The robotics industry is constantly changing and evolving. New robotics technologies and developments in automation are quickly creating exciting career opportunities at every education level – from micro-credentials to PhDs. Here is where you can learn more about robotics careers in manufacturing and how these new technologies are benefiting workers
Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that stages robotics competitions throughout the world, with the stated intention of inspiring young people to get excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). According to FIRST, 92% of the young people who participate in these robotics competitions express interest in attending college. Robotics competitions like this are often the first exposure many future robotics professionals experience, and is often the catalyst for further robotics education, leading to a career.
In order to answer the question posed in the title, you have to first ask yourself what kind of career you want to have in robotics. If you want to develop new robots and engineer solutions to the ways robots are integrated, then you might need to get a degree. On the other hand, if you’re searching for something like “robotic mechanic salary,” you might be more interested in working directly with the robots. The great news is that a robotics education, in the traditional sense, is not necessary to have a successful career in the field. There are alternatives to a four-year degree, like apprenticeships and other training, that will lead to an in-demand robotics career. While the path you take in your robotics education may vary depending on the career you aim to have, we hope to cover the finer points of what you need to do to land specific roles in robotics.
The robotics technician is where most robotics careers start. These folks are responsible for keeping robots operational and maintained, and a technician can come from an enormous range of backgrounds. You may not need a Bachelor’s degree for these entry-level positions–an associate’s degree, trade school degree, or apprenticeship program is often more than enough. Getting your foot in the door has never been easier. The national average salary for a Robotics Technician is $61,684 and there are open positions throughout the United States, providing a wide number of geographic options in terms of where your robotics education can take you.
The next rung on the robotics career ladder is for the robotics specialist. This person has been in the field for at least five years and is overseeing the operation and maintenance of multiple robotic work cells. This position also doesn’t necessarily require a 4-year degree since skills are often developed either on the job or through training, though a 4-year degree or specialized robotics education may help to attain this role faster. A robotics specialist is also keeping their eye out for ways to increase the use of automation throughout a manufacturing floor. The national average salary for this position is $97,541.
The robotics integrator role requires the highest level of training of the three pathways. People in this position design and build new automation for manufacturing floors. Rather than coming to robotics as a mechanic, electrician, or from another trade, integrators tend to come through the Engineering or Specialist career pathway and often have a degree or two. They are subject-matter experts and thought leaders in the field of robotics and the integration of robots in manufacturing environments. The national average salary for this position is $130,000. All robotics salary information obtained from Comparably.com.
If you decide to go into the more academic areas of robotics, you can choose from a variety of majors in your robotics education. The robotics field encompasses a wide range of disciplines. If it falls under the STEM umbrella, you can be pretty sure that there are people working in robotics who specialize in it. From mechanical engineering to computer science, a rewarding career in robotics will unquestionably benefit from education programs and certifications, whether they be strictly robotics education or a field that’s heavily used within robotics. Not only does a STEM education prepare a person for a great career in state-of-the-art fields, and also a great career in robotics, it’s potentially one of the more lucrative options for students.
As the nation’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation, ARM has a vested interest in encouraging and amplifying efforts that contribute to a thriving robotics ecosystem.
ARM Institute acts as the connection among more than 400 leading organizations in industry, government, and academia, all dedicated to creating a national manufacturing ecosystem. From traditional four-year universities to trade schools and community colleges, ARM believes that by bringing together educational organizations and providers with diverse skills and perspectives, they can drive the future of American manufacturing.
Make sure you visit roboticscareer.org to get the latest on careers in robotics.