I recently interviewed Mark R. who works for a marine company in the Chicago, IL area. Mark is not a student of myPLCtraining.com but I was really interested in his story because he has accomplished what many other motivated electricians have accomplished and what a lot of my audience is working toward…advancing his career as a an electrician with PLC programming and automation skills.
He now works as a controls technician and is making a really good salary.
This interview was actually just a very informal conversation we had through my website chat widget. He had some questions about my training courses and then we started talking about his career. Check out the interview below!
Stephen: what's your role with the company?
Mark R: I was an electrician and have recently been promoted to a controls technician. I have some experience with Rs500 but little with 5000
Stephen: Wow congrats!
that's awesome. How did you land that promotion?
I believe hard work and the willingness to learn
awesome, I specialize in training electricians who want to advance their career with PLCs/automation and love to hear from those who have done it
can I ask you a couple more questions?
did you get a pay raise with the promotion?
nice! congrats. Mind telling me how much? I like to tell my students what's possible...if you 're not comfortable saying it's no problem
Its was about a 12% increase $80,000 to $100,000 yearly increase depending on our bonus system
wow, that's amazing!
did you get a degree of some sort besides your electrician license?
We are a union shop for electricians so pay was pretty high already for the area
but that increase is awesome
No degree just my electrical apprenticeship
I have since taken some robot courses since that is part of my job
that's what I Like to hear :) a lot of people say you need to get a degree to get into automation but I disagree. I think it's fairly easy for electricians to get into PLCs if they work around them and show some initiative.
cool what robots?
I agree with electricians easily transferring to automation. We use ABB robots.
so you said "I believe hard work and the willingness to learn" were the keys to getting the promotion. Any other advice you'd have for electricians aspiring to get into automation?
Like you said show initiative. With our company they look at things like, are you taking any classes or doing anything to better yourself outside of work. I recommend to people who ask me, enroll in a online or tech school class.
nice, like enroll in an online training on your time with your own money?
Yes, I think that really shows your dedication to learning. I believe when a person take their own time and money to improves themselves it shows a lot to your employer. Once I got into my current position [my company] sent me to the robotics training.
did you do any online training on your time before getting the position?
Not online I did enroll in a class at the local tech school. I just found that took too long. I believe an online approach is better because you can go as fast or slow as you want.
was it a PLC class that you enrolled in?
Yes it was based on Rslogix 500. I had some experience with that thru my apprenticeship
gotcha, awesome. Well thank you very much for your time!
Congratulations and thanks again to Mark for sharing his experience with advancing his career and salary with PLC programming skills! Great story.
I love what Mark said here:
Like you said show initiative. With our company they look at things like, are you taking any classes or doing anything to better yourself outside of work. I recommend to people who ask me, enroll in a online or tech school class.Mark R.
Yes, I think that really shows your dedication to learning. I believe when a person take their own time and money to improves themselves it shows a lot to your employer.Mark R.
If you’re an electrician, like Mark, and are serious about improving your skills, career and maybe even salary with PLCs, you’re at the right place because that’s what myPLCtraining.com is all about.
PLCs are really not that complicated. If you are new to PLCs or just looking to get a better handle on how they work, check out this free cheat sheet, called the "Motivated Electrician's Guide to Understanding ANY PLC System."