How To Become A Mechatronics Engineer In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become mechatronic engineers in Australia.


Do you have a passion for robotics and a keen interest in mechanics and electronics? If yes, a career as a mechatronics engineer could be for you.

Mechatronics Engineers are qualified professionals with computer hardware, software, and networking skills. They harness the power of electrical systems, mechanics, and software to create computer-controlled 'intelligent machines.

To work as a Mechatronics Engineer, you usually need a formal qualification in mechatronics. Some states may also require registration with Engineers Australia to work independently in this profession.

Being a new engineering sector, learning about the Mechatronics engineering profession can help you make an informed career decision.


This blog discusses a Mechatronics Engineer role, including the work responsibilities, skills and qualifications, career pathways, national average salary, and the steps to pursue this role in Australia.



1. What Is Mechatronics Engineering?


Mechatronics engineering is a multidisciplinary field that integrates mechanical and electrical systems.


It combines the following areas to develop functional, autonomous, and intelligent machines that process information:


  • Robotics

  • Computing 

  • Electronics 

  • Systems

  • Telecommunications 

  • Control 

  • Product engineering 

  • Electronics 



2. What Is A Mechatronics Engineer?


Mechatronics Engineers design and develop intelligent machines and advanced manufacturing and processing systems for various practical applications.


They use various electronic and computer control systems, such as aircraft, motor vehicles, cameras, robots, mining, power generators, and chemical plant machinery, to build mechatronic machines that automate industrial tasks.


Their products may solve industrial design issues and create more efficient, safer, and functional systems for humans.



3. What Does A Mechatronic Engineer Do?


A typical workday for Mechatronic engineers involves the following tasks and duties:

  • Develop solutions to issues concerning electronic and mechanical procedures.

  • Design, develop and implement product modifications to improve its functionality, reliability, safety, or user experience.

  • Combine mechanics and electronic elements to design prototypes for systems and products. 

  • Evaluate prototype test results and recommend any performance enhancement modifications. 

  • Conduct modelling, analysis, and simulation of engineering systems.

  • Build electronic, computer, and mechanical procedures for tasks that could be risky for humans, such as mining, forestry, or underwater exploration.

  • Design, build, and upkeep high-technology engineering systems to automate industrial tasks

  • Apply automated processes to transfer parts, materials, or finished goods.

  • Perform studies concerning new mechatronic equipment's feasibility, performance benefits, and cost implications.

  • Prepare elaborate summaries of project timelines, proposal requests, impact reports, etc., for the public or stakeholders.

  • Follow relevant industry guidelines and standards during project management.

  • Assist other engineers, technicians, and the project management team with technical details for the design/ development process.

  • Visit sites to supervise task completion and ensures they meet the project goals.



4. Skills Required For Mechatronics Engineering


A successful Mechatronics Engineer has the following skillset:


  • Interest in physics, mathematics, and mechanical equipment, like robotic and production equipment

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities

  • Good communication skills

  • Able to think creatively

  • Practical problem-solving skills

  • Team working skills

  • Able to lead complex projects

  • An always-learning attitude

  • Like staying updated with technological developments 



5. Mechatronics Engineer Qualifications In Australia


You usually need a formal mechatronics engineering degree and a professional Engineer's Licence to work in this role.


Here are the steps to qualify for this role:


  • Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in one or more prerequisite subjects, such as English, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

  • Complete a bachelor's degree in engineering like a Bachelor of Engineering (with a major in mechatronics, robotics, or electrical). 

  • In most states, you must have a current Professional Engineer's Licence to work independently in this sector. However, to obtain the license, you must have four or more years of experience as an engineer.

  • Consider obtaining a postgraduate qualification in Mechatronics Engineering, like a Master of Mechatronics Engineering, to specialize in a niche and improve your chances of advancing into managerial roles such as a manager, project leader, or consultant.



6. Steps To Become A Mechatronic Engineer In Australia


Though the exact learning pathway depends on the mechatronic engineering roles you wish to work in, the below steps can help you enter the position and progress in your career:



Step 1: Complete Your Year 12 Education


Attending secondary school certificates in common prerequisites such as mathematics, chemistry, and physics is essential to qualify for a mechatronic engineering degree.


Study enough units to obtain your high school certificate and ATAR between 80 and 90 to get guaranteed entry into top universities in Australia.


However, if you cannot complete your year 12 or obtain a lower-than-required ATAR, you are still eligible for a university course through TAFE. Study for a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation course to be considered for a degree course.



Step 2: Get A Bachelor Degree In Engineering


The essential qualification for an entry-level mechatronic engineer position is an undergraduate Mechatronics Engineering degree.


