Hands-on experience is an integral part of becoming a robotics engineer. These professionals work mainly with mechanical machines in various technological departments. Licensing is required by state for those wishing to work in a higher-level position while those entering on a beginner's level only need a bachelor's degree.
Robotics engineers work with computers and automated machines in technology-driven environments. These in-demand engineers have advanced science and math skills and need undergraduate degrees in engineering, mathematics or physical science. Their training should include hands-on experience in robotics. Higher-level robotics engineers need a state license, acquired by completing an accredited degree program, gaining experience in the field and passing two examinations.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or related field|
|Licensing||State license required, but not for entry-level positions|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) *||5% (all mechanical engineers)|
|Median Annual Wage (2015)*||$83,590 (all mechanical engineers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Robotics Engineer Job Outlook
Robotics engineers were expected to see some employment growth in the coming years designing and maintaining robots, as well as studying these automated machines and developing applications for them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mechanical engineering field, which includes robotics engineers, was projected to experience an average 5 percent employment growth from 2014 to 2024. A factor of this increase is the growing demand for the machines these professionals design as well as the emergence of new technologies.
Architectural and engineering services is one of the primary industries employing these professionals, but they might find employment in other industries, like aerospace, agriculture and mining engineering. Since these professionals can apply their skills to fields from military to medicine, they may be able to find employment in related engineering fields or specialize in specific types of robots.
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Robotics Engineer Educational Requirements
Robotics engineers are required to have at least bachelor's degrees for entry-level jobs in the field, according to the BLS. They typically hold degrees in mechanical engineering or related engineering specialties, though degrees in physical science and mathematics may also qualify robotics engineers for employment. Laboratory work and design classes are often standard parts of engineering programs. Some schools offer undergraduate degrees in robotics engineering, which teach students how to apply math and mechanics to create automated machines. For more advanced positions, such as in teaching, research or management, a graduate degree is often essential.
Licensure is usually required to work as an independent robotics engineer. To obtain licensure, candidates typically must graduate from engineering programs accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). They must then pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and gain four years of experience as training engineers. Aspiring engineers may then become licensed by passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Robotics engineers must maintain licensure by earning continuing education credits.
Robotics engineers need exceptional math and science skills as well as a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related topic. After graduating and gaining experience, robotics engineers can take the engineering licensing exam, which grants the right to practice independently. Jobs in this field are expected to grow at an average rate through 2024.