Do you love science, maths, and information technology and enjoy finding creative solutions to problems? Then, a career as a robotics engineer could be for you.
A Robotics Engineer is a professional who builds, installs, operates, tests, and maintains machinery and robotic systems. They make highly efficient, production-enhancing robots by combining electrical, mechanical, computer science, and electronic systems.
To work in this role, you must complete a bachelor's degree in robotics-related disciplines, such as a Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics), Bachelor of Robotics or Mechatronics engineering. Though optional, completing a Master's of Engineering with a major in Robotics/Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering can improve your entry into this role.
Do you plan to become a robotics engineer in Australia? Here is a complete guide to familiarise you with the education requirements, robotics engineer job duties, the national average salary, and the steps to get started.
1. What Is Robotics?
Robotics is a subclass of mechatronics that looks at the electronic control of mechanical systems. It employs computer control systems to make more innovative and more efficient devices.
Robotics Engineering is a mechanical and mechatronics engineering specialisation that designs, develops, tests, and maintains robots and machines.
2. What Is A Robotic Engineer?
Robotics engineers are specialised mechanical engineers with a vast understanding of design, automation, and manufacturing systems.
They use their expertise to design and maintain robots and systems that enhance the efficiency, output, and safety of various tasks in a production or manufacturing setting.
Robotic Engineers create innovative designs to overcome problems for specific industries and achieve new efficiencies and possibilities. They can develop machines that can rapidly and precisely perform repetitive and automated tasks to help humans perform laborious tasks, such as lifting heavy car parts.
Robotics Engineers are helpful in hazardous industries where robots can replace humans to perform some tasks and lower the risks.
3. Robotics Engineer Duties
As a Robotics Engineer, you need to perform a set of tasks that includes:
Determine the proper functionality, running analytical tools, and connectivity systems.
Use 3D computer-aided design tools to draw the components and assembly for the robotic system.
Research and design the systems required to operate robots/robotic systems efficiently, reliably, and economically
Handle large amounts of data to create real-time systems to run a fully automated manufacturing facility safely and efficiently.
Write algorithms for the system to process user interface design and control.
Perform extensive simulation and testing on prototypes to ensure a problem-free operation.
Design, develop, and test robotics prototypes that include mechanical components, software programming, and electronic circuitry.
Review mechanical procedures and identify automation opportunities.
Configure, test, and troubleshoot robots and robotics programming systems.
Use diagnostic tools to find flaws, repair and replace damaged parts, and ensure the robots are in the best working state.
Determine expenditure and design calculations concerning robot construction.
Prepare quality control reports, and cost proposals to present to clients and investors.
Work on shop floors to supervise and manage manufacturing operations.
Coordinate with other technicians to ensure the project complies with safety regulations.
Interact with clients to explain the robotic devices' technical features and functioning.
Research the latest work in robotics.
4. Robotics Engineer Skills
Robotics is a multidisciplinary field. From conceptualising the robot to creating circuit-level hardware components, Robotics Engineers need several skills, particularly in electronics, mechanical engineering, AI, and software programming.
Strong oral and written communication skills
Keen interest in science, maths, technology, and information technology
Enjoy technical work
Able to think logically and creatively
Strong attention to detail
Able to work in a team or as a sole engineer within the organization
Ability to think outside of the box to solve issues
A strong degree of aptitude for advancing technology
Along with a degree in the robotics-related discipline, you must also have the knowledge and hands-on experience in the following:
Computer-Aided Design/Automated Manufacturing
Problem-Solving and Algorithm Building
Internet of Things
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems
5. What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Robotic Engineer?
Follow the below learning pathway to qualify for a Robotics Engineer role.
Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in prerequisite subjects such as English, mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
Complete a relevant bachelor's degree in engineering, such as 4-year full-time Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) (Honours)
Consider advancing your skills with a 2-year full-time postgraduate degree such as a Master of Engineering (Mechatronic).
While studying for the courses, identify placement opportunities that can help you gain practical Experience.
