When it comes to the robotics field, there are many career choices, ranging from technicians to machine programmers to sales reps. Each of these paths have unique duties and requirements.
Courses in robotics technologies can include computers and manufacturing, electrical and mechanical engineering and mathematics. Students have many degree options to choose from, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Robotics Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Robotics and Automation Technology. These degrees prepare students for managerial roles dealing with robotics design. Skills taught in these programs include troubleshooting, coordinating and assembling robots for different industries. Specific courses in robotics technology may include engineering graphics, microprocessors and integration of robotic systems.
|Career||Electro-Mechanical Technician||Computer Controlled Machine Programmer||Manufacturing Sales Representative|
|Education Requirements||Associate's degree||High school diploma or equivalent||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Job Growth (2019-29)*||3%||-7% for metal and plastic machine workers||2%|
|Mean Salary (2020)*||$62,800 annually||$44,300 annually for computer controlled machine tool operators||$73,500 annually for service sales representatives|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
There are a lot of technical careers available to students who get a degree in robotics technologies. Most of them require formal education, and higher paying positions typically require an advanced degree. Below are overviews and descriptions of three possible career options for robotics technology graduates.
Robotics technicians service, maintain, test and install robots, as well as assist with the design of new robots if they have accumulated enough experience. According to O*Net Online in 2019, 45% of these technicians have associate degrees.
These workers are required to deliver robotics orders to customers and install, program and even train factory employees in the use of the new robotics technology. They may also work on the service, maintenance or repair for the robots after delivery. The BLS reports that electro-mechanical technicians make a mean annual salary of $62,800 as of May 2020. The employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow 3% between 2019-2029.
Computer Controlled Machine Programmer
Computer controlled machine programmers may also be referred to as metal or plastic machine workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only a high school diploma is required for this position; however, obtaining an associate degree can help develop the math background needed to work as a programmer.
In this position, the programmers tell robots what to do by using information gathered from production data to determine how they can complete required tasks with maximum efficiency. Computer controlled machine programmers' tasks include reading blueprints, making calculations, inputting instructions via computer and testing instruction codes for accuracy and errors. The BLS states that these programmers earn a mean annual salary of $44,300 as of May 2020. Employment opportunities for this career are expected to decrease 7% from 2019-2029.
Robotics Sales Representative
Sales representatives for the robotics industry are generally trained in robotics technologies, sales and communications. They attempt to secure new accounts for their employers by making cold calls, marketing and demonstrating their products to manufacturers and maintaining relationships within the field.
Sales representatives may begin their career as technical workers before transferring to sales. Sales reps educated in robotics technologies are often better prepared to knowledgeably discuss their products and offer expert answers to customers' questions. As of May 2020, service sales representatives earn a mean annual salary of $73,500. The employment growth in this field is expected to rise by 2% between 2019-2029 (slower than average).
A degree in robotics technologies provides training in math and science that is relevant to working in robotics. This could range from being a technician who delivers, installs and programs robots, or trains others in robotics technology, to a programmer that uses data and technology to program robotics and run tests, to a professional working in robotics sales. Out of these three, sales representatives are expected to experience growth in their field.