Mechatronics engineering combines aspects of mechanical, electronic, and computer engineering in order to increase efficiency in the production and function of manufactured goods. Accordingly, mechatronics engineers study aspects of fluid mechanics, control theory, and computer programming. Most professionals complete a bachelor's degree to get into this field.
|Required Education||Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics Engineering or Mechanical Engineering Technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||5% for mechanical engineers; 4% for electronic engineers*|
|Median Annual Salary 2013||$92,680 for engineers all other*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salary for a Mechatronics Engineer
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide specific salary information for mechatronics engineers, it does show that median annual wages for all specialized engineers not categorized was $92,680 as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov). The middle 50% of these professionals earned between $68,610 and $117,930 yearly.
Mechatronics Engineer Duties
Mechatronics engineers create and improve automated processes. For example, mechatronics engineers may review an assembly line and determine that welding processes on the assembly line are inefficient. Next, engineers may use cost-analysis to highlight an estimated amount that could be gained by improving the system. If superiors approve their project, mechatronics engineers may then use computer-aided design software to develop and test potential solutions, such as better machines or welding equipment. Once a new system has been tested and decided upon, engineers may help implement the machinery and controls.
Career Outlook for a Mechatronics Engineer
While the BLS doesn't cite a specific employment outlook for mechatronics engineers, it predicts that the employment of mechanical engineers would likely grow by 5% from 2012-2022, which is slower than average, while opportunities for electrical and electronics engineers would increase by 4%.
Mechatronics Engineer Education Requirements
Prospective candidates may enroll in a bachelor's degree program in mechatronics engineering, offered by colleges and universities. Requirements to enter the major typically include calculus, engineering fundamentals, and physics. Once core courses are complete, students may cover topics in circuit analysis, digital controls, and robotics. Most programs also include design and laboratory courses that allow students to test the materials used in products or processes. Graduation is often accomplished in four to five years.