Salary of Robotics Engineer and How To Jump Start Your Career

How much is the salary of robotics engineer? What is a robotics engineer? What is a robotics engineer’s requirement? How to become a robotics engineer?

People might not notice that robots have been in our lives for quite some time now. They aren’t just those that scientists landed on Mars. A self-driving car is a robot, so is an automatic vacuum. The introduction of robotics has replaced human labor in some industries but has also allowed new ones to emerge. One of them is robotics engineering, which has so much potential to grow even stronger in the future.

If you are Elon Musk or someone who knows exactly what to do in your robotic career path, this article is not for you. But should you want to grow your career in this field and want to know the current requirements, let’s dive right into this fascinating line of work. 

Why You Should Consider A Robotics Engineer Career

Robotics engineering is the ideal path for those who love technology and look for a career that allows them to embrace their creativity. According to Career Explorer, this is one of the happiest careers in America.

Besides high payment and optimistic job prospects, this field also offers opportunities to work in many different industries. And under the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution, the demand for robotics engineers will grow even higher.

Robotics engineering is about creating applications or autonomous machines (aka robots). Robots perform repetitive, hazardous, or unhealthy actions that humans are either unable, inefficient, or find boring doing. These creations benefit industries such as manufacturing, textile, mining, metals, aerospace, and automotive.

So, what is a robotics engineer?

Robotics engineers are behind-the-scenes designers that help bring innovations to the world. They design, test, and build various intelligent robots: manipulators, microprocessors, and teleoperators. 

  • Robot manipulators, or robotic arms, are electronically controlled mechanisms that can perform tasks by interacting with the environment. Engineers have been applying them to particular uses on manufacturing assembly lines. 
  • Microprocessor, also known as the central processing unit (CPU), is the control unit devised to direct most robots in their tasks. 
  • And teleoperated robots are remotely controlled machines that take commands from human operators and then execute as instructed. They are playing a role in certain medical surgeries as well as military operations. 
Why You Should Consider A Robotics Engineer Career

What is a robotics engineer? – Salary of Robotics Engineer. Source: ThisisEngineering

Robotic applications vary widely, so robotics engineers worldwide are trying their best to make mechanic systems more and more productive, safe to operate, and economical to purchase and maintain. Thanks to their hard work, jobs are getting safer, easier, and more efficient.

Robotics Engineer Job Description

What is a robotics engineer’s requirement? At least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, applied physics, or mathematics is the first and foremost requirement to enter this field. Also, since robotics technology involves various engineering disciplines, many robotics engineers need expertise in manufacturing, electronic, electrical, mechanical, or industrial engineering.

 In addition, a robotics engineer needs to excel in certain areas. Those include:

  • Hard/soft automation
  • CAD/CAM/CNC software
  • 2D vision and 3D vision
  • Computer programming
  • Algorithms
  • Flexible automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Predictive analytics

However, expertise is not all of the requirements. Engineers who specialize in robotics also need resourcefulness, excellent communication skills, the capability to create and evaluate integrated systems, and a good understanding of cost efficiency and productivity optimization.

Job Outlook

After the fourth industrial revolution took place, technology had become a substantial part of the economy. And in the last few decades, the robotics engineering job market also went through some significant changes.

From 2004 to 2010, the overall job outlook of the career in the US was negative. The number of vacancies had decreased by 12.59 percent, according to Besides, the average declining rate was at about 2.1 percent each year. 

However, since 2010, the demand for this job has gone up dramatically. Thanks to the increasing need for machines and the emergence of several new technologies.

Job Outlook

The demand for robotics engineers has been going up since 2010 – Source: Gilly

In 2019, The BLS (The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics) projected a 9% growth in the job market. The BLS also predicts over the forecast period that there will be 25,300 more laborers needed.

Additionally, in 2021, the U.S.BLS projected a 4 percent growth in employment in the robotics engineering field from 2019 to 2029.

Salary Of Robotics Engineer

How much is the salary of robotics engineers? According to payscale, a robotics engineer makes $84,465 a year on average, which is a good deal compared to other jobs.

The base salary is from $59.000 to $125.000. Other than that, there can be a bonus ($978 to $14.000) and income from profit sharing ($502 to $25.000).

In this field, earnings are also divided by seniority.

SeniorityAverage annual payment
Entry-level robotics engineers$75.000
Junior-level robotics engineers$82.000
Mid-level robotics engineers$93.000
Senior-level robotics engineers$99.000
Top-level robotics engineers$108.000

The salary of Robotics Engineers will vary from city to city.  The reason for that is the difference in the living cost. Since the expenses will be higher in some particular cities, payment will also be a bit higher to support the people living there.

As reported from indeed, the top 5 city that pays the highest for their robotics engineers are:

SeniorityAverage annual payment
Pasadena, California$141.940
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania$102,610
Stevensville, Michigan$98,363
Santa Barbara, California$95.647
Milwaukee, Wisconsin$95.373

How To Get Started

So, how to become a robotics engineer? As we have mentioned, the first step is to have a bachelor’s degree from a robotic engineering college or university. 