Join a professional association such as Engineers Australia for better employability, network building, and continuous upskilling to prepare for senior roles.
6. Steps To Get Into Robotics In Australia
Aspiring robotics engineers require advanced education and training to work in this highly technical field. Here is a step-by-step guide to pursuing this career:
Step 1: Complete A Bachelor's Degree
The first step in your preparation journey is to complete a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in mechatronics or robotics.
Almost all universities offer engineering courses, but if you want to know which university is best for robotics engineering in Australia, you may consider the following options:
Undergraduate Automation and Robotics Engineering – The University of Western Australia
Bachelor of Robotics and Mechatronics engineering (Honours)- Monash University
Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics) (Honours) - Flinders University
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Most universities offer a work experience placement to students while studying. It may involve working with a robotic engineering company for 12 weeks and helping them with real-life projects.
These placements offer an excellent opportunity for students to use their theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills during this degree. Furthermore, it helps them network within their chosen area and gain employment with the company after graduation.
Step 3: Advance Your Education With A Master's Degree
Though optional, earning a relevant postgraduate qualification is recommended to pursue this role.
Completing a university-level Master of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics) will help widen your foundational knowledge.
Gaining specialised knowledge with relevant practical Experience in areas of robots and artificial intelligence systems strengthens your job prospects and qualifies you for senior roles in robotics engineering.
You could take your learning further and do a PhD in robotics to work at research institutions and universities and develop the next generation of robots.
Step 4: Gain Professional Membership
Qualified Robotics Engineers can apply for membership in Engineers Australia, which supports engineers with training, development, and community.
You may also consider joining the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE), which focuses on career and professional development for mechanical engineers and provides several training and networking opportunities.
7. Robotics Engineer Jobs
Robotics Engineers often work in companies operating in the automotive, electronic, mining, aviation, transport, manufacturing, and defence sector.
The following are the related jobs available on Linked In:
Mechatronics Engineer / Industrial Automation
Control System/Robotics Engineer
Graduate/Application Engineer (Industrial Automation)
Electrical Engineer - Reliability Specialist
Process And Automation Engineer/Scientist
Robotics Sensor Integration Specialist
Computer Hardware Engineer
8. Where Do Robotics Engineers Work?
They usually work in varied settings to design and develop robots and maintain existing machines. Some of these are:
Engineering design offices
For private robot manufacturers
In the production and packaging industry
9. Work Environment For Robotics Engineer
The work environment for Robotics Engineers comprises a mix of laboratories, manufacturing plants, and offices with technical computers.
They may work in laboratories for research and development and offices while developing designs and applications.
Robotics Engineers usually work standard weekly hours, i.e., 40 hours from Monday to Friday, although extended hours and variable shifts may be essential based on the employer and the project deadlines.
Some engineers may also require occasional travel to client sites or supplier facilities.
10. How Much Do Robotics Engineers Make In Australia?
According to PayScale, Australia's average robotics engineering salary is AU$ 80,675 per year. The most common factors determining a robotics engineer's salary are:
The industry they work in
Years of Experience
Project type, and
Associated profiles' wages.
As Robotics Engineer works on expensive projects that require a high level of skill and technical knowledge, they are well compensated for their expertise.
Additionally, Robotics engineers who work in the manufacturing field may earn larger than the national average salaries, as their project goals can enable resource companies to make considerable money.
Salary Based on Experience
Entry-level Robotics Engineer (<1-year experience) - AU$69,919 per year
Early career Robotics Engineer (1-4 years of Experience) - AU$73,846 per year
Mid-career Robotics Engineer (5-9 years of Experience) - AU$89,497 per year
Experienced Robotics Engineers (10-19 years of Experience) - AU$93,350 per year
Salary Based on Location
Some of the highest-paying cities for Robotics Engineers in Australia include:
Melbourne - $125,806 per year
Sydney - $112,571 per year
Brisbane - $106,708 per year
Pullenvale - $89,117 per year
11. Frequently Asked Questions
What Subjects Are Required For Robotics Engineering In High School?
