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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


What Skills Does a Robotics Technician Need?

March 16, 2021

The heart of any robotics deployment will always be the skilled technicians who make sure the robotic systems are working properly, safely, and at optimal production levels in a manufacturing environment. It’s also a growing field with more and more people seeing a place for themselves on a robotics team’s roster. If you’re interested in developing your skills, this guide will help you pick the competencies most in demand.

You might have heard about the decline in manufacturing jobs in the US, more specifically in the Midwest and Ohio Valley areas. While there might be fewer jobs for laborers on the manufacturing floor, there is no shortage of employment opportunities in manufacturing. The future is in robots and automation, and for many potential employees in the field, the robotics technician role is the best place to start.

The Jobs Data is There

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, there are more than 12 million Americans directly employed in manufacturing, or roughly 9% of the total workforce, and that number is growing. What’s growing, too, is the sale, and therefore the implementation, of robots. This means that robots are not taking jobs away but actually making them

The Nuts and Bolts of Robotics Technicians’ Skills and Responsibilities

As a robotics technician, you’ll often find yourself on the manufacturing floor, tending to the mechanical needs of robots. This means you’ll benefit from some training in mechanics. You’ll want to spend time particularly focused on hydraulics, pneumatics, and electronics, as all of these will have a role in the continuing operation of the machines. Each of these disciplines contributes toward the continuous function of manufacturing robots, and by having the appropriate skills in each, you’ll be that much closer to a successful career as a robotics technician. 

Part of this material maintenance of robots is an understanding of basic engineering principles like physics and fluid mechanics. You’ll also benefit from more electronics-focused areas like working with microprocessors, circuit boards, networking technology, and other computer technology.

These skills will help you learn how to fix robots that break, identify issues with the robotic systems, or even make working robots work better. Robotics technician training is designed to teach you the exact skills needed for this entry-level robotics job.

Don’t Forget the Brains: Software Skills for Robotics Technicians

That’s all fine for the hardware, but what about software? A robot has a brain in addition to an artificial body, and a robotics technician needs to know how to service the software, too. You won’t be debugging code or programming assembly code, but you might be expected to know how to update the software or identify if a problem with a robotics component is due to its software or hardware. If you’re looking for a more technical or academically rigorous career, you should consider robotics engineering

The Foundational Robotics Technician Skills

According to data compiled by the ARM Institute, one of the most important skills a robotics technician can have is the ability to troubleshoot, or identify problems and fix them. This term refers to a general systems-level awareness of how the different pieces of the manufacturing process can fit together and a more targeted awareness of how those systems work, both from an electronics perspective and a mechanical one. 

Right behind troubleshooting on our list of robotics technician skills is preventative maintenance, followed closely by repair and welding. These aren’t necessary, but they definitely don’t hurt and can make you an even more attractive candidate to many employers. If you and another potential robotics technician have similar backgrounds, but only one of you has a skill like welding, you can imagine how that would influence the final hiring decision. 

Some aspects of the robotics field are more abstract than what can be summed up in a syllabus or work order.  A robotics technician should have an analytical mind, ready and willing to take a problem apart and put it back together. A good robotics technician will also welcome challenges and not shy away from a task or obstacle that seems insurmountable. Tenacity and wherewithal are essential to a successful career as a robotics technician. It also helps to be an able communicator, as you’ll be working with people across many disciplines and fields, sometimes all at once, while servicing the robotics systems assigned to you. Clear, open dialogue with these stakeholders and coworkers will serve any robotics technician well. 

No Need for an Expensive College Degree…

You don’t need a Ph.D. in Robotics to find a great career as a robotics technician. Aside from a high school diploma or equivalent, most technicians have two-year associate’s degrees, readily available from educational providers, specifically robotics technician schools, everywhere. In other words, you’re not as far away from a great robotics job as you might think, and education is not going to be your highest obstacle. 

But Education Doesn’t Hurt

As we noted above, you don’t need a dozen years in higher academics to get a great job as a robotics technician. You’ll need at least a high school diploma and more than a passing interest in science and mathematics. A higher degree, like a BS, would be optimal but many robotics technicians stick to the two-year associate’s degree in robotics so they can start working and earning faster. However, the level of education needed is dependent on what type of role you’re looking for. With that being said, it’s not uncommon for people to start out as robotics technicians with the minimum education, then expanding their education while working to move up the ladder of roles and responsibilities. For those looking to jump into the robotics field as soon as possible, there’s no better place to start than the education and skills needed to be a robotics technician.. 

If you’d like to learn more about how you can become a robotics technician, and get some help along the way, check out

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