Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a vastly growing field consisting of sensors embedded in or attached with the structure which respond to the strain or other stimuli to monitor the deformation in real-time. In this study, a carbon fiber (CF) sensor was developed using unidirectional Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) carbon filaments aligned straightly together and its sensitivity was calculated experimentally, with the gauge factor (GF) in 10.2–10.8 range. The electro-thermal behavior of this CF sensor showed distinct performance and detected the change in the surrounding temperature. There is a good reproducibility in the results in both piezoresistive and electro-thermal behavior of the CF sensor and its electrical performance showed real-time detection of both mechanical and thermal stimuli. The results established that the CF exhibited good potential as a flexible strain sensor for in-situ monitoring of damage or energy release during the failure of composites.