Automation Engineer

Automation Engineers have the knowledge and skills to design, develop and manage systems. An Automation Engineer will design, program, test and simulate automated machines and processes in order to do a specific task.

Typical Duties

  • Design, program, simulate and test automated machinery or processes that are intended to complete a specific task
  • Responsible for detailed design specifications and other documents in their creation
  • Design, engineer, test and troubleshoot control systems
  • Interface with management, other engineers and teams
  • Automated Engineers will provide detailed documentation including design specifications that enable production or the application of their products
  • Help to streamline operations for efficiency, cost saving, safety and reliability
  • Maintain technical project files
  • Implementing and testing design concepts
  • Publishing reports documenting the design details of new projects and qualification test results

Working Conditions

  • Automation Engineers generally work in an office environment, however trips to the field and remote sites are required
  • When working in mining, they can typically find themselves spending some time onsite on mines, possibly in remote locations where they may be exposed to extreme weather conditions
  • Automation Engineers will often work in a team environment with other professionals, and may be in a position where they will be supervising staff
  • In mining they can expect to work closely with other engineers such as mining engineers and environmental engineers

Educational Requirements

  • It would be essential for an Automation Engineer to have completed a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or electrical engineering and then learn the skills of automation engineering on the job. While some Universities offer Automation Degrees, many do not. However a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering can serve in place of an automation degree
  • Engineering students interested in Automation can include courses in robotics, statistics, fluid dynamics etc. Students will generally also be required to gain some practical, hands on experience, where they will earn college credit for structured job experience
  • Other subject relevant to Automation would be Materials, Science, Management Science, Automation and Robotics
  • Further specific automation training is often obtained through hands on work experience

Personal Attributes

  • Enjoy working with Math, Science and Computers
  • Need to have an interest and ability with both mechanical and electrical engineering
  • Solid understanding of computer programming and software development
  • Be able to embrace new techniques and technologies
  • Be able to work under pressure
  • Have a good work ethic and be goal oriented
  • Be able to troubleshoot equipment problems and perform complex system tests
  • To be able to work in a development team
  • Critical thinking and problem solving


  • Automation Engineers salaries vary tremendously depending on what region they are working in, what industry and in terms of how much experience they have
  • Engineers in mining are well paid as a whole, and Automation Engineers earn very competitive salaries
  • Other factors that will influence the salary of an Automation Engineer include what company they work for, whether the position is FIFO, and whether they are in a contract or permanent position


  • Find out more about salaries here.

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