Mechatronics blend computer, electrical and mechanical engineering to produce products including automobiles, cameras, appliances, pacemakers and a myriad of other devices. There are several master's degree programs that focus on mechatronics, including a Master of Science in Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Others are degrees in computer, electrical or mechanical engineering with a concentration in mechatronics.
Most mechatronic programs only require a bachelor's degree. Some programs, however, expect degrees in electrical, computer and/or mechanical engineering from a school accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
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Master's Degrees in Mechatronics
In most mechatronics programs students take a few core courses in topics such as microcontrollers and mechatronics modeling. They work with advisors to choose elective courses that will help them meet their career goals. As might be expected, these programs involve a great deal of lab work and hands-on experience, and a thesis may be required. Most programs can be completed in about a year of full-time study. Students can choose the higher level courses in this program. Required courses generally fall into the following categories:
- Applied mechanics
- Mechanical systems
- Mechatronic systems control
- Sensors and instrumentation
Because so many products have mechatronic systems in them, the range of potential career fields is immense. Some of these fields for mechatronic engineering are in:
- Communication systems
- Defense systems
- Medical devices
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The number of employed engineers in general was expected to increase 4% from 2014-2024, though employment projections may vary by discipline. The average salary among all types of engineers was $95,240 as of May 2015.
Mechatronics continuing education programs offered by universities are largely for those who have only a bachelor's degree. The Association of International Mechatronic Engineers (AIME) offers a certification -- Certified Motion Control Specialist. Motion control was the focus of AIME until 2010 when it began expanding its focus to include all areas of mechatronics. Re-certification (every three years) lists additional college work as one of the continuing education options. The mechatronic engineer with a master's degree could take graduate courses to maintain the certification.
Mechatronics master's programs include studies in applied mechanics, micro-controllers and sensors. Graduates could find work in various areas like robotics, medical device design and communication systems.