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How to Become a Robotics Engineer

The idea of robots performing our human duties dates back as far as 3,000 BCE, when Egyptians used human figurines in their water clocks to strike bells on the hour. However, robots as we know them today are much more complex and can do almost anything a human can. Learning robotics is a great way to explore this potential.

Robots are used virtually everywhere to perform tasks such as scooping cat litter, vacuuming floors, and working in industries to produce everyday goods. If you are fascinated with how robots work and what they can do, this guide contains everything you need to know about how to become a robotics engineer.

What Is a Robotics Engineer?

A robotics engineer is a highly trained professional responsible for developing, building, and maintaining robotic devices. They can spend hours working on a computer, testing their ideas and exploring ways to make existing robots more effective. They also come up with new concepts on how robots think and move.

Robotics Engineer Job Description

A robotics engineer designs, builds, and tests robots. These engineers are also responsible for maintaining the software used to control the robots and ensuring that the end product is economical and easy to maintain. A robotics engineer must research the safest and most efficient process to manufacture robotic systems during the initial stages.

There is a wide variety of robots in the market, each created for a specific purpose. You will find them in aerospace, nuclear, mining, automotive, computer, and even metal industries. As a robotics engineer, your work is to determine the specific needs of each application and customize the robots to fit these needs.

Robotics Engineer Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), robotics engineers earn a median salary of $90,160, which is about $43.35 an hour. You can expect your salary to grow as your real experience increases. A degree in robotics engineering is required for you to get career opportunities. Note that BLS places robotics engineering together with mechanical engineering.

The BLS also projects that robotics engineer jobs will grow by seven percent between 2020 and 2030. This means there will be around 20,900 new jobs in that time, which is a high outlook. The demand for mechanical engineers and robotics engineers will only continue to grow in the coming years.

Top Reasons to Become a Robotics Engineer in 2021

If you want to become a robotics engineer, you probably have your own reasons. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always helpful to do your own research and discover why it might be the right career choice for you. Take a look below at some of the most popular reasons to enter robotics engineering.

  • Diversity. The robotics engineering industry has a wide variety of technology, objectives, and innovation. As a result, you can create different machines in different industries to serve different purposes.
  • High Salary. Robotics engineering is one of the most lucrative careers in the engineering field. According to PayScale, the average salary of a robotics engineer is $85,096, and experienced workers can earn $99,798.
  • Innovation. Within the field of robotics, you can expect to face different challenges that require you to be innovative. Also, you are not limited to working with robots. For instance, medical science engineers can create robotic limbs.
  • Collaboration. The field of robotics engineering relies on collaboration and teamwork. Robotics engineers work with a large team from a wide range of professional backgrounds. You will enhance your teamwork skills and network with people who have similar or varying skillsets.

Robotics Engineer Job Requirements

Like any other job opportunity, you must meet the standard requirements of this engineering field. Being a robotics engineer requires extensive technical expertise, so your skills and education are important. Below is an overview of the top requirements for robotics engineers.

  • Education. You must be educated to work as a robotics engineer. The minimum level of education is a bachelor's degree. You can pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Automation, Robotics, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering. Extensive knowledge in science and advanced math can be an added advantage.
  • Hands-on Experience. You must have no less than two years of experience working as a robotics engineer. You can learn how to find an apprenticeship or internship to get hands-on experience working on functional real-world projects.
  • Creativity. You must showcase expertise in software development and developing electrical and robotic systems. In addition, you should be proficient in using drafting programs like AutoCAD.

Types of Robotics Engineer Careers

Robotics engineering is a multidisciplinary field where skilled professionals can pursue a broad range of career paths. The demand for robotics engineers has also led to the emergence of several careers under this umbrella. Take a look below at some of the popular options for robotics engineer careers.

Robotics Software Developer

A robotics software developer designs and develops software that assists in automation, robot control, and other mechanical processes. Therefore, a robotics developer must be well-versed in programming languages and the mechanical aspects of robotics. To become a robotics software developer, you can get a degree or attend a coding bootcamp.

