Many of robotics technology and robotics engineering degree programs include courses in animatronics. A few degrees in art or entertainment technology also have robotics specialties. These programs are available at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. They study fields important to animatronic technology like computer, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as robotics. Prerequisites for these programs include having a high school diploma or GED, sufficient placement test scores for skill assessments and ACT or SAT scores.
Associate's Degrees in Robotics Technology
At the associate level, almost all robotics degrees are in robotics technology. This course of study teaches students the fundamental principles of engineering, preparing them with the skills needed to assist engineers in creating and testing robots. This work includes skills that range from performing complicated mathematical calculations to metal working. Earning an associate's degree includes basic education courses in English, math, science, and social science. Requirements for the robotics technology program might include studies in:
- Programmable logic
- Machine automation
- Introductory robotics
- Industrial electrical theory and circuits
- Engineering design and production
- Digital fundamentals
Bachelor's Degrees in Robotics Engineering
In 2007 the first bachelor's degree specifically in robotics engineering was introduced. Electrical engineering degrees with specializations in robotics are available. These programs include advanced studies in applied math and science that help prepare students for a variety of robotics careers. At the bachelor's level, coursework includes that which is required for an associate's degree. In addition, courses may include:
- Mechatronic systems
- Control and dynamics of robotics
- Advanced engineering programming
- Machine vision
- System integration
- Automated manufacturing systems
Popular Career Options
Jobs are available in a variety of industries. One unique job in the medical equipment industry is that of an amputee trauma trainer. These professionals help amputees adjust to using high-tech prosthetic devices. Besides the medical equipment industry, other industries that need robotics technologists include:
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The field of robotics was new enough that in 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) did not have a separate category to cover it. The BLS mentions the field in numerous discussions of other professions, like electro-mechanical technicians. Job outlook for that field, which frequently works with robotic assemblies, was a 1% growth between 2014 and 2024, the BLS found. The median wage for these workers in 2015 was $53,340 annually.
In addition to robotics engineering, bachelor's degrees in engineering that may allow students to specialize in robotics include computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing engineering technology.
To continue knowledge in the field of robotics engineering, students might consider earning a master's degree. However, there are very few master's degrees in the field of robotics engineering in the U.S. Three active programs include Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Master of Science in Robotics Engineering, the M.S. in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Control Systems and Robotic Engineering from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, and the Master of Engineering in Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles (RAV) offered by the University of Michigan. However, many other engineering programs have graduate-level courses in robotics that would aid students in keeping their professional knowledge up-to-date.
Students interested in animatronics may not be able to find a direct degree in the field, but they can learn what they need to through related degree programs like associate's degree programs in robotics technology and bachelor's degree programs in robotics engineering.