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Top 10 Automation Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for automation engineers and their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for automation engineers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competency and proficiency in the field. Having certifications shows employers that an engineer has the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job well, which can make them more attractive candidates for positions. Additionally, certifications can help set one automation engineer apart from another when competing for the same position. Lastly, certifications provide an opportunity to stay up-to-date on new technologies and industry trends, which can give an engineer a competitive edge.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the best certifications for Automation Engineers and explain how they can help advance their career.

What are Automation Engineer Certifications?

Automation engineer certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a professional's knowledge and experience in automation engineering. This type of certification is designed to validate the skills of automation engineers, who are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining automated systems. Automation engineers must have a strong understanding of computer programming languages, robotics, control systems, and other aspects of automation engineering. By obtaining a certification in this field, professionals can demonstrate their expertise to employers and potential clients.

The certification also helps professionals stay up-to-date on the latest trends in automation engineering and provides them with valuable networking opportunities. Certification holders can often access exclusive job opportunities that are not available to non-certified professionals. Additionally, the certification can provide individuals with higher salaries or promotions within their current positions. Finally, having the certification demonstrates dedication to one’s profession and commitment to staying ahead of the curve in terms of automation engineering best practices.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become an automation engineer, consider pursuing a certification in the field. This will not only help you stand out from other applicants, but will also demonstrate your commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest automation technology and best practices.

Related: What does an Automation Engineer do?

Top 10 Automation Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Automation Engineers today.

1. Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

Certified Automation Professional (CAP) is a certification program designed to recognize the expertise of automation professionals in the field of industrial automation. It is offered by the International Society of Automation (ISA). The CAP certification is designed to demonstrate that an individual has achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in the areas of automation engineering, systems integration, and process control.

The CAP certification requires passing a comprehensive exam which consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as system architecture, programming, networking, safety, troubleshooting, and project management. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and is administered at various locations around the world.

To be eligible for the CAP certification, applicants must have at least five years' experience in industrial automation or related fields. Additionally, applicants must have either a bachelor's degree in engineering or technology; or an associate's degree with two years' additional experience in industrial automation or related fields.

The cost for taking the CAP exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $400-$500 USD.

2. Certified Control System Technician (CCST)

Certified Control System Technician (CCST) is a certification program offered by the International Society of Automation (ISA). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in control systems technology. The CCST certification is intended for technicians, engineers, and other professionals who work in the field of automation and control systems.

The CCST exam consists of two parts: an online multiple-choice test and a hands-on practical evaluation. The online test covers topics such as industrial automation, process control, instrumentation, programming, networking, safety, and troubleshooting. The practical evaluation tests the candidate's ability to install, configure, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair control systems.

The certification process takes approximately three months from start to finish. After registering for the program with ISA and paying the fee ($750 USD), candidates will receive access to study materials which include practice exams and reference material. Candidates must then pass both the online multiple-choice test and the hands-on practical evaluation in order to be certified as a CCST technician.

Once certified, CCST technicians are eligible for various job opportunities within the automation industry including system design/installation/maintenance positions at manufacturing plants or engineering firms. They may also pursue further certifications such as Certified Automation Professional (CAP) or Certified Control Systems Engineer (CCSE).

3. Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD)

Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) is a certification program from National Instruments that demonstrates proficiency in the development of applications using LabVIEW software. It is designed for engineers, scientists, and technicians who are new to LabVIEW and want to become proficient in developing basic LabVIEW applications.

The CLAD exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as LabVIEW fundamentals, dataflow programming, debugging techniques, and application design. The exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and costs $95 USD.

To get the CLAD certification, you must pass the CLAD exam with a score of 70% or higher. You can take the exam online at any time or at an NI office during designated exam times. The cost of the exam is $95 USD per attempt. If you do not pass on your first attempt, you can retake the exam up to three additional times within one year of your original registration date at no additional cost.

4. Certified Process Automation Engineer (CPAE)

Certified Process Automation Engineer (CPAE) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Process Automation Professionals (IAPAP). It is designed to recognize and validate the expertise of process automation professionals who have demonstrated mastery in designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining process automation systems.

The CPAE certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as system architecture, process engineering principles, programming languages and tools, system integration, and project management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is administered online. The exam typically takes about four hours to complete.

Applicants must have at least two years of experience in process automation systems design or development in order to qualify for the CPAE certification. They must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge and skills related to process automation systems.