User Experience (UX) Designer

Engineers need to create a functional robot that will satisfy the consumer and offer an excellent consumer experience. A UX designer is responsible for evaluating how customers interact with the final product. You will conduct research, compile reports, and develop ways to build robots that meet consumer needs.

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning is one of the highest-paid skills in robotics. You will be responsible for automation and other aspects of artificial intelligence. The engineers use predictive analysis to create robots that operate as humans. Therefore, you must be highly skilled in AI, computer programming, data science, deep learning, and language processing.

Robotics Engineer Meaning: What Does a Robotics Engineer Do?

As a robotics engineer, you will wear several hats, which can be challenging and fulfilling at the same time. You can work in many parts of the engineering process, including idea development and building computer hardware. Below are three of your primary job responsibilities.

Research and Development

Robotics engineers have a responsibility to research extensively before developing robots. Therefore, you will analyze every feature in-depth, ask questions, and find the best environment for the robots. Finally, you will start the development process with a larger team.

Construction and Testing

You will use 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacture (CAM) tools to design and build your robots. These tools cover all areas of construction, right to the circuit level. In addition, you will test and program robots with unique programming languages, sensors, and more.


Like all other machines, robots will break down or experience wear and tear. Sometimes, robotics engineers will double up as technicians, handling repairs or observing the robot’s performance patterns in complicated situations. Maintenance is a vital part of the robotics field.

Essential Robotics Engineer Skills

A variety of employers demand different skills from potential employees. These skills help make work easier and allow you to rise in rank. However, there are a few standard skills for all aspiring robotics engineers.


An efficient robotics engineer is a good communicator and listener. Because you work with a large team of skilled professionals, you must communicate with the rest of your team to achieve excellent results. Furthermore, you must present diagnostics, plans, and reports to investors and company stakeholders.


Engineers need outstanding problem-solving skills to help in decision-making and troubleshooting in the field. Therefore, you must be a fast thinker and an innovative problem solver. With robots, small mistakes can add up, so it’s important to know how to solve issues.


A robotics engineer must possess skills in mathematics. You will use geometry to solve problems in your daily work and apply it to your robot program. Luckily, you can enroll in advanced math classes online to enhance your skills. You can also try learning mathematics for machine learning.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Robotics Engineer?

It can take up to 10 years to become a lead robotics engineer. This is an advanced profession that requires advanced robotics training in and out of school. However, you can launch your career within four years or less, depending on your learning path.

Typically, you will start as an entry-level engineer and work your way to the top. However, learning never stops in robotics because there are always innovations as the modern industry continues to evolve.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Robotics Engineer?

Yes, coding bootcamps are taking over as the most preferred learning path in technology. Coding is an integral part of developing programs for robots. Therefore, coding bootcamp education can help you launch a career in robotics. A bootcamp can help you learn everything from common programming languages to how to build computer hardware.

Can I Become a Robotics Engineer From Home?

Yes, many bootcamp programs and degrees are offered online. Online coding bootcamps cover topics like machine learning and coding. You can also take free courses on robotics if you’ve already earned a computer science degree but want to specialize your knowledge.

Modern technology also makes it easier for you to study remotely and earn a graduate degree. First, however, you must check with your education provider to discover which of their programs are available online. There are many different options if you want to become a robotics engineer from home.

How to Become a Robotics Engineer: A Step-by-Step Guide

The nature of robotics makes it a complex field of study. However, you will follow a learning path similar to most professions. You’ll start by getting an education, seeking an entry-level position, and rising in rank through advanced education. Below is a step-by-step guide to becoming a robotics engineer.

Step 1: Get an Education

Education is paramount for any career path. The minimum level of education for most robotics employers is a bachelor's degree. However, the modern industry accommodates coding bootcamp students and associate degree holders for entry-level positions.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Once you have your degree, it's time to hit the ground running and look for a job. Usually, fresh graduates start with an entry-level position, which helps you gain practical and corporate experience. However, there are several robotic companies in the United States willing to offer low-level career opportunities.

