This series is a practical guide on the steps required to land the most in-demand positions in the field of Robotics & AI. In this part, I will give a detailed guide on how to start your career in Robotics Engineering.
Robotics engineer jobs did not exist a few decades ago, but in recent years, robots have become part of our world. Robots are programmed to do tasks that humans don’t want to. Robots are currently used to perform various tasks ranging from restaurant waiters, to crime fighting used by law enforcement agencies in hostage situations. Robotics engineers can help make jobs easier, safer and more efficient.
Part 1: Data Science Career Guide
Part 3: Robotics Engineering Career Guide (This Article)
Part 4: Research Science Career Guide
Part 5: Artificial Intelligence Career Guide
Part 3: Robotics Engineering Career Guide
Table of Contents
- Who is a Robotics Engineer?
- Skills required to become a Robotics Engineer
- Tips to find a job in Robotics Engineering
Who is a Robotics Engineer?
Robots are machines that are able to replicate certain human movement and functions automatically. Robotics Engineers create, design, test, structure and operate robots and robotics systems. Robotics Engineers build robots to do automated jobs, across a variety of industries. According to the skill area a Robotics Engineer focuses on, their day-to-day job usually consists of the following:
- Research and development of robotics systems.
- Design and operate robots and robotics systems.
- Design machines to create robots.
- Create software to command and control the robotic system functions
- Create plans and processes to construct robots.
- Write quality control reports.
- Serve as technical support for their robotic creation.
- Demonstrate finished products to customers.
Many Robotics Engineers work in industries like the automotive industry; building robots for vehicle assembly lines, in universities teaching classes or the military. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a Robotics Engineer is $100,098 per year.
Skills required to become a Robotics Engineer
The core disciplines within robotics are Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science. With a degree in other disciplines such as Physics, Mathematics, Civil Engineering or Psychology, you can also end up working in robotics.
At the end of your degree, a Robotics Engineer should possess the following skills: computer programming skills, mathematical skills, knowledge of computer operating systems, engineering and design skills.
Even if you do not take the traditional route of high school, college and graduate school, it is possible to teach yourself the necessary skills to become a Robotics Engineer. You can take computer programming, mechanical or electrical engineering online courses to build your own robots. You will still need to earn a type of degree or certification to get a full time position job.
Essential technical skills required for roboticists:
- Computer Programming skills
- Science or Applied Mathematics
- Technology Design
Hand-on activities with robots are important to understand robotics, and can also help you find out which areas you are interested in. Robot kits are a great place to start playing with robots at home and you can get a team to build together. You can also get hands-on experience by taking part in robotics competitions.
Apart from the technical skills that you need to become a Robotics Engineer, these important set of soft skills are needed:
- Good written/oral communication: the ability to understand spoken and written information. Robotics Engineers should be able to speak and write clearly to convey information to others.
- Critical thinking: Robots can take over a lot of tasks from humans, but cannot take over our critical thinking skills. Engineers need this to analyze ideas and use logic to solve problems.
- Problem solving skills: Robotics Engineers should have the ability to combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions from them. It is important for them to think of new ideas and identify what needs to be changed to complete goals.
- Team work: Working with robots can require you to work with others. It is important to be aware of other people’s reactions and should be able to teach others how to do something.
- Judgement and decision making: Robotics Engineers need the ability to consider costs and benefits of potential actions and choose the most appropriate one.
Tips for finding a job in Robotics Engineering
Usually after earning a degree in one of the related fields listed above, it is important to complete an internship to get relevant experience. This would help you get a job as a Robotics Engineer. Getting a masters degree would also go a long way to study the subject in greater depth, increase your salary and advance your career.
You can check online for job postings, professional trade journals or newspapers. You can also apply directly to firms or companies that use robots. Networking is essential. You should start developing your personal and professional network as an undergraduate and during your internship. While an internship is usually a stepping stone to your first job, some internships can become full time positions.
Robotics Engineers also move up to management positions, become directors of automation or set up their own robotics consulting firms.
Typically, as a Robotics Engineer, you will work in manufacturing plants, laboratories or offices.
Robotics technology already impacts every aspect of our lives, both at home and at work. The opportunities in Robotics Engineering are paramount and the sky's not the limit. As a robotics engineer, you have to stay updated with the latest tech trends, read scientific journals, and as mentioned above, have hands-on experience by designing and programming your own robots.
If you are on your way to start a career in Robotics Engineering, robociti is a good place to start. Robociti provides courses that start from basic introduction to the field of AI & Robotics. Robociti offers beginner courses, where no prerequisite courses are needed. Even if you are an expert in robotics & AI, you can develop your skills and advance your projects. On the robociti platform, you can participate in competitions, showcase your projects and engage with other users in the robociti community.