Students in bachelor's and master's programs in robotics engineering focus heavily on mathematical foundations, engineering theories and practical implementation and testing of robotic devices; bachelor's programs also include a substantial amount of lab work.
Applicants to bachelor's programs in robotics engineering need a strong high school background in math and the sciences. Admission requirements for master's programs usually include a bachelor's degree in a relevant engineering field; some programs require submission of a project portfolio.
Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering
Disciplines studied in a bachelor's degree program in robotics engineering include computer science, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Students learn the fundamental concepts behind each of these fields in order to gain a strong understanding of robotics and robotic systems. Students enrolled in baccalaureate robotics engineering programs are also expected to learn about the ethical implications behind working in the robotics field. Most undergraduate programs in robotics engineering combine classroom lectures with lab work to give candidates the opportunity to create working robots. In order to enroll in an undergraduate degree program in robotics engineering, students must first gain acceptance into a 4-year university. Commonly, this depends on classes taken in high school, academic performance and standardized test scores. Students interested in studying robotics engineering should have strong foundations in mathematics and science.
Robotics is a multidisciplinary field. Some of the courses commonly found in undergraduate degree programs are listed below:
- Unified robotics
- Computer science
- Electrical and Mechanical engineering
- Industrial robotics
Master of Science in Robotics Engineering
Graduate degree programs in robotics engineering are more prevalent than undergraduate degree programs. They are designed for those who hold bachelor's degrees in computer science or engineering and are particularly interested in designing and creating robotic systems.
Students enrolled in a graduate program in robotics engineering build upon foundational knowledge from their computer science or engineering backgrounds while also learning about the contexts and environments in which robotics are created. Robotics engineering programs generally require candidates to complete capstone projects wherein they must design and create successful robotic devices. Candidates may also be required to research and write theses. Students interested in graduate degree programs in robotics engineering should first earn bachelor's degrees, either in robotics engineering or related engineering fields. In addition to college transcripts, GPA results and GRE scores, applicants may also be required to submit thesis ideas or project portfolios.
The courses found in master's programs in robotics engineering are more advanced than those found in undergraduate programs, and graduate students often choose robotics specialties, such as industrial robotics, robotics theory, healthcare robotics, aerospace robotics, computer software robotics, automotive robotics or mechanical engineering, as a concentration. Some common core courses at the master's level include the following:
- Foundations of robotics
- Robot dynamics
- Special topics in robotics engineering
- Robotics engineering practicum
- Mathematical algorithms
- Social implications of technology
Popular Career Options
Robotics engineers are utilized in a vast range of fields and industries, though some positions require a graduate degree. Potential job titles include the following:
- Robotics testing technician
- Robotics programmer
- Robotics systems controller
- Robotics quality assurance technician
- Robotics engineer
- Aerospace robotics engineer
- Industrial robotics engineer
- Healthcare robotics engineer
- Computer software robotics engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Individuals with a robotics engineering degree may also work as mechanical engineers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of working professionals in this field was predicted to grow 5% from 2014-2024, which about as fast as the national average. Mechanical engineers earned a median salary of $83,590 per year as of 2015.
Both undergraduate and graduate robotics engineering degree programs combine elements of electrical engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering. Completing either program prepares graduates for a variety of career options in the field.