Step 3: Earn Certifications and Higher Degrees

As mentioned above, an advanced education increases your chances of high-ranking job prospects. Certifications authenticate your position as an engineer and allow you to work in any industry. In addition, you can pursue an advanced robotics degree up to a doctorate level. This can help you earn recognition and a high salary.

Best Schools and Education for a Robotics Engineer Career

As a robotics engineer, you want to access quality education from the best institutions. This will help you get better opportunities in the field. Below are some of the options you can explore to improve your expertise.

Robotics Engineer Bootcamps

Bootcamps are immersive, short-term programs that deal with specific topics. If you want to excel in robotics, you can enroll in a bootcamp that teaches software engineering. Bootcamps offer career services that prepare you for the job market. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a job at a robotics company immediately after graduation.

Vocational School

Vocational school is the best place to gain hands-on experience. You will focus more on practical manufacturing processes, building projects, and the application of robotics. These courses are also shorter than bachelor’s degree programs.

Community College

Community colleges offer two-year programs that prepare you for entry-level positions. You will earn an associate degree that will help you lay a foundation for your career or a pathway to completing a bachelor’s degree. If you’re unsure about what you want to do, you can study engineering at a community college and specialize in robotics later on.

Robotics Engineer Degrees

The freedom to pursue a wide range of degree programs is what makes robotics a fun career. You can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Robotics, Mechanical, or Automation Engineering. Then, after the four-year program, you have the freedom to pursue an advanced degree going up to the PhD level.

The Most Important Robotics Engineer Certifications

Robotics engineering certifications and licensing not only establish you as a certified engineer, but they also give you access to more clients. There aren’t many professional certifications for robotics engineers, but the two listed below can both be helpful as you move along your career journey.

Certified Robot Integrator

This certification evaluates technical and robot safety understanding along with your ability to excel in business. The Association for Advancing Automation will give you an oral and written exam before you’re certified. In addition, you must have two years of work experience and at least two years of education after high school.

Certified Vision Professional

The Association for Advancing Automation offers this certification to professionals in the vision and imaging industry. You will gain the certification to operate a virtual machine and increase your confidence at work. The requirements are the same across all AAA certifications. This certification is a great choice if you want to specialize in visual imaging machines.

How to Prepare for Your Robotics Engineer Job Interview

A robotics interview involves a lot of technical interview questions that can be challenging. However, make a point to practice your interview questions, research the robotics company, and improve your confidence. The more information you have, the better your chances of passing the interview.

Robotics Engineer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • Why are you pursuing a career in robotics?
  • What’s your experience with artificial intelligence and machine learning?
  • What's the role of robotics engineering in the modern industry?
  • Describe CAD and CAM in detail, giving examples.

Should I Become a Robotics Engineer in 2021?

Yes. Artificial intelligence is taking over every industry, meaning the demand for robotics engineers is at an all-time high. Furthermore, you get to explore your creativity by manufacturing wearable robotics, agriculture robots, virtual machines, and more. You can work in the industry of your choice and earn a high salary as a robotics engineer.


Can You Become a Robotics Engineer Without a Degree?
No, it isn't easy to become a robotics engineer without a degree. However, you can launch your career through a coding bootcamp or vocational school and work your way to the top.
Is It Hard to Become a Robotics Engineer?
Yes, it can be difficult and time-consuming to become a robotics engineer. Therefore, you must have a passion for robotics and be willing to put in the work.
How Do I Prepare for Robotics Engineering?
You can start by pursuing an education in a robotics-related field, enroll for an entry-level job to gain experience, and be open to further your education.
Do I Have to Be Certified to Work in Robotics?
Yes. All engineering disciplines require certification from relevant organizations. Check your area to see which certifications you need.
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