Below is the list of the top 10 universities for engineering in the United States, according to analytics insight:
  1. Carnegie-Mellon University ( Pennsylvania )
  2. Colorado State University ( Colorado )
  3. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor ( Michigan )
  4. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ( New York )
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology ( Georgia )
  6. University of Pennsylvania ( Pennsylvania )
  7. Oregon State University ( Oregon )
  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( Massachusetts )
  9. University of Southern California ( California )
  10. University of Maryland ( Maryland )

After finishing a degree, you are ready to apply for an entry-level job in robotics engineering. Even though it might seem like a graduate is not capable of all the responsibilities, most institutions train their employees to prepare them for the specific working environment. And by taking these training sessions and collecting experience on the way, entry-level engineers can gradually level up their game.

Salary of Robotics Engineer

The first step is to have a bachelor’s degree – Salary of Robotics Engineer. Source: Vasily Koloda

There will be a point when an advanced degree becomes essential to move to higher positions within the industry. A master’s degree takes 1.5 to 2 years on average to finish. And a doctorate takes 6 to 8 years to complete. However, part-time students can spend only 20 to 30 hours per week on their studies, leaving a lot of time for work and family.

Nevertheless, because robotics engineering is a textbook knowledge industry (industry based on the intensive use of technology and human capital), there is no true answer to how much knowledge is enough. The more knowledge one holds, the more opportunities open in front of them. 

Moreover, to keep abreast of this always innovating field, robotics engineers must have frequent updates of new technical knowledge and science movement. Choosing this career demands a commitment to lifelong learning. A working robotics engineer can pursue this lifestyle by attending conferences, seminars, workshops, and hands-on training sessions.

Advice For Future Robotic Engineers

How To Choose The Right Specialism For A Degree?

Since robotics engineering has many overlapping disciplines such as Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, it can be hard to decide where to make a start.

The logical way is to make a list of every entry there are; and then start narrowing it down base on the level of practicality and interest.

It is helpful to do a little research on each possible topic and see if its characteristics spark any joy. In case none of them does, then maybe robotic engineering might not be for you. Keep in mind that this journey is extremely arduous. That is why a passionate attitude will be crucial to push learners through tough times.

Advice For Future Robotic Engineers - Salary of Robotics Engineer

Choose the major and field you’re passionate about – Salary of Robotics EngineerSource: Possessed Photography

If it comes down to only one major, start with that. But usually, a few options will make it on the shortlist. Any of those can qualify as the first degree to pursue.

However, if it is still difficult to pick, this technique might help you make the final choice. We call it: “Browse the library.” It’s pretty simple.

First, going to a library, or maybe a student book store can still do the trick.

Then, walk around the Technical Processing Section and jot down book titles that appear engaging. Don’t open the book. Just look at the cover and keep on browsing. Underline those that look more interesting compared to others.

After browsing, divide the books into categories. Now, given that each book is a point and each underline is another point, which comes out on top? There it is. That’s the one.

Nevertheless, don’t worry if that’s the right choice. With enough effort and dedication, any major can secure a strong base for a career. To go random is fine as well if those choices all seem like fun. One path can lead to the other. There’s no true dead-end if it’s education, especially in robotics engineering. Because the more you know, the better.

Participate In Extracurricular Activities

How to become a good robotics engineer? Any learner should get as much hands-on experience as possible. One of the best ways to do this is through extracurricular activities.

Joining robotics competitions is a beneficial activity as they’re available for various education levels. Some of the most popular are VEX Robotics World Championship, World Robot Olympiad, SAUVC, Fira RoboWorld Cup, Robocup, Robofest, and Robo Expo. And there are still a lot more not mentioned here.

Another guaranteed way is to aim for programs that give experiential learning opportunities like internships. And look for Co-op academies, which allow their students to experience in the field, put their education into action, and cement their skills.

Consider An Advanced Degree

An advanced degree will be a strong plus for one’s curriculum vitae, giving them an advantage in a competitive job market. However, the most fundamental purpose of pursuing advanced education is to polish one’s skills and expertise. A master’s or a Ph.D. in robotics can open the door to enter senior-level and maybe bring a leadership position. 

Consider An Advanced Degree -Salary of Robotics Engineer

A master’s or a Ph.D. can come in handy – Salary of Robotics Engineer Source: Lewis Keegan

Keep in mind that an MS in robotics will be particularly beneficial for those who study in other related disciplines such as manufacturing, electronic, electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering; and do not possess a robotics bachelor’s degree.

Conclusion – Salary of Robotics Engineer

Robotics is progressing quickly and has endless potential for humans to explore, and those having a good grasp of it can directly shape our future. By becoming a robotics engineer, you will help change the world into a better place. Just imagine the fulfillment when finishing a complex project like creating pilotless planes or programming explorer drones. Though robotics engineering is a challenging career path, in the end, all the hard work will be worth it.

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