Mechatronics Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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Get the truth about salaries in the field of mechatronics. Read the job descriptions and learn about education and training requirements and career prospects to decide if a mechatronics career is right for you.
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Pros and Cons

Mechatronics, a discipline developed in Japan in 1969, is an amalgamation of mechanics and electronics. Professionals that deal closely with mechatronics include electro-mechanical technicians, electrical and electronic engineering technicians and mechanical engineering technicians. Learn more about these careers at a glance in the table below:

Electro-mechanical Technician Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technician Mechanical Engineering Technician
Career Overview Electro-mechanical technicians install and maintain computer-controlled and mechanical systems. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians help design, develop and maintain electrical and electronic equipment. Mechanical engineering technicians help design, test and manufacture various industrial and consumer products.
Education Requirements Associate's degree Associate's degree Associate's degree
Program Length Two years, full-time Two years, full-time Two years, full-time
Job Outlook for 2012-2022 Slower-than-average growth (4%)* Little or no change (0%)* Slower-than-average growth (5%) compared to all occupations*
Mean Annual Salary (2014) $55,600* $60,330* $55,470*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Electro-mechanical Technician

Electro-mechanical technicians help assemble, install and repair electronic and electrical circuitry and mechanical technology, like robotic assembly machines. With an ability to read blueprints and schematic drawings of equipment, they're able to inspect and perform electrical and mechanical adjustments and calibrations of various parts and components. Job duties include testing the operation of electro-mechanical systems, recording the results, troubleshooting and submitting recommendations for design adjustments.

Requirements

According to the BLS, most electro-mechanical technicians hold either a postsecondary certificate or an associate's degree from a technical school or community college. Common areas of study include electro-mechanics, computer-integrated manufacturing and industrial maintenance, though some schools also offer programs specifically in mechatronics technology. Due to the nature of the job, the program you select should incorporate courses in basic science, algebra and trigonometry. ABET-accredited programs contain such courses and also allow you to focus on areas such as computer-integrated manufacturing, industrial maintenance and electro-mechanics.

Below are some examples of ads for electro-mechanical technicians that were running in December 2012:

  • A robotics firm in Michigan is looking for an electrical engineer with knowledge of mechatronics and robotics. Candidates should hold at least an associate's degree and have up to five years of qualifying work experience, as well as being willing to travel.
  • An automation management solutions company in Virginia wants to hire a field technician willing to work on-call, including nights and weekends. Applicants must have an associate's degree in electrical/electronic or mechanical engineering or a certificate from an accredited technical or military school coupled with two years of qualifying work experience.
  • A Massachusetts manufacturing firm is seeking an electro-mechanical technician with at least two years of training at a technical school and five years of experience, two of which must be in testing, troubleshooting and repair. The position entails on-site and in-house servicing of equipment.

Standing Out

The BLS states that you may distinguish yourself in this field by earning a bachelor's degree. Often, job ads state that a certificate or associate's degree is the minimum qualification for employment. In addition to expanding your knowledge base, a bachelor's degree can serve as a testament to your commitment to the profession and your willingness to learn.

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technician

Another position related to mechatronics is electrical and electronic engineering technician. These professionals assist electrical and electronic engineers in the design, development and testing of equipment like navigation systems, communication devices, medical equipment and computers. Duties can include monitoring and evaluating test results and performing any necessary adjustments and repairs to ensure proper operation. Note that, while they work with similar equipment, these professionals may not work directly with mechatronics systems.

Requirements

The BLS states that most electrical and electronic engineering technicians hold an associate's degree. To see to it that you receive training that best prepares you for a position, it's advisable that you attend an ABET-accredited program, which includes algebra and trigonometry courses in addition to basic science courses. Your degree program should also incorporate training in analog and digital electronics, principles of electrical machinery, C++ programming, physics, circuitry, microcompressors and computer-aided drafting (CAD).

Here's what some employers were looking for in December 2012:

  • A company in New Mexico wants to hire an electrical engineering technician on a contract basis. Candidates need an associate's degree, although a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is preferred. At least three years of experience with electrical and electronic systems and familiarity with AC and DC systems, oscilloscopes, power supplies and other testing systems are required.
  • A resource group in Connecticut is looking for a full-time electrical engineering laboratory technician. Applicants must hold at least an associate's degree and have at least 3-5 years of qualifying work experience. Candidates should be familiar with various digital and analog testing systems and have good electro-mechanical or mechanical skills. Familiarity with software languages is preferred.
  • A Pennsylvania company was seeking an electrical engineering technician to work full-time over a 2-month contract period. Candidates must hold an associate's degree and have experience with oscilloscopes and multimeters. The company also preferrs that candidates have Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Engineering Workbench (LABVIEW) experience.

Standing Out

The BLS states that you can distinguish yourself and increase your range of employability by continuing your education to earn a bachelor's degree. Familiarity with a variety of programming languages and a good selection of testing and measuring systems might also serve to help you stand out from your competition.

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Mechanical engineering technicians assist mechanical engineers in the drafting, design, development, production and testing of industrial machinery, tools and mechanical equipment. Sometimes they specialize in a certain area, such as automotives, diesel, tool design or drafting. Mechanical engineering technicians are involved in the entire process of implementing specialized machinery to fill a need or accomplish a job, as well as the design and development of that machine itself.

Requirements

The BLS reports that you can prepare yourself to become a mechanical engineering technician while you're still in high school by taking as many courses in math and science as possible. These workers tend to hold associate's degrees in mechanical engineering technology, though certificate programs are also available. Coursework may include material mechanics, technical reporting, CAD, programmable logic controllers and automation. Like other engineering technology disciples, these programs are accredited by ABET.

Here are some job postings for mechanical engineers that were available in December 2012:

  • A diagnostics solutions company in North Carolina wants to hire a full-time mechanical engineering technician on a 2-3-month contract basis. Applicants should have an engineering bachelor's degree or an associate's degree and have two years of qualifying work experience. Candidates should also have ProE or AutoCAD and mechanical assembly experience.
  • A Mississippi manufacturing company is seeking a full-time mechanical technician with an associate's degree in mechanical engineering technology or at least one year of experience in electronics/technical repair. The job entails maintaining bench inventory stock and performing the required repairs on assigned products. Good PC skills are also required.
  • An automotive supplier in Tennessee is looking for a full-time maintenance engineering technician with a high school diploma or GED, though postsecondary training in the discipline is preferred. Candidates should have five years of multi-craft industrial maintenance or engineering experience.

Standing Out

The BLS notes that mechanical engineering technicians who have a strong grasp of new technology and software should have the best job prospects. For example, these workers often use analystical and scientific software, such as Spectral Dynamics STARAcoustics and Wolfram Research Mathematica. You could also incorporate courses in CAD and computer aided manufacturing software into your college curriculum. Other common programs include LABVIEW, Microsoft Visual Basic and robotic control software.

Popular Schools

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    1. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
      • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
  • Campus Locations:
    2. Universal Technical Institute

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    Certificate
      • Diesel Technology
      • Automotive Technology
      • NASCAR Technology
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    3. Colorado Technical University

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    Master's
      • Master: Computer Engineering
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    4. University of Delaware

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    Master's
      • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Indianapolis, IN

    Indiana University

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    6. Northcentral University

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    Doctorate
      • PhD-TIM - Engineering Management
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      • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement
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    7. Penn Foster Career School

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    Certificate
      • Career Diploma: Electronics Technician
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    8. Penn Foster High School

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    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • Terre Haute, IN

    Indiana State University

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    10. Lincoln Tech

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Electrical/Electronics

Featured Schools

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology

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Universal Technical Institute

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Colorado Technical University

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University of Delaware

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Northcentral University

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  • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement
  • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology

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Penn Foster Career School

  • Career Diploma: Electronics Technician

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Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
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