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Career path question for Automation Industry

Career path question for Automation Industry

Career path question for Automation Industry

(OP)
Field: Chemical Engineering
Specialization (optional): Pharma
Experience: 0 years

I just graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering with primarily of my focus for pharma industry (academic research and elective courses). During my senior year I realized that I don’t enjoy being in the lab as much as I use to. Currently I been applying for jobs that I have felt more attracted to such as the automation industry. I applied for a company to be an Electric Control Engineer where I would learn more about circuits, wiring, SCADA, and PLC by being exposed in all industries including (((steel, pharma, general manufacturing, food/beverage, etc). This position would also be involved with the design of tending cells, control/automation systems, robotic cells, power monitoring, Legacy system modernization, field support, panel building, etc)))

The company decided to move forward with another candidate, but asked me to come in as a programmer where I would be involve learning legacy programs as well as new to develop a replacement solution for large control system. Using OpenVMS Control System with Fortran, C programs interfacing with Oracle/RDB DB’s, iFIX SCADA applications and PLC’s responsible for controlling a couple thousand I/O points ETC. Another OpenVMS Control System with Fortran & C programs interfacing communication to old Microprocessor I/O system that we are looking to upgrade/replace the controls and interfaces. Old and new programming will be involved.
I don’t have much of a coding background just common knowledge *1 course* of C++, Java, JavaScript, MATLAB and Python.

My questions are;
Does anyone have any experience with this? Easy --> Hard to learn?
If I took on this role would there be advancement within this field (is there a legitimate career path)?
Is there projection within this field or is it a niche?
What would be my asking salary since I’m not a Computer Science major?

Thank you again for your help.

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