Best Online PLC Training Courses
Did you know that most universities don’t have PLC programming courses? If you are an engineer you probably already know that. To learn PLC programming you will have to teach yourself, or enter one of the online PLC training courses. But there are quite a lot of those. Here’s my guide to the best rated PLC courses online.
There are a lot of great PLC training courses out there. Some of them are even free. But many of them are also poor quality and even misleading. To become a PLC professional it’s very important that you don’t waste time learning something useless.
That’s why I’ve created this guide. I took a lot of online PLC courses and with my experience and reviews from other people, I have decided to create this list over the best online courses.
With this list you can find the best (and cheapest) way to learn PLC programming and become a PLC professional.
The second reason is that PLC programming is very platform specific. What works in a Siemens PLC might not work with a Rockwell PLC and vice versa. Universities are often independent and cannot choose a specific brand for their PLC training course.
That is why you will see a lot of private companies offer PLC programming courses from specific brands. With these courses you will learn how to configure and program a specific PLC, like the Siemens S7 PLC platform.
Most often these courses are very expensive. They usually cost at in the 1000's of dollars per person, and they are not online. This means that you have to attend a school somewhere. In most cases the school is not even in your country or so far away, that you will also have to pay to live there.
This is where the online PLC courses come in.
Most people think, that they have to own a PLC in order to learn about PLC programming. That is not the case. With most PLC programming software you can simply simulate the PLC on your computer. In fact, most PLC professionals rarely uses a real PLC when they develop PLC programs. It is much more handy to just simulate the PLC on your computer.
I spend 80% of my time without a PLC. It's only when I have to deploy my software at the costumer I will connect to a real PLC and load my software. This means that you can learn almost all that there is to learn about PLC programming without even touching a PLC.
Well, some of the course even include software for simulating real machines and automation lines. Factory I/O is a great example of that!
Best online PLC training courses
In my opinion here are the best online PLC training courses available. I will write my own review, the price and other peoples reviews of the courses. In that way you can choose yourself. I will also write a short description of each and which platform they are focused on.
This course is the perfect way to get started with the most popular PLC platforms. You will be introduced to the 5 most used brands in the automation industry.
In my opinion, this course is a necessity if you are serious about PLC programming. Knowing the most used platforms will give you a big advantage compared to programmers who only knows his way in one of them. Most PLC programmer jobs will even require you to know about at least some of them. In a way, this is the ultimate PLC training course. My recommendation is that you start with this course to get to know the platforms. Later on you will be able to specialize in one or two of them, depending on your work.
With this course you will get lots of video material, articles, resources and exercises. Absolutely perfect for learning about all the 5 platforms.
Good for: Beginners – Intermediate
Video: 26 hours
With this course from Online PLC Support you will learn everything you need to know about PLC programming with RSLogix.
In my opinion, this is one of the largest and best PLC training courses out there. Shane Welcher has made this course with more then 20 hours of video material! You will learn not only ladder logic, but also structured text, SFC and function block diagram (FBD) programming.
Good for: Beginners, Intermediate
Video: 21.5 hours
Although this is not exactly a real course, EEP has collected YouTube videos to create a full learning session in PLC programming. The biggest advantage of this is of course that it’s free.
You will learn the very basics of ladder logic and PLC programming. The platform is RSLogix from Allen Bradley.
The course is divided in two parts. First part is about the PLC basics. Here you will learn everything about PLC’s and ladder logic programming. The second part is focused on Allen Bradley PLC’s.
All in all a perfect way to start learning about PLC programming without spending a penny!
Good for: Beginners
Video: 22 + 11 videos
At least the best, if you want to learn general PLC programming and principles. This course is one of the PLC training courses that uses RSLogix 500 from Rockwell.
First of all because it is an easy platform to begin with. But also because it is cheap. This software is very cheap compared to the big shots like Siemens or Schneider. You can even use the free version RSLogix Micro Starter Lite.
Good for: Beginners
Video: 10 hours
To be a great professional you have to know about the Siemens platform. And what better way to do it than with a cheap online course.
With this course you will be introduced to the S7-1200 PLC; the best Siemens PLC for beginners. With educative videos, articles and other great learning material, you will learn how to program the PLC’s with TIA Portal.
TIA Portal is the programming software for Siemens PLC’s. It is used to program all the PLC and HMI’s. This means that with this course you will not only learn how to program the S7-1200, but also to navigate the software for programming all of the other Siemens PLC products.
Good for: Beginner Professionals
Video: 17.5 hours
Good for: Beginners
Video: 6.5 hours