Mechatronics combines the core areas of computer science, mechanics, electronics and process control into an exciting discipline with numerous military and civilian career options. Learn about a few potential mechatronics jobs for military veterans, including salary and job growth information, work duties and required skills.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2017)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Electro-mechanical Technician||$56,740||4%||Problem solving, mathematics, manual dexterity|
|Mechanical Engineering Technician||$55,360||5%||Drafting and drawing, creativity, analytical skills|
|Computer Hardware Engineer||$115,120||5%||Computer knowledge, teamwork|
|Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer||$57,210||1%||Problem solving, attention to detail|
|Machinist and Tool and Die Maker||$44,110||1%||Following directions, precise attention to detail, manual dexterity|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Relevance to Military Background
There are many Army careers involving operating and maintaining electromechanical or computer equipment and systems. Officers and enlisted personnel in these positions learn how to test, install, operate, maintain and repair systems like the nodal network system or the Integrated Family of Test Equipment, for example. This requires an interest or background in math, science and technology, a high degree of attention to detail, and the ability to solve complex problems. Veterans can apply these skills in many different civilian mechatronic careers. Read on for more information about specific examples of applicable careers and the military traits and skills that may be useful.
Electro-mechanical technicians are employed in industrial settings of all types, working with automated and computer-controlled machinery. Their job is similar to that of Army operators and maintainers, and is therefore a good option for a veteran with electronic equipment experience. Specific duties of electro-mechanical technicians can include inspecting machine parts for defects, using precision tools to check machine specifications, and installing, operating or repairing robotic equipment. As with similar military positions, attention to detail, manual dexterity, and logical problem-solving skills are all important, in addition to a knowledge base in math and mechanics.
Mechanical Engineering Technician
Mechanical engineering technicians work alongside mechanical engineers on the first steps of creating mechanical devices. This position could be well-suited to former Army machine operators/maintainers, or for veteran technical engineers, who would have experience designing, drawing and building for construction projects. Mechanical engineering technicians use design and modelling software to make plans for new or updated machinery, and they may also be involved with testing newly assembled equipment, estimating required materials or costs, and working with engineers to reduce production problems. This career combines creative ability with scientific knowledge, analytical skills, and the ability to work as a member of a team.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Nodal network systems operators and maintainers and other military communications personnel have experience with electronic systems and devices like routers, radios and E-switches. This background could come in handy as a computer hardware engineer. Veterans may need to first earn a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a related field before pursuing this career. Computer hardware engineering involves designing, developing and testing various components of computer systems. More specific mechatronics jobs within this field could involve designing the computerized components of high-tech manufactured devices like phones, cars or smart appliances. Computer hardware engineers also frequently work alongside software engineers, who program the systems that hardware engineers design and build.
Electrical and Electronics Installer and Repairer
Veterans with specific experience working with electronic systems could consider transferring their knowledge and skills to a civilian career as an electrical and electronics installer or repairer. There are many jobs within this career field, including installing and repairing transportation system electronics, power house or substation electrical components, or electric motor or tool repair. Veterans with equipment repair experience, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and knowledge of mechatronics principles could be successful in any of these positions. In general, electrical and electronics installers and repairers work with increasingly-automated equipment and test, diagnose, maintain and repair electrical systems. Many work in repair shops or factories, and the job may involve a degree of travel and field work at external job sites.
Machinist and Tool and Die Maker
Machinists and tool and die makers are two related career options for veterans used to working with any machinery comprising both computer and mechanical systems. Machinists use computer-aided design plans and computer numerically controlled tools to produce precision metal parts used in industrial machinery. Examples of the types of parts machinists might make include anti-lock brakes and automobile pistons or medical implants like metal screws and plates. Tool and die makers specifically make tools that are used to hold metal in place while it is being formed, stamped or drilled for use in larger machines. Both positions require common military attributes such as attention to detail, the ability to read and follow plans and protocols, physical stamina and manual dexterity.