As only a handful of Australian universities offer a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) program, budding mechatronics engineers can even consider completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics) to meet the study requirements for this role.


These degrees are Honours programs with a three-year standard degree program and one extra honours year to prepare your thesis.



Step 3: Apply For An Entry-Level Mechatronic Engineering Role


After completing a mechatronic engineering degree, you can apply for an entry-level mechatronic engineering role, such as a mechatronics technician.


Use your professional network to find opportunities where you can start working under the supervision of an experienced mechatronics engineer.



Step 4: Get Professional Engineer Registration


Some Australian states like Queensland require mechatronics engineers to get registered before they can work independently and without supervision. So, check your state-level regulations to determine the registration requirements before applying for the role.


Though joining the National Engineering Register (NER) is not mandatory, it can help you gain a competitive advantage and secure employment and promotions.


Getting registered is particularly helpful if you want to expand your client base as a consultant.


Candidates who have completed a four-year degree program approved by Engineers Australia can join the NER as a professional engineers.



Step 5: Advance Your Career


Earning a relevant postgraduate engineering degree, such as a two years full-time Master of Mechatronics Engineering, is the best way to specialise and move into senior leadership roles or complex roles like advanced control systems, advanced mechatronics system design, etc.



7. Where Can I Study Mechatronics Engineering In Australia?


Several major universities in Australia offer mechatronics degree courses accredited by Engineers Australia.


You can consider any of the following to qualify for the role:




8. Working Conditions For A Mechatronics Engineer


Mechatronics Engineers primarily work in laboratories, processing plants, engineering design offices, and workshops to perform administrative, organisational, and design and development tasks.


They usually work standard business hours but may have to work overtime when working to a deadline. Working on weekends, evenings, and public holidays is uncommon but may require travel to attend conferences or view new design ideas or technologies.


While working, mechatronic engineers use various tools and technologies such as computers, computer-aided design software, and engineering applications for modelling, simulating, and analysing complex electronic, mechanical, or other engineering systems.



9. Employment Opportunities For Mechatronics Engineers In Australia


Mechatronics Engineers have broad multidisciplinary skills that help them design and maintain automatic equipment in most sectors of industry, including:


  • Engineering companies

  • Technology businesses

  • Large manufacturing companies involving high-volume production

  • Traditional industries involved in defence, finance, process control and automation, aviation, mining and resource, public utilities, chemical, marine, consulting, and road and transport

  • Emerging industries in the areas of robotics, bioengineering, and nanotechnology

  • Processing facilities

  • Laboratories

  • Product design, development, and management firms



10. Mechatronic Engineers Jobs In Australia


Graduates from a mechatronic engineering course possess the skills and knowledge to pursue several careers within this exciting engineering field.


From hands-on fieldwork to design and development and managerial roles managing people and projects, mechatronic engineers can work in diverse and flexible positions in various industries.


Potential jobs positions include:




11. What Are The Career Paths For A Mechatronics Engineer In Australia?


The transferable skills you develop by completing a Mechatronics Engineering qualification enable you to work in several areas as:


  • Mechatronic engineering

  • Mining

  • Biotechnology

  • Biomedical engineering

  • Construction

  • Automobile and household appliance manufacturing

  • Agriculture

  • Computer system and software product development

  • Defence

  • Commercial product design and development

  • Renewable energy systems engineering

  • Robotics and automation engineering

  • Automation

  • Power Systems



12. How Much Does A Mechatronic Engineer Make In Australia?


According to PayScale, Australia's average mechatronics engineering salary is AU$ 80,000 annually. Significant factors that influence their salary are:


  • Level of Education

  • Managerial Experience

  • Type of Industry/Employer 


Mechatronics Engineers with an advanced degree, experience managing junior Mechatronics Engineers, and work in high-paying cities are likely to have higher income potential and qualify for promotions in Australia.


Some of the high-paying cities for Mechatronics Engineers are:


  • Melbourne: $130,851

  • Brisbane: $97,500 per year

  • Perth: $90,000 per year

  • Sydney: $76,500 per year



13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Are Mechatronic Engineers in Demand in Australia?


Mechatronic engineering is a fascinating and in-demand field that allows you to create innovative and automated 'smart' machines.


Whether it is the latest startup, a more established corporation, or a traditional industry, Mechatronic engineers are highly sought after to revolutionise business by developing computer-controlled systems that enhance their reliability and productivity.


There is a massive demand for qualified Mechatronic engineers in various industries, including traditional and non-traditional automation, product design and development, biotechnology, manufacturing, mining, system and software design, power systems, transportation, and defence.


