Robotics engineers use their skills to design new technologies that enhance the quality and simplicity of performing genetic research methods. Often these methods require many steps that are repetitive and must be very precise. For this reason, engineers build automated machines to perform these steps. Many different engineering disciplines converge in the field of robotics and laboratory automation, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, optical engineering, and automation engineering, to name just a few. As a result, a robotics engineer may be a specialist in one area or specialize in a hybrid of many discipline areas.
While employment of robotics engineers is expected to decline in manufacturing industries, it is expected to grow in fields of scientific research. As genetic and biological research grows more sophisticated, it will demand machines and software that can keep pace with it. Engineers will also have new job opportunities in the expanding fields of biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology, among others.
Working Conditions & Context
Most robotics engineers work in laboratories. While some may spend time outdoors at construction sites or other hands-on projects, the majority work to design software and build functioning prototypes.
Most robotics engineers work for private corporations and firms, creating new robots and software to match the demands of their employers. Engineers working in medical settings are much the same, working with biotechnology companies to create materials needed by research groups and universities.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $47,640 - $121,970 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $77,400 annually.
Nearly all entry-level engineering jobs require at least a Bachelor's degree. It is common for engineers trained in one specialty to cross over to related branches.
Robotics engineering places an emphasis on robotics and computer programming, but general mathematics, engineering, and science courses are also necessary. Robotics engineering, like all fields of science, requires constant learning of new information.
Certification & Licensing:
Robotics engineers from all 50 states and Washington, DC are expected to hold licenses before being able to offer their services directly to the public. This requires a degree from an Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology (ABET), four years of relevant work experience, and successful completion of a state-administered examination. Many states require continuing education for re-licensure.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
The National Society of Professional Engineers
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.