Robot Engineering Career Info and Education Requirements
Robot engineers design, develop and maintain new applications for machines that can carry out tasks without direct human control. Robotics engineers specify the requirements, design and test the robotic components, and then evaluate the cost, effectiveness, reliability and safety of the robots they design.
Robot Engineering Career Information
Robot engineers create service robots for use in outer space, deep under the sea and in medical surgeries. They also create robots to increase efficiency and improve quality and safety in industry. Robot engineering encompasses mechanical, electrical and computer engineering specialties. Electrical engineers design the robot's electronics, computer engineers design the robot's computing hardware, software engineers create the robot's programming and electro-mechanical engineers create the robot's sensors.
Robots are used in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, aerospace, nuclear power plants, health care and the military. Robotic engineers may work in these industries as test engineers, automation system engineers, programming engineers, robot designers or project managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicted an overall growth of 11% in engineering careers from 2008-2018, with most of the growth coming in computer software engineering.
A Bachelor of Science degree is required for most entry-level robot engineering jobs. An undergraduate B.S. degree in robotics engineering, computer engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering allows graduates to work in robotic engineering. A master's degree in electrical or mechanical engineering is necessary for many advanced and managerial positions. A Ph.D. is required for design and research positions.
Most robot engineers specialize in a certain branch of engineering. Typical coursework for a robot engineering degree includes advanced math, physical and life sciences, computer science, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), physics, fluid dynamics and materials science. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits college and university robot engineering programs.
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