Whether you realize it or not, robots are becoming a larger part of our lives and economy each day. They assist us in surgery, on companies’ manufacturing floors, and even on the website where you are reading this blog.
Furthermore, consider these fascinating statistics about the robotics industry:
- 88% of companies plan to invest in adding robotics to their organizations.
- Roughly 400,000 new robots enter the market every year.
- There are currently about 2.7 million industrial robots in use across the world.
- The global market value of the industrial robotics industry is $43.8 billion in revenue.
What does all this mean for you? It means that now is a great time to consider and start a career in robotics.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to start a career in robotics step by step. We’ll also discuss how you can gain experience in the field and some of the jobs available to you in this exciting career path.
What is the Field of Robotics?
The multidisciplinary field of robotics exists at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), computer science, and engineering. Robotics is dedicated to designing and producing robots to perform tasks to help or, at times, replace humans.
Robotic machines and technologies are used in various technology-dependent fields and industries, such as automotive, healthcare, information technology, AI, and virtual reality (VR), to make our lives easier and safer.
For example, the da Vinci robot assists surgeons in performing minimally invasive surgeries. By using this robot, surgeons are now able to perform complex and delicate operations while minimizing patient discomfort. Furthermore, surgeons can perform life-saving surgery from miles away, known as remote surgery, allowing specialists to make that “house call” without making the journey themselves.
The robotics industry is filled with more than just humanoid-looking robots, however. Robotics technicians and robotics engineers have developed and made comprehensive automated technologies, including:
- Medical assistants
- Prosthetic limbs
- Vacuum cleaners
Despite the growing development of robots, the field still needs people like you to step in and facilitate further advancements. Robotics technicians, engineers, mechanics, and more are in high demand. The question remains, how do you get started?
3 Steps to Starting a Career in Robotics
Step 1: Enroll in a pre-college program.
The best way to start a career in robotics is to begin as soon as possible. And luckily, there are programs designed specifically for those with the passion, dedication, and curiosity for the world of robotics.
If you are in or freshly out of high school, consider pre-college engineering or design lab programs that teach how to approach robotics from a more holistic perspective and teach students how to code. These types of programs often offer a deeper understanding of design. In addition, they want students to learn how to identify problems (the ‘how’ and ‘why’) to appreciate the social and ethical issues associated with the robotics industry early on.
Other programs offer a more profound crash course where students build computer code, assemble a basic robot, and ensure their robots can pass challenges like retrieving objects. Again, students enjoy the creative process, guidance, and learning how to use the tools to set themselves up for success.
Another option for teens is to find an early college, computer and science focused high school. By focusing on STEM subjects and having access to technology throughout your education, you can get a jumpstart on your learnings in robotics.
Step 2: Complete a postsecondary degree.
While you could get a job in the robotics industry without a college education, it is not recommended. You will need substantial practical experience, strong technical knowledge, and skills to land a lucrative job.
A great way to start a career in robotics is through a postsecondary certificate program, such as Goodwin’s Robotics and Automation Technician program. This level program covers topics like electrical schematics, motor control, industrial robotics, automation programming, and other key subjects to set the foundation for success. Students leave with an understanding of the automation process and the basics of maintaining, troubleshooting, and programming automated, robotic systems.
A robotics certificate program can be completed in a matter of months, positioning you to become a Robotics Technician. However, some students may wish to pursue further education to achieve higher-level careers. Some consider pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering after gaining experience in robotics, to position themselves for upward mobility and advancement in the field.
Step 3: Obtain other certifications and skills.
In addition to the pre-college engineering programs and post-high school options, those interested in a robotics career can pursue supplemental training, such as coding boot camps.
Coding boot camps offer a learning opportunity for various disciplines like software engineering and AI. These are short-term training programs where candidates can develop tech skills, gain ample theoretical knowledge, obtain hands-on experience, and receive tech training needed for a future career in robotics. These are not required by any means, but can help you gain further skills in the robotics industry.
No matter your path, it is important to ensure you are obtaining the following essential skills to start a career in robotics:
- Problem-solving skills
- Electric soldering skills
- Critical thinking
- Computer and software skills
- Decision-making skills
- Python programming skills
A Career in Robotics
Just as the use of robotics is growing in almost every industry, the job outlook and career growth in robotics are positive.
The United States (U.S.) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job outlook for robotic engineers, categorized under mechanical engineering professions, to grow by seven percent between 2020 and 2023.
While you may be starting from the ground up, the growth potential is high for a career in robotics. Five of the highest-paying robotics jobs and their average salaries include:
- Robotics Researcher – $112,226
- Artificial Intelligence Robotics Engineer – $89,958
- Robotics Engineer – $85,047
- Prosthetics Engineer – $83,537
- Robotics Deployment Engineer – $81,866
Additionally, all of these jobs have anywhere from 7-22% career growth, showing that a career in robotics is an exciting and lucrative career choice.
However, even an entry-level career in robotics can be fulfilling. The BLS reports that electro-mechanical technicians, a category under which Robotics Technicians fall, earn a comfortable salary of more than $60,000 per year. For just a few months in school, you can expect to reap great rewards after earning your certificate.
Robotics is an ever-growing field that requires adaptable and quick learners to succeed. It is an exciting industry offering immense job task diversity and opportunities for career growth in various areas and industries like healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, or business.
If you are passionate about technology and engineering, consider pursuing a robotics career through Goodwin’s 24-credit Robotics and Automation Technician Training program or our other manufacturing programs. The program introduces students to the robotics and automation concepts used in manufacturing, supply chain, and retail operations.
Our Robotics and Automation program can be completed part-time or full-time based on your schedule. Click here to learn more about our hassle-free enrollment and available financial aid. Together, we will get you through college and into the exciting world of robotics!