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
Industry 4.0, and its array of new collar careers, encompasses a wide variety of fields. No matter what industry you choose, if there are robots anywhere in the production line, these robotics jobs are going to be yours for the taking: robotics operators, robotics technicians, robotics specialists, and robotics integrators.
Although a robot, by its very nature, doesn’t seem like it would require much oversight, it does need a human to manage its task load, make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency, and other tasks commonly associated with skilled labor. Robotics operators are the engine behind any implementation of robots, often functioning as the direct controllers of a robotic workforce. In a manufacturing setting, for instance, a robotics operator is usually the person most directly controlling the robot.
If operators are the main force of a robotics deployment, robotics technicians make up the primary support team. Robotics technicians come from a variety of backgrounds, and many robotics professionals in the manufacturing industry begin in technical roles like mechanics or maintenance technicians. Robotics technicians often have some experience in hydraulics, pneumatics, and electronics, as these areas are of main concern in the continuing operation of the robots. Part of this material maintenance of robots is an understanding of basic engineering principles like physics and fluid mechanics. Technicians also benefit from more electronics-focused areas like experience working with circuits, networks, and other computer technology.
The next level of robotics careers is the robotics specialist, often acting as a leader of the robotics implementation in both management and direction, but also providing an elevated level of experience and technical knowledge. A specialist has usually been in the field for a few years and is overseeing the operation and maintenance of multiple robotic work cells. A robotics specialist also keeps their eye out for ways to increase the efficiency of automation throughout the process. Skills needed by a robotics specialist include advanced robot programming, troubleshooting robots and robotic systems, installation concepts, inspection and quality assurance.
Robotics integrators are the brains behind new designs and robotic processes. Rather than coming up through the robotics field as a robotics technician, mechanic, electrician, or from another trade, integrators tend to come through four-year engineering or computer science education. They are subject-matter experts and thought leaders in the field of robotics and the integration of robots in, for example, manufacturing environments. Some of the more advanced skills of Robotics Integrators include augmented reality and virtual reality, interoperability, big data, programming, and system modeling.
The landscape of robotics careers is constantly shifting, so it’s a good idea to keep up with the latest news. Keep an eye on www.roboticscareer.org for important developments in robotics employment.