Jobs in the field of robotics have grown in popularity. A recent study by Zion Market Research projects the robotics market to reach over $80 billion by 2028. The rapid growth means more jobs will become available. So, how do college students land robotics careers? Read on to find out.
In this article, we discuss what robotic careers are out there. Students interested in finding jobs in robotics will find this information helpful. We answer questions such as:
- What do robotic engineers do?
- How much does a robotic engineer make?
We also discuss what the job market offers and the top 5 best robotics jobs for the future.
What is Robotics?
As more and more people look to work with robots, the robotics industry has blown up. But what is robotics, and what does a robotics engineer do?
Robotics is a branch of technology that focuses on the design and build of robots. You find robotics used in space and deep sea vessels. You also find it in cars, both with and without human drivers. The medical field, national defense, and other areas use robotics. Due to the growth in robotics engineering, you find robotics everywhere.
What do robotics engineers do?
From artificial intelligence to medical research, robotics engineers help create robotic systems to complete important tasks. They create robots for different purposes. They also repair and maintain existing robots using robotics technology. They develop new applications and program robots to perform complex tasks.
A robotics engineer helps make an impact in the world. They use their engineering skills to create robots that do amazing things. Their creations may explore other plants or perform deep sea dives. They can also help train medical students to perform surgeries and futuristic research.
You can specialize in different areas as a robotics engineer. These areas include:
- Artificial intelligence
- Mobility locomotion
- Operator interface
Now that we’ve answered the question: What does a robotic engineer do? Let’s take a look at the 5 best careers
Top 5 Best Careers in Robotics
Robotics professionals can earn good wages and benefits. Since the field is fast-growing, the job market offers plenty of work. Here are five of the best careers in robotics engineering.
Artificial Intelligence Engineer
One of the best robotics career paths is that of an AI engineer. In this role, you use AI and machine learning techniques to improve robot autonomy. AI engineers create programs that allow robots to make decisions and interact with the external world.
You need at least a bachelor’s degree to work as an AI engineer. Most AI professionals in this role have master’s degrees. They study mechanical engineering or have an electrical engineering degree. Others are computer scientists, software engineers, or aerospace engineers with expertise in AI.
The average salary for this occupation is over $105,000/year, according to Glassdoor. Many in this role earning over $20,000/year in bonus pay. To land a job in artificial intelligence plan on getting at least a bachelor’s degree. Most employers look for candidates with graduate degrees in artificial intelligence, machine learning, or other engineering specialties.
Robotics engineers are responsible for creating and designing robots and robotic systems. They design the machines and processes necessary to build robots. Depending on the complexity of the robotic system invented, they can end up working on a small handful of robots throughout their career.
After creating a device, a robotics engineer’s role changes to service and technical support. They become robotics technicians. They fix problems. They analyze and check the robotics device to see what needs improved.
Average salary for robotics engineer jobs
The average salary for robotics engineering jobs is $105,956/year, according to Salary.com. Salary ranges vary depending on education, experience, and location. To work as a robotics engineer you need to have a degree relevant to the robotics field. Most in this occupation have degrees in engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, or other related disciplines.
A robotics operator operates robots in the real world. Their daily work includes setting up robotic equipment and technology. They also program robots to perform specific tasks. Most robot operators have electrical engineering knowledge. They work with robotic technology and make sure robots are doing their jobs. While they don’t build robots, they do operate them.
Glassdoor reports the average robot operator salary is $45,000/year. While the pay is lower than the average of other jobs, it requires less education and experience. You can find work with an associate degree. But with an emerging market, this is a successful career path for those without a bachelor’s degree.
A robotics technician has duties like a robotics engineer, but the job requires less training. A robotics technician focuses on testing and repairing robotics systems while helping robotics engineers create and design them.
They know the robotics systems they work on and spend time helping customers understand them. They usually work as a liaison between customers and robotics engineers.
Average salary for robotics tech jobs
Glassdoor reports the average salary for this occupation is under $50,000/year. About half of all robotics technicians have associate degrees, while 20% have bachelor’s degrees. Common areas of study include:
- Electrical engineering
- Electrical engineering technology
- Engineering and computer science
Sales engineers focus on the sales aspect of robots and robotic products. But they are as knowledgeable as a robotics software engineer because they have to be. To sell systems to clients, they need to know what the robotic systems do.
Sales engineers also need to know how to make adjustments to ensure it meets the expectations. Individuals with this type of robotics job tend to travel with about half their time spent away from home.
Sales engineer salaries can vary, but according to Glassdoor, the average salary is over $125,000/year. To qualify for work in this occupation, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher. It helps to have an engineering background and business knowledge.
Other Engineering Jobs that Use Robotics
There are many jobs in the robotics field, and even more in engineering that use robotics. With a graduate degree, you can qualify for many different jobs in engineering and robotics.
