to software and computer programs. You might be tasked with completing additional training whenever new programs hit the market or attend seminars to learn more about the industry. Also, consider attending industry-sponsored conventions where you can see firsthand how automation works. You might also pick up some tips from these events.

Seniority Levels


Lead Automation Engineer

5 - 7Years of Experience
£57,983 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Principal Automation Engineer

8+Years of Experience
£44,268 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Principal Automation Engineer

8+Years of Experience
£44,268 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory


Seniority Levels

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