How much does a PLC programmer make

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make

We are hoping to save our readers here at PLCGurus.NET a little time by compiling a list of our 5 top viewership countries, namely, the USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia, regarding the respective salaries one can expect to make entering the world of automation, controls and PLC programming.  In this article we are aiming to answer the question, how much does a PLC programmer make?

As it turns out, this was not as easy a task as initially anticipated as the “positions” or “titles” of a person who performs PLC programming duties varies from country to country. Therefore, in order to find some commonality across borders I landed on the title “Automation Engineer” that represents a person performing PLC Programming and HMI design duties.

So if you’re curious how much a PLC Programmer makes in 2018, or if you’re already working in the field as a PLC Programmer and are wondering where you rank compared to others in your country, be sure to keep reading…

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make?

As I eluded to previously, this is not a cut and dry answer. There are many factors that will impact what you will make performing the duties of a PLC Programmer that include but are not limited to, your educational background, the country, state, city in which you reside, the number of years you’ve been working in the field, and of course the company you are working for.

The info graphics provided below, will provide a range of salaries one can expect to make in their respective countries and also the average salary and median for that country.

If you are a student, tradesman, or just someone contemplating pursuing a career in the field of automation, control, and PLC Programming, I would encourage you to check out this article we published on How To Become A PLC Programmer. This article highlights some of the steps, challenges and skills you will need to acquire in order to secure yourself a position in what I think is the greatest job in the world!

Like I said, the common position I was able to find across all 5 countries was the job title “Automation Engineer” which indicated duties that would include both PLC programming and HMI (Human Machine Interface) design. The data was gathered from Payscale.com, which turned out to be an excellent resource for salary searches.

All country data for the job title “Automation Engineer” indicated that this position would typically be held by someone who had less than 20 years experience (I know it’s a little broad) after which individuals would typically move on to more senior positions.

What I like about the organization of the data, is:

  1. It is presented in a clean, clear and concise way.
  2. It shows the range of salaries across the entire spectrum of years of experience.
  3. It clearly shows the average and median for someone holding a position as an “Automation Engineer” (a.k.a PLC Programmer).

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make – USA

As you can see, an Automation Engineer in the United States makes on average $72,731 USD per year with a median salary of $73,569 USD. With an overall salary range of $53,505 USD on the low end to $101,242 USD on the high end. Proof that being an Automation Engineer (a.k.a PLC Programmer) in the United States can be very lucrative.

Want to know what skills you will need to acquire to secure a job as an Automation Engineer or PLC Programmer in the United States? Check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer – USA.

How much does a PLC programmer make

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make – Canada

As you can see, an Automation Engineer in Canada makes on average $64,369 CAD (approx. $50K USD) per year with a median salary of $67,487 CAD (approx $53K USD). With an overall salary range of $49,074 CAD (approx $38K USD) on the low end to $94,217 CAD (approx $74K USD) on the high end. Proof that being an Automation Engineer (a.k.a PLC Programmer) in Canada can be similarly lucrative but not quite as lucrative as its American counterpart.

If you’re interested in finding out what it takes to become a skilled Automation Engineer or PLC Programmer in Canada? Check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer – Canada.

How much does a PLC programmer make

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make – UK

As you can see, an Automation Engineer in the United Kingdom makes on average $35,138 GBP (approx. $48K USD) per year with a median salary of $36,562 GBP (approx. $50K USD). With an overall salary range of $22,510 GBP (approx. $31K USD) on the low end to $54,128 GBP (approx. $74K) on the high end.

To be honest I found this to be quite a bit lower than I expected considering the cost of living in the UK (especially London) on average is significantly higher than that in the USA. That said, a career as an Automation Engineer (a.k.a PLC Programmer) in the UK can still allow you to live reasonably comfortably based on these numbers.

If you’re interested in finding out what it takes to become a skilled Automation Engineer or PLC Programmer in the UK? Check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer – UK.

How much does a PLC programmer make

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make – Germany

As you can see, an Automation Engineer in Germany makes on average $44,811 EUR (approx. $54K USD) per year with a median salary of $43,085 EUR (approx. $52K USD). With an overall salary range of $24,613 EUR (approx. $30K USD) on the low end to $60,427 EUR (approx. $73K) on the high end.

Again, I found this to be a little lower than I expected, however, the cost of living in Germany for consumer goods is on average 1.25% lower than in the USA and rent is on average 9.5% lower than in the USA. That said, a career as an Automation Engineer (a.k.a PLC Programmer) in Germany can allow for a very comfortably lifestyle based on these numbers.

If you’re interested in finding out what it takes to become a skilled Automation Engineer or PLC Programmer in Germany? Check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer – Germany.

How much does a PLC programmer make

How Much Does A PLC Programmer Make – Australia

As you can see, an Automation Engineer in Australia makes on average $82,187 AUD (approx. $62K USD) per year with a median salary of $82,984 AUD (approx. $63K USD). With an overall salary range of $60,242 AUD (approx. $46K USD) on the low end to $120,216 AUD (approx. $91K) on the high end.

Surprisingly out of the 5 countries sampled Australia came in with the closest salary when compared to the United States…at first glance anyway. However, the cost of living in Australia is on average 8.5% higher than that of the United States for consumer goods and the gap closes slightly for accommodations at about 6% higher.

That said, a career as an Automation Engineer (a.k.a PLC Programmer) in Australia seems to be quite lucrative still. If you’re interested in finding out what it takes to become a skilled Automation Engineer or PLC Programmer in Australia? Check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer – Australia.

How much does a PLC programmer make

The Results Are In – How Does Your Country Rank!

We’ve analyzed the salaries for an Automation Engineer (a.k.a. PLC Programmer) over a wide range of countires and I think it’s safe to say we’ve answered the question – How much does a PLC Programmer make? If your country was omitted then please feel free to check out Payscale.com to search your own geographic region or locale.

So let’s see how the five countries we researched ranked.

  1. The United States gets the top spot for a career in the field of automation, control and PLC Programming. If you live in the US, then a career in this field can pay extremely well.
  2. Germany claims the number two spot in a close second to the USA.
  3. Next comes Canada, with it’s salary range/cost of living ratio it just surpasses Australia who claims our number four spot.
  4. The Aussey’s claim the number four spot neck and neck with Canada.
  5. The United Kingdom rounds out our last spot with the lowest overall salary for an Automation Engineer (a.k.a. PLC Programmer). I’m not sure what to attribute this to other than the technology sector in the UK may not be as large as the other countries reviewed.

Well there you have it. As you can see the field of automation and control pays very well irregardless of the country you live. However, if you’re fortunate enough to live in the USA, Germany or Canada it can certainly pay bigger dividends.

Be sure to check out our article How To Become A PLC Programmer to ensure you have the skills necessary to land a top job in this field.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has given you some useful data and things to think about, whether you’re looking to pursue a career as a PLC Programmer or are currently working in a PLC Programmer capacity.

I certainly hope you enjoyed this article, and I do encourage you to become a member of our growing community of professional engineers, technicians and technologists, Register Here! Also, check out our YouTube Channel to see some great videos…and don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel!

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment and rate this post. Also, if you run  into any problems in your day-to-day engineering activities please be sure to check out our Live and Interactive PLC Forum! And if you so desire, assist other community members by replying or offering helpful information to the questions or challenges they may be facing right now!

Fred Graham

Author: Fred (a.k.a. PLCGuru)

Hi, Fred here, I am the founding member and site moderator here at PLCGurus.NET. I’d like to be the first to welcome you to the site. I have over 20 years in the Industrial Automation and Control Systems field. Be sure to Register Today!

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