You can find work as a software engineer if you have a computer background. In this role, you can develop software for robot automation and control.
Other robotics professionals include aerospace engineers and mechanical engineers. Aerospace engineers use robotics to perform tasks. They create task robots to drill holes into fuselages or other components. The robots perform speedy tasks and get good results.
The most common areas of engineering where robotics professionals work include:
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s a look at the top FAQs about the robotics career and how to know if becoming a robotics engineer is a good choice.
How to become a robotics engineer?
To become a robotics engineer, you need a degree. If you want to work in a specialty area of robotics, such as robotics software, you’ll need a computer science background. The same is true of other specialty areas. They need specialized knowledge of that area. For example, you can study artificial intelligence or machine learning. You can also focus on business for work as sales engineers.
Here are the steps to become a robotics engineer.
Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Not all universities offer bachelor’s degrees in robotics. Aspiring robotics engineers earn accredited degrees in other areas of engineering. But for the best job opportunities plan on earning a four-year degree in a related robotics discipline. You can earn a degree in math, physics, or engineering. You can also get a degree in a specific area. Employers don’t care as long as you have the skills to perform the job.
If you choose to study electrical or computer engineering with a robotics specialization, take courses that focus on:
- Circuit boards
Other popular areas of study include mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.
Step 2: Get Experience
There are potential employers that look for recent college graduates. But most want candidates with experience. How do you get experience as a college student?
- Part-time jobs
- Research opportunities
You can also volunteer with local robotics clubs or work on projects at your university. Seek out paid internships with robotics companies. Internships can provide excellent hands-on learning experiences and lead to full-time employment. They can also help you network and build relationships with robotics engineers and other professionals in the robotics field.
Step 3: Earn a Graduate Degree
In the robotics industry, an advanced degree helps you stand out among other applicants. Employers prefer candidates with master’s or doctorate degrees. Graduate programs in artificial intelligence or robotics technology can help you gain valuable skills and knowledge in the robotics field. You can gain skills and training through research opportunities and advanced coursework. But plan on spending at least two years on a master’s degree and four years on a doctorate.
Step 4: Consider Certifications or Licensure
You don’t have to get a licensure to work as a robotics engineer. But earning this professional credential can help you land better job prospects. It can also help you advance in your career. Engineers can earn a PE license. This stands for Professional Engineer license. It shows employers that you have earned practical and theoretical training requirements.
How to know if a robotics career path is right for you?
Now that you know more about the different robot jobs, you might wonder if robotics job opportunities are right for you. Careers in this field can bring success and rewards. You can earn strong wages and advance in your career. But how do you know it’s the right career for you? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Do you like to find solutions to problems?
- Do you want to commit yourself to a lifetime of learning?
If you answered yes to the above questions, working with autonomous robots might be a good fit. If you thrive under pressure and like to work in an intellectually stimulating environment, robotics is a good choice. It is a field that calls for a high level of professionalism, integrity, and initiative.
You should also be able to balance many projects and prioritize demands. If this sounds like you, consider a job in robotics.
What robotics courses should I take?
As a student, it’s never too early to think about a career in the robotics field. But careful planning can help you succeed.
In high school, you should take all the math, science, and engineering courses offered. Advanced math classes like calculus and statistics help. When you get to college, you should continue taking as many STEM courses as possible until you declare your major. You can choose from different majors, but the most common for robotics careers include:
- Computer science
- Electrical engineering
- Electronics engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Robotics engineering
Some colleges offer degrees in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering with a concentration or specialization in robotics. If you choose this route, you will take more math and physics courses. You will also take specialized courses designed for mechanical engineers. These can include:
- Mechanical design
- Programming languages
What skills should robotics engineers have?
If you want to work in the field of robotics, you need certain skills. The most successful robotics engineers have these skills.
- Computer skills: Since robotics engineers use computer science to do their job, it’s important to have strong computer skills. They should also understand AI and machine learning.
- Imagination: In the robotics field, you need a good imagination. You must be able to visualize and imagine how a robot can interact with its environment.
- Math skills: You use advanced math on the job as you build robotic devices. From algebra to statistics, you should understand how math works.
- Software engineering: It helps to understand software from the inside out. Having these skills can help you do your job as you work alongside software engineers.
- Technical skills: These specialized engineers are technical. They understand how robots operate and mechanical devices work. They must have strong mechanical skills to develop systems and do their job.
Will robots steal my job?
The jobs most susceptible to automation aren’t found in the robotics field. Machine learning engineers and professionals maintaining robots will find their jobs are safe and secure. But assembly work isn’t safe.
Jobs that involve repetitive tasks, such as assembling equipment and making widgets face automation. Some accounting jobs and tasks that involve sorting documents also face automation woes. Jobs less likely to face automation are complex in nature. They are jobs that involve crafting unique content, coming up with creative marketing campaigns, and engineering new products.