To prepare for a Robotics Engineer role, you may require completing high school with specific subjects, such as science, chemistry, physics, mathematics (calculus, trigonometry), and engineering.
Bridging courses is an excellent way to develop a solid understanding of these areas.
How Many Years Does It take To Become A Robotic Engineer?
The duration you will require to become a Robotic Engineer depends on the learning route you choose:
Complete high school education and undertake a 4-year university-level bachelor of engineering degree in mechatronics. Most students prefer the first route, and it takes them four years to prepare for a Robotics Engineer career.
Attend a TAFE college and complete a certificate or diploma in mechanical/ electronics/ electrical discipline. Next, complete a university-level mechatronics degree. Though the path is a bit longer, it equips you with more practical skills and maturity before entering university.
You can complete double undergraduate degrees, one in electronics and one in mechanical. However, it takes much time but gives in-depth learning in each discipline.
What Are Available Career Options In Robotics Design?
Robotics has applications in many areas: from caregiving and surgery robots to toys, to companionship robots, to medical and industrial robots. You could look for opportunities in animatronics for the entertainment industry.
As modern cars are becoming increasingly controlled with AI and electronics, you may explore opportunities in the automobile sector to design cars that drive autonomously.
Can I Do Robotics After the 12th?
Yes. You can study Robotics Engineering after high school, provided that you study the prerequisite subjects in your high school.
Mathematics (calculus, trigonometry)
It is necessary because most universities gain admission to only those candidates who have studied the above subjects in their high school.
Next, complete the minimum qualification requirement, i.e., an undergraduate bachelor's degree in engineering with a major in mechatronics engineering/robotics engineering, to work as a robotics engineer.
Some employers may require candidates with a postgraduate qualification or research in a particular specialty to qualify for their roles.
How Do I Start A Career In Robotics?
Irrespective of the position, all robotics engineers should be well-versed in electronics, computer science, and math. They should have a basic understanding of programming languages and be capable of working well within a team.
Though a relevant graduate degree is ideal for preparing you for a career in robotics, you may also consider alternate learning paths to become one in a shorter timeframe.
Boot camps are an excellent way to jump-start your career, as they focus on building specific hard skills such as coding or data analytics and preparing you for this field of work.
You can also get started with free and self-learning online resources on edX and LinkedIn to learn the basics of robotics.
Is Robotics Engineering A Promising Career?
Yes. A career in Robotics engineering is among the several high-paying careers with excellent job prospects. Besides ample earning and growth opportunities, you also learn problem-solving while working on innovative technological developments.
Building automated creations that help companies overcome challenges and improve people's lives makes it an enriching career choice. Moreover, Robotics engineering advances several industries that focus on serving society and enhancing the efficiency of our world.
If you are interested in computer science and engineering, then there is never a better time to chase an interest in robotics design.
Is Robotic Engineering in Demand?
Robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation are constantly growing and evolving areas with strong demand for skills and knowledge.
The rapid advancement of technology drives the demand for mechatronics engineers in research and development, engineering services firms, engineering manufacturing companies, and various industries that need constant developments in automation.
Industries rely increasingly on mechatronics engineers to apply their knowledge and skills to develop and implement emerging technologies. Be it oil or gas, mining, advanced manufacturing, automotive, computer, or aerospace industries, the need for these professionals has never been greater.
Australia has a robust robotics industry. While most enterprises are looking to incorporate robots and automation into their workflow, the government projects strong job growth in the number of skilled mechatronics or robotics engineers in the coming years in Australia.
Becoming a Robotics engineer can be complex as it requires determination to complete four years of study and work placements; it is doable for those interested in entering the field.
To work in this multi-faceted job, you need diverse skills. However, once you master those skills, a career in robotics can open up various high-paid career opportunities with tremendous job growth.
If you are passionate about shaping a future where humans and robots work and live collaboratively, the above steps will help you pursue this role.
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