The cost of the CPAE certification program varies depending on the country in which you apply. In the United States, it typically costs around $1,000 USD for the application fee plus any applicable taxes.

5. International Society of Automation's Certified Automation Professional (ISA CAP)

The International Society of Automation’s Certified Automation Professional (ISA CAP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote the knowledge, skills, and abilities of automation professionals. This certification is intended for those with a minimum of five years of experience in the field of automation. It is designed to demonstrate that an individual has achieved a level of proficiency in their field and can provide value to their organization through their expertise.

To become an ISA CAP, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as industrial process control systems, instrumentation and control systems design, programming languages for automation systems, system integration and networking technologies, safety systems and standards, project management principles, and more. The exam is administered by the ISA at designated testing centers around the world.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $500 - $600 USD. The exam itself takes about four hours to complete.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also have a minimum of five years of experience in automation engineering or related fields before they are eligible to apply for ISA CAP certification. Applicants must also submit references from two professional colleagues who can attest to their experience in automation engineering or related fields.

Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their official ISA CAP certificate within two weeks after passing the exam.

6. International Society of Automation's Certified Control Systems Technician (ISA CCST)

The International Society of Automation’s Certified Control Systems Technician (ISA CCST) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of technicians who work in the field of industrial automation. It is an internationally recognized certification that demonstrates a technician’s understanding of the principles, practices, and applications related to control systems technology. The ISA CCST certification validates that a technician has achieved a level of proficiency in their field and can be trusted to perform tasks related to control systems safely and effectively.

To become certified, applicants must pass an exam administered by ISA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as system design, programming, troubleshooting, installation, maintenance and safety. Applicants must also have at least two years of experience working with control systems technology before they can take the exam.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on location but generally ranges from $200-$300 USD. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and results are available immediately upon completion. Once certified, technicians must renew their certification every three years by completing continuing education activities or retaking the exam.

7. Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Automation Platform Certification Program

The Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Automation Platform Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge of the FactoryTalk Automation Platform. It includes three certification levels: Associate, Professional, and Expert.

Associate-level certification requires successful completion of an online assessment that covers topics such as basic concepts, system architecture, and programming. This level is typically achieved in one day or less.

Professional-level certification requires successful completion of an online assessment that covers topics such as advanced concepts, system design, and troubleshooting. This level is typically achieved in two to three days.

Expert-level certification requires successful completion of an online assessment that covers topics such as advanced concepts, system design, and troubleshooting with a focus on the integration of multiple systems. This level is typically achieved in four to five days.

In order to get certified at any level, you must register for the program through Rockwell Automation’s website and pay a fee which varies depending on the level you are attempting to achieve ($50 for Associate, $100 for Professional and $200 for Expert). After registering and paying the fee, you will be given access to the online assessment which must be completed within 30 days from registration date in order to receive your certificate.

8. Siemens TIA Portal Certification Program

Siemens TIA Portal Certification Program is a professional certification program designed to provide engineers and technicians with the skills and knowledge needed to use Siemens’ Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) software. The program is offered by Siemens and consists of three levels of certification: Associate, Professional, and Expert.

The Associate level of certification requires completion of an online course that covers the basics of TIA Portal programming, such as basic concepts, programming principles, and system configuration. This course typically takes around 10 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive an official certificate from Siemens. This certification is valid for two years.

The Professional level of certification requires completion of an advanced online course that covers more complex topics related to TIA Portal programming, such as advanced concepts, troubleshooting techniques, and system optimization. This course typically takes around 20 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive an official certificate from Siemens. This certification is valid for three years.

The Expert level of certification requires completion of a comprehensive online course that covers all aspects related to TIA Portal programming, such as expert-level concepts, debugging techniques, and system maintenance. This course typically takes around 30 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive an official certificate from Siemens. This certification is valid for four years.

The cost for each level varies depending on your location; however it generally ranges from $100-$200 USD per level.

9. Schneider Electric PLC Certification Program

The Schneider Electric PLC Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to work with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). The program consists of two levels: Basic and Advanced.

Basic Level: This level focuses on the fundamentals of PLCs, including basic programming, troubleshooting, and maintenance. It takes approximately 8 hours to complete this level. To get certified at the Basic level, you must pass an online exam that covers topics such as basic electrical theory, PLC hardware components, ladder logic programming language, and troubleshooting techniques. The cost for this certification is $150 USD.

Advanced Level: This level builds upon the concepts learned in the Basic certification and focuses on more advanced topics such as networking, communication protocols, data logging, and advanced programming techniques. It takes approximately 16 hours to complete this level. To get certified at the Advanced level, you must pass an online exam that covers topics such as network topology, communication protocols, data logging methods, advanced programming techniques, and troubleshooting methods. The cost for this certification is $250 USD.

Overall, the Schneider Electric PLC Certification Program provides individuals with a comprehensive understanding of PLCs and their applications in industrial automation systems. Upon successful completion of either or both levels of certification, individuals will have demonstrated their competence in working with PLCs in industrial settings.

10. Wonderware System Platform Certification Program

The Wonderware System Platform Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to help professionals demonstrate their expertise in Wonderware System Platform, an industrial automation software suite. The certification program consists of three levels: Certified Associate, Certified Professional, and Certified Expert. Each level requires a series of tests that must be passed in order to achieve the certification.

Certified Associate: This is the entry-level certification and requires passing two exams. The first exam covers basic concepts related to industrial automation, while the second exam focuses on specific aspects of Wonderware System Platform. It typically takes around 10 hours to prepare for these exams and they cost $90 each.

Certified Professional: This is the intermediate level certification and requires passing four exams. The first two exams cover basic concepts related to industrial automation, while the remaining two exams focus on specific aspects of Wonderware System Platform. It typically takes around 20 hours to prepare for these exams and they cost $90 each.

Certified Expert: This is the highest level certification and requires passing six exams. The first four exams cover basic concepts related to industrial automation, while the remaining two exams focus on specific aspects of Wonderware System Platform. It typically takes around 30 hours to prepare for these exams and they cost $90 each.

In order to become certified at any level, you must register with Wonderware's online learning portal and purchase access to their course materials as well as practice tests that can be used to prepare for the actual certification exam(s). Once you have completed all required courses and passed all necessary tests, you will receive your official certificate from Wonderware indicating your achievement at that particular level of certification.

Do You Really Need a Automation Engineer Certificate?

The short answer is no. An automation engineer certificate is not necessary for most engineering jobs. However, it could be beneficial for those who are looking to specialize in automation engineering or to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Automation engineers use computers and robots to automate processes that would otherwise be done manually. Having a certificate in automation engineering can provide employers with an indication of your knowledge and experience in this field. It will also demonstrate your commitment to learning more about the subject and staying up-to-date on developments in the industry.

In addition, having a certificate may give you access to higher-level positions or specializations within the field. For example, many companies are now looking for qualified automation engineers who have specialized knowledge in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. A certification can help prove that you have the skills and knowledge required for these roles.

Finally, having an automation engineer certificate may make you more attractive to potential employers because it shows that you are willing to invest time and effort into furthering your education and improving your skillset. This could lead to better job opportunities and higher pay rates than those without certification.

In conclusion, while there is no requirement for an automation engineer certificate, it can certainly be beneficial if you are looking to specialize or gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Related: Automation Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Automation Engineer Certifications

1. What is an Automation Engineer Certification?

Answer: An Automation Engineer Certification is a professional certification program designed to validate the knowledge and skills of automation engineers, who are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining automated systems.

2. What qualifications do I need to become an Automation Engineer?

Answer: To become an Automation Engineer, you must typically have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science, as well as experience with programming languages such as C++ or Java. In addition, many employers prefer candidates with certifications from organizations such as ISA (International Society of Automation) or PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers).

3. What are the benefits of becoming an Automation Engineer?

Answer: Becoming an Automation Engineer can provide a number of advantages including increased job security, higher wages, and greater job satisfaction. Additionally, those who hold a certification may be able to find better jobs more easily and advance their career faster than those without one.

4. How long does it take to get certified as an Automation Engineer?

Answer: The length of time it takes to become certified depends on the type of certification you are seeking and your current level of knowledge in the field. Generally speaking, most certifications require at least 1-2 years of study and practice before taking the exam, although some programs may offer accelerated paths for those with extensive experience in the field.

5. How much does it cost to get certified as an Automation Engineer?

Answer: The cost can vary depending on the type of certification you are pursuing and which organization is offering it. Generally speaking, most certifications range from $500-$3000 USD depending on factors such as course materials and exam fees.

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