It could be a lucrative and exciting career if you love building machines from scratch and like learning new things.



What is The ATAR for Mechatronics Engineers?


The required ATAR to enrol in a Mechatronic Engineer degree course depends on your chosen university.


You would usually need mechatronic engineering ATAR (Selection rank) between 80 to 90 to study an undergraduate mechatronics course at major universities in Australia.



Is It Worth Getting A Mechatronics Degree?


Yes. The Mechatronics engineering program aims at building multiple technical and transferable competencies relevant to undertaking professional engineering practice.


Besides a comprehensive theoretical base, you develop highly sought-after soft skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, project development, and analytical skills, that enable you to lead complicated projects.


The course equips you with the skills and knowledge to deliver state-of-the-art solutions to real-life issues and develop intelligent and autonomous devices ranging from biomedical systems to self-driving vehicles.


Working with advanced industry standard technologies, including advanced mechatronics, IoT systems, and manufacturing robotics, a mechatronic degree course makes you an industry-ready engineer capable of designing future robots, electronics, and autonomous systems.



Which Degree is Best for Mechatronics?


Budding mechatronic engineers need to study for a qualification in mechatronics engineering. Alternatively, related engineering degrees in electrical, robotics, or mechanical engineering may also be suitable.


Most Mechatronic Engineers study for the following entry-level degree courses to enter the role:


  • 4-year full-time Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechatronics)

  • 4-year full-time Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering (Honours)



How Many Years Does it Take to Study Mechatronics?


You will need to complete an undergraduate degree in mechatronics engineering to study mechatronics and different aspects of it. After completing this 4-years of full-time course, you can qualify for a ME role in Australia.



Is There a Future in Mechatronics?


Mechatronic engineering is a branch that applies mechanical, electric, electronic, and software engineering principles to make machines more innovative and intuitive for users.


It lays the basis for modern trends, including automation and the Internet of Things. Products developed using mechatronic engineering may carry out tasks automatically or study users' behaviours based on their preferences.


Furthermore, integrating electronics, such as actuators, sensors, and intelligent processing units, enhances the mechanics and makes devices more productive.


As manufacturers focus on making their products more intuitive and intelligent, the demand for mechatronics engineering looks strong and is expected to increase.



Is it Hard to Study Mechatronics Engineering?


Yes. Studying mechatronics engineering can be difficult as it combines the job of software, mechanical and electrical engineering at once. So, compared to other engineering professions, you must study various subjects to qualify for a mechatronics role.


Besides specialised technical knowledge, you also need good attention to detail, practical problem-solving, and leadership skills to succeed in this role.


While some students may find it hard to apply knowledge to real-world problems, those passionate about this area will find the job exciting and rewarding and stay motivated throughout their careers.


Moreover, as mechatronics engineering is a relatively small field, you would need more than a four years full-time undergraduate degree to prove your competency to potential employers in this profession. It may make it a challenging career for beginners.



Which Country is Best in Mechatronics?


With the maximum number of mechanical engineering schools, some ranked in the world's top 100 places, the USA is considered the best country to pursue a mechatronics profession.


The higher availability of research opportunities in US internship jobs makes it the world's most preferred place to study mechatronics.


Furthermore, you will find abundant mechatronics engineer jobs in America, particularly in the Southern region. California and Oregon are the two best states in the country for mechatronics engineer jobs and pay packages.



Is Mechatronics Harder Than Electrical Engineering?


Yes. Though certain subjects are common in Mechatronics engineering and electrical engineering, mechatronics engineers must study additional courses encompassing several Industries, including computer science, mechanical engineering, and mathematics (numerical analysis and discrete mathematics).


Unlike electrical engineering, where you can study specialised subjects like signals, systems, electromagnetics, power engineering, etc., mechatronics branch students study a broader topic concerning multiple industries such as robotics, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing.


Additionally, mechatronics is a small yet growing field that sees immense competition. You may need to enrol in several internships to develop/ hone your capabilities to prove your worth and stand out in the job marketplace.



Does Mechatronics Have a Lot of Coding?


As Mechatronics engineers work in numerical computing environments, they require a familiarity with programming languages.



14. Conclusion


Mechatronics Engineering is an exciting and rewarding profession where you apply your knowledge to problems to develop machines that make people's lives easier and their work more efficient.


As it is a small field, breaking into a Mechatronics Engineer profession can be challenging. However, if you are passionate about robotics and gain specialised knowledge by earning a postgraduate degree, it will become easier to secure employment.


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