Robotics Technician Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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Robotics technicians can earn an average salary of $55,600 per year. Is it worth the education requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a robotics technician is right for you.
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A Robotics Technician Career: the Pros and Cons

Robotics technicians perform installations and repairs of computerized robotic systems. Find out the pros and cons of being a robotics technician to see if it's right for you.

Pros of a Career as a Robotics Technician
Short training requirements for this occupation (2-year degree)*
Can serve as a springboard to careers in engineering or computers**
A fitting occupation if you like science and math**
A good career if you enjoy working with your hands*

Cons of a Career as a Robotics Technician
This profession is not expected to see much growth (1% from 2014-2024)*
May need to be cross-trained in other technical fields for the best job prospects*
Some work conditions can be hot and noisy**
Risk of injury from toxins or heavy equipment*

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

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Robots are important to many functions of manufacturing, including welding, assembly, spray painting, inspection and machine loading. Robotics technicians can work in all aspects of robotics operations, testing, and development, as well as repairing and adjusting robotic parts so they function properly. As a robotics technician you could work with engineers in offices or at manufacturing sites.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for electro-mechanical technicians, such as robotics technicians, were anticipated to experience only 1% growth from 2014-2024. This is a reflection of the expected decline in manufacturing. However, the need for electro-mechanical technicians could swell in specific industries; in the field of mechatronics, for instance, electro-mechanical technicians with an understanding of mechanical, electronic, control and computer systems will be needed. In May 2014, the BLS reported that electro-mechanical technicians earned an average salary of $55,600.

Education and Other Requirements

Most robotics technicians start their careers with an associate's degree in robotics or automated systems from a community college or vocational school. You can receive training in a variety of manufacturing systems, such as pneumatic and hydraulic controls, conveyers and electronic sensors, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and robotics. Other classes might include computer-aided design (CAD), welding, math and CNC (computer numerically controlled) programming. As a robotics technician, you can advance to a career in engineering with additional education and training.

You may choose to pursue your degree in mechatronics, which combines electronics, controls, mechanical systems and information technology. The BLS indicated that those trained to become mechatronics technicians are more versatile and might have additional job opportunities. Degree programs in mechatronics have an engineering component which trains students to work in the entire manufacturing process, from creation to delivery.

Available Certification

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers offers the Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) credential, which tests your understanding of manufacturing processes, management, math, computer applications and quality control. You must have a total of at least four years of education and/or professional experience to take the CMfgT exam.

Useful Skills

Since robotics technicians work with their hands, it's important to have excellent mechanical skills and be good at using precision tools. You also need to keep track of meticulous bits of information and be able to read in-depth instructions, so being detail-oriented is significant. Some other skills that can be useful to robotics technicians are:

  • Ability to write reports
  • Willingness to accept instruction
  • A team-player attitude

Jobs Posted by Real Employers

Recent job postings indicated that most organizations want applicants to have a 2-year degree in robotics or a related field, along with some experience. Other employers would like you to have knowledge of robotics systems designed by specific manufacturers. Read samples below from real jobs posted in April 2012:

  • A robotics systems design firm in Iowa is looking for someone to engineer, start up and train others on robotic welding systems. Applicants must be able to communicate with customers and project managers, complete projects on time and make technical judgments. You must have an associate's degree in robotics or 1-2 years of experience; travel may be required.
  • A Georgia auto supplier is seeking a robotics technician with at least two years of manufacturing and robotics programming experience to perform robotics maintenance. You should know how to work with pneumatics and hydraulics; an associate's degree is preferred.
  • An industrial robotics parts and service company in Ohio would like to hire an experienced robotics technician to program and service robotic machinery. You must have an associate's degree in robotics and 3-5 years of experience in welding, troubleshooting, CAD and PLC. Knowledge of milling and drilling equipment, power supplies, soldering equipment, lathes, power punch presses and other hand tools is required.
  • A North Carolina trucking company is looking for a robotics technician with eight years of industrial maintenance experience to operate and maintain automotive lines. You must program and maintain robotics, PLC and simulation systems. The ideal candidate should have an associate's degree in robotics or a related area, and have completed a 4-year apprenticeship in a skilled trade.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Most employers prefer that you have an associate's degree in robotics, electronics or automated systems. Earning your degree in mechatronics could open up more job opportunities. Knowledge of CAD and various robotic systems and equipment types is also sought by employers.

According to the BLS, a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology or a bachelor's in mechanical engineering technology could provide an advantage in this profession, which is more typically comprised of associate's degree holders. Graduates of a baccalaureate-level program can usually become technologists rather than technicians.

Other Careers to Consider

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Mechanical engineering technology is similar to robotics technology, but instead involves the design, testing and manufacturing of mechanical equipment. You will generally need an associate's degree in mechanical engineering technology to pursue this career. Job opportunities for mechanical engineering technicians were expected to increase four percent from 2010-2020, according to the BLS. In May 2011, mechanical engineering technicians earned an average annual salary of $53,000.

Electrical and Electronics Engineer

Although the 6% job growth predicted by the BLS for electrical and electronics engineers is only slightly better than the growth for robotics technicians, the training allows professionals to be more adaptable to trends and technology changes. As an electrical and electronics engineer, you might work with electronic technology like automotive and aircraft systems, motors, power generation and communications equipment. You'll need a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering that is accredited by ABET. In May 2011, electrical and electronics engineers earned a mean salary of $57,000 per year.

Robotics Computer and Information Research Scientist

If you are determined to work in robotics and are willing to invest more money and time in additional schooling in exchange for a promising career, you might become a computer and information research scientist who specializes in robotics. You'll need a doctoral degree, which can take 4-5 years beyond a bachelor's degree; however, you will get to work in the design and invention of new robotics technology. According to the BLS, the computer and information research science industry is anticipated to increase 19% from 2010-2020. In May 2011, computer and information research scientists earned an average annual salary of $103,000.

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