Robotics Engineering Degree

What Does a Robotics Engineer Do?

The basic responsibilities of a robotics engineer include designing and creating robots. This responsibility, however, is in no way a simple matter. In the process of designing and creation, these engineers need to take into account the system diagnostics, supervision of mechanical repairs and maintenance and any potential troubleshooting. The following list gives an overview of the typical work activities a robotics engineer would be required to carry out:

  • Program robotic equipment
  • Explain and advise customers on the usage of particular technical machinery
  • Evaluate designs and specifications to ensure highest quality and maximum utility to users
  • Calibrate scientific or technical equipment
  • Install production equipment and systems

To be able to perform in this highly technical field, robotics engineers must possess the right skill set and abilities. Here is a table that gives a general look into the basic abilities that a robotics engineering degree might help inculcate in students:

Ability

Description

Problem Sensitivity

  To be able to realize that a problem exists, or could appear in the near future in any machinery

Visualization

  To be able to imagine how something will turn out, or look after it is altered or parts of it are rearranged

Deductive Reasoning

  To be able to apply generic rules to specific problems for determining solutions

Inductive Reasoning

  To be able to put together clues and pieces of information to come up with conclusions

Information Ordering

  To be able to arrange information in a certain pattern to utilize it in the best possible manner

*Source: O*NET OnLine

How to Become a Robotics Engineer?

To enter this field, you need a solid educational background and the right amount of experience. Here is an outline of the educational requirements that this field has:

Degree Required

  Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

Major/Field of Study

  Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Typical Coursework

  Unified robotics
  Physics

  Calculus
  Computer Science
  Industrial robotics
  Electrical Engineering
  Robot Dynamics
  Mathematical Algorithms
  Social Implications of Technology

Duration of Education

  4 years for Bachelor’s Degree – 1 or 2 for a Master’s Degree

Minimum GPA Requirements

  Varies from college to college

Nature of Coursework

  Theory and Practical

Thesis Requirement

  Mostly required in a master’s degree

Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering

Typically students who wish to enter this field go for a Bachelor’s in Robotics Engineering. This is a comprehensive program that includes various aspects of engineering and technology, exposing students to computer science, mechanical and electrical engineering. The fundamental concepts in all these fields form a foundation for students to understand robotics. Classroom lectures are combined with extensive lab work to give students the opportunity to create their own robots. Your admission into a robotics engineering program would depend on your high school courses, grades and overall performance.

Master of Science in Robotics Engineering

Most people who enter the field of Robotics Engineering hold a master’s degree. The prerequisite to get admission into a graduate program is an undergraduate degree in the same field. Students in this degree build upon the fundamental knowledge they already have from their computer science or electrical engineering backgrounds. The focus here would be on more advance level courses and practical assignments. In addition to that, they might be required to choose an area of specialization. Potential areas of specialization for robotics engineering students include:

  • Industrial Robotics
  • Robotics Theory
  • Mathematical Algorithms
  • Social Effects of Technology
  • Robots in Various Industries

Career Outlook for Robotics Engineers

Robotics Engineers can find employment in a large number of settings. Most of these positions typically require a graduate degree. Potential jobs that robotics engineers can get are as:

  • Robotics Testing Technician
  • Robotics Systems Controller
  • Aerospace Robotics Engineer
  • Industrial Robotics Engineer
  • Computer Software Robotics Engineer
  • Healthcare Robotics Engineer
  • Robotics Programmer
  • Quality Assurance of Robotics
  • Robotics Engineer

To work in this field, a special kind of skill set is required. This is not just in terms of robotics, or the scientific element involved. You will need general skills such as:

Attention to Detail

Careful attention to detail and thoroughness in completing set tasks

Analytical Thinking

Analyzing information and using logic to address technical problems

Dependability

Being reliable, meeting deadlines and being responsible in rendition of all tasks

Persistence

Remaining steadfast and persistent in the face of obstacles

Integrity

Being honest and ethical in all dealings

*Source: O*NET OnLine

Salary Information and Employment Outlook for Robotics Engineers

Robotic Engineers can find employment as Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The salary information for this career is as follows:

2015 Median Pay

$95,230 per year

Typical Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Number of Jobs, 2014

315,900

On the Job Training

None

Job Outlook, 2014-24

0% (little or no change)

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

People with degrees in robotics can also find employment in other related sectors such as Mechanical Engineering, since there is a lot of overlap in terms of expertise and experience. Here’s the salary data for this occupation.

2015 Median Pay

$82,590 per year

Typical Entry Level Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Number of Jobs, 2014

277,500

On the Job Training

None

Job Outlook, 2014-24

5% (as fast as average)

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment for Robotics Engineers

Robotics Engineers typically work in offices, laboratories or manufacturing plants. The work atmosphere can be pretty noisy and chaotic, if it is a manufacturing plant. In addition to that, these engineers are typically required to work overtime to meet strict deadlines.

5 Robot Trends to Watch Out For!

If robotics truly fascinates you, then you must be interested in where the industry is headed. You never know, maybe you could be the one making these technologies or modifying them in the future:

  1. Chinese Robots
  2. Delivery Drones
  3. Enabling Robots to learn by stimulating neural networks
  4. Knowledge sharing between Robots to accelerate the process of robotics altogether
  5. Personal Robots

While these technologies might not take off instantly, they are in the works, along with many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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