When you picture a robot, what’s the first image that comes to mind? For many people, it’s a machine that imitates a human like the popular androids from Star Wars, the Terminator film series, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yet, such robots still only exist in the world of Science Fiction. The types of robots that are most integrated into our daily lives are used for the automation of repetitive tasks like those involved in production manufacturing. They help reduce human error and offer a higher level of safety, precision, efficiency, and consistency. Robotics and automation are also expanding into nontraditional markets, like hospitals and health care, building, farming, food processing, homeland security and the military. Graduates of NHTI’s Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology Degree are well prepared for employment and advanced studies in the growing field of robotics and automation within advanced manufacturing.
The field of robotics has been steadily growing in recent years and the demand for robotic engineers and those who support them is expected to increase by more than 13% over the next 5 years. As costs associated with this technology decrease, even more organizations will take advantage of these resources making the future of this degree even brighter.
Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology is one of NHTI’s programs in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are expected to grow by 17% through 2018 and STEM workers command earnings 26% more than their counterparts in non-STEM occupations. STEM jobs grew 7.9% from 2000 to 2008, for example, while non-STEM jobs grew just 2.6% during that time. Also, STEM workers earn more, from 12 – 60% more than their counterparts with similar levels of education.
Visit NHTI’s Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology Department for information on degree and course offerings. NHTI also offers a degrees in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing Process Technology, as well as the following certificates: Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing.
- Career Paths for This Major
- Skills Developed Through This Major
- Sample Career Titles
- Sample Employers
- Ways to Explore and Reality Test Careers
- How to Increase Employability
- Professional Association Links
- Employment and Internship Links
When you graduate with this major, you will have work options that are varied and that depend upon your specific interests, abilities, work values, and hands on experience in the field. Areas of focus within robotics and automation include automated systems technology, robotics maintenance