Robotics Training Programs and Requirements
Robotics technicians and engineers develop, assemble and test robotic systems using skills based in mathematics, physics, hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics. Robotics technology professionals create robotic systems that are capable of performing a variety of assembly, welding and fabrication tasks. A degree in robotics technology or engineering is required to work in the robotics technology field.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
Robotics technicians begin training by enrolling in a 2-year robotics technology degree program. These programs are typically offered at technical and vocational colleges. Robotics engineers are required to have a bachelor's degree in engineering. Although the positions perform related tasks, engineers perform duties that are more complex and are expected to have a greater understanding of robotic systems and mechanical engineering.
Robotics technology professionals should have a solid grasp of electronic, mechanical and hydraulic systems. They should be able to apply mathematical formulas to robotic systems and projects and able to work well with other field engineers and robotic technology personnel. They need to be organized and capable of perform tasks that rely on precision and mechanical accuracy.
Educational requirements vary by position and employer. In general, robotic technicians are required to have an associate's degree in robotic technology, while engineers must have a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Associate of Science in Robotics Technology
A robotics technology degree program prepares students to work with various mechanical, electrical and programming systems. Programs combine core mathematical and physics courses with engineering labs that allow students to work with robotic components and tools. Students learn how to program robotic systems using programming, fabrication and orientation practices. Common courses include:
- Mechanical systems
- Technical electricity
- Engineering schematics and diagrams
- Computer-aided drafting (CAD)
- Robotic manufacturing
- Programmable logic controllers
Bachelor of Science in Engineering
A broad engineering bachelor's degree program introduces students to all aspects of mechanical, operational, electrical and construction engineering. Students gain practical engineering experience in labs and mechanical projects. Some programs may offer bachelor's degree in specific fields like mechanical or computer science engineering. Programs typically include courses in:
- Engineering research and statistics
- Materials in engineering science
- Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics
- Engineering instrumentation
- Design and manufacturing
- Engineering project management
- Advanced topics in construction engineering
Employment opportunities are best for robotics technology professionals with 3-5 years of experience. Entry-level jobs are available for technicians and engineers with minimal experience. These positions may offer limited on-the-job training programs. Many robotic technicians and engineers gain experience through an internship. Professional requirements are typically greater for robotics engineers, who have greater responsibilities in the robotics development process.
Licenses and Certifications
Robotics technicians and engineers are not required to be licensed or certified. Employers base hiring decisions on formal training, experience and knowledge or robotic systems and mechanical engineering. Voluntary certification for robotics professionals is available from IBM. Robotics professionals can obtain IBM Certified Specialist for Rational Test Management and Robot Certification, which tests robotics professionals' knowledge of Rational Robot, Rational TestManager and Rational Administrator computer programs. These programs are used to calibrate and evaluate robotic systems. Robotics technicians and engineers must pass two exams to receive certification.
Workshops and Seminars
Robotics technology training workshops are often held by colleges and robotics technology organizations. Colleges may offer workshops in addition to the robotics technology curriculum. Robotics technicians and engineers can also find workshops with local or regional nonprofit organizations. For example, the Seattle Robotics Society (SRS) provides robotics workshops for robotics professionals in the area. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) is a nationwide organization that offers training seminars and tutorials online and in-person. Workshops sponsored by the RIA address safety issues in robotics and risk assessment and evaluation techniques for robotic systems.
Additional Professional Development
Many robotic technicians and engineers pursue an advanced degree in robotics or mechanical engineering to strengthen their qualifications and learn more about the field. With a master's degree in engineering, robotic engineers can pursue advanced supervisory careers or research-based opportunities with colleges and engineering organizations.
Robotics technicians and engineers can find training, continuing education and networking resources from RIA, the Motor Control Association (MCA), the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). These organizations provide a wealth of information on career advancement and professional development within robotics technology.
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