Students can receive training in robotics technology by earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in this discipline. These programs can last two to four years. Prerequisite studies at all levels typically include physics, advanced math, and science. Bachelor's-level program admission may also require a prior Associate of Science degree, and master's programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree that includes technical and science experience.
Program specializations may include computer-aided design, intelligent automation, robotics maintenance, and automated systems technology. Training is presented through coursework and labs, and master's programs feature research and/or internships, as well as the option to complete a thesis. Graduates may pursue careers in automated manufacturing, mechanics, welding, robotics and related fields.
Associate's Degree Programs in Robotics Technology
Robotics technology associate's degree programs award a variety of degrees, including the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Automated Manufacturing and Robotics Technology, Associate of Science (A.S.) in Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Automation Systems Technology and Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Robotics Maintenance Technology.
A robotics technology associate's degree program prepares students for careers working with engineers to design, create and test robots. A graduate with an associate's in robotics technology also has the skills needed to repair and maintain robots with a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
Admissions requirements to most robotics technology associate's degree programs are similar to the requirements for technical schools and 2-year colleges. Students will typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Many robotics technology programs also require some advanced math and science coursework prior to full admission.
Typical coursework in robotics technology at the associate's degree level includes the fundamentals of automation, computer assisted design and basic computer programming. Courses may include the following:
- Technical Physics
- Automation and Lab
- Introduction to Computers
- Sensor Technology
- Programmable Controllers and Robotics
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Robotics Technology
Undergraduate-level training in robotics technology is offered in a variety of areas, such as engineering technology, information technology and building automation technology. While pursuing a bachelor's degree in these areas, students can complete coursework in robotics technology.
Students will gain the skills needed to program robotic functions, apply robots to optimize industrial processes, and maintain complex robotics systems. The bachelor's degree programs that offer a robotics technology emphasis are mainly 4-year programs. However, students who have completed an associate's degree program in robotics technology or a related field may be able to transfer credits and graduate in less than three years.
Admission to majors that offer robotics technology concentration typically require undergraduate level coursework in college algebra, English and physics. Some programs also have special requirements that include an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) in a related field.
Coursework to become a robotics technician can include basic electrical engineering and programmable logic controllers. The following are examples of robotics technology coursework offered at this degree level:
- Automated technologies
- Computer integrated manufacturing
- Industrial robotics
- Process controllers
- Quantitative mathematical reasoning
Master's Degree Programs in Robotics Technology
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology, Master of Science (M.S.) in Technology Management and Master of Science (M.S.) in Manufacturing Systems Engineering programs are all examples of master's degree programs that offer robotics technology tracks.
Through these programs, students can gain specialization in areas of robotics technology, including intelligent automation, manufacturing systems or computer aided design. Most robotics training at the master's degree level takes two years to complete and include a thesis option, as well as a research project or professional internship experience.
Students in a graduate-level robotics technology concentration can gain real-world robotics skills through courses, including the following:
- Computer vision systems research
- Computer-integrated manufacturing
- Advanced computer and robotics programming
Graduates from a bachelor's or master's degree program with a robotics technology option can pursue employment in just about any setting where robots are used, including the medical field in which robots assist with surgical procedures or in an industry where robots perform repetitive jobs. Career options are available for mid-level and advanced careers.
- Applications engineer
- Senior Automation engineer
- Fabrications specialist
- Electro-mechanical technician
Upon successful completion of a robotics technology associate's degree program, students are prepared for entry-level positions such as the following:
- Manufacturing technician
- Industrial welder
- Robotics technician
- Machine line operator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of a robotics technology associate's program can also work as electro-mechanical technicians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), technicians in this field earned median wages of $25.65 per hour, $53,340 annually as of 2015. The BLS also notes that between 2014 and 2024 the number of jobs available for electro-mechanical technicians was expected to increase 1%, slower than the national average.
Students interested in robotics technology can find degree programs at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels. These programs dissect numerous aspects of robotics engineering and programming, preparing students for several careers in related fields, such as an electro-mechanical technician.