Students can pursue technical certificates aimed at professionals in automation maintenance with a high school diploma or GED. Undergraduate certificates are an option for students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs who have completed prerequisite coursework. Finally, graduate certificates are also available. There are not currently any standard certifications offered in this field. A bachelor's degree, preferably in engineering, is required to enter a graduate program.
Technical Certificate in Robotics
Technical certificate programs are offered by technical schools and community colleges. They prepare careers as engineering assistants and plant maintenance workers. Students study technical skills related to robotics, electronics, programming, and computer numerical controls (CNC). Courses include:
- Programmable logic controllers
- Industrial automation robotics
- Electrical motor controls
- Applied fluid power
Undergraduate Certificate in Robotics
These certificate programs are designed to provide additional training in the area of robotic to supplement degree programs in other related areas. The curriculum combines aspects of engineering with robotic system design and applications of robotics. Topics might include:
- Robotics and intelligent systems
- Control systems
- Robot design
Graduate Certificate in Robotics
A graduate certificate program in the area of robotics is primarily geared towards individuals with engineering backgrounds. Courses in this educational track cover principles and applications of robotics. The curriculum pulls heavily from engineering disciplines. Coursework might include:
- Control system design
- Intelligent control
Popular Career Options
Robotics can be applied to a number of fields, including manufacturing, engineering, entertainment, security and healthcare. Job titles might include automation technician, robotics technician, engineering technician, robotics engineer, mechanical engineer, and software engineer.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of robotics-related programs often work in the field of engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) expects employment in engineering to grow at an average or slower than average rate from 2014-2024; with mechanical engineering positions expected to increase by an estimated 5%, materials engineers by 1%, and electrical and electronics engineers by 0%.
Manufacturing and industrial companies are increasingly relying on engineers to develop technologies, such as robotic technologies, that will increase efficiency and reduce production costs. This reliance helps fuel the demand. Salaries for engineers vary widely depending on the field of engineering. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for electronics engineers, for instance, was $98,270, while mechanical engineers brought in a median of $83,590, and electrical engineers earned $93,010 per year.
Certification and Continuing Education
Students who have completed technical certificates and are interested in furthering their career in robotics might consider continuing with a degree program in an area such as engineering technology, mechanical engineering, or computer science. There are no standard certifications offered in the area of robotics.
Certificate programs in robotics are available at the technical, undergraduate, and graduate levels. This education can help graduates find work in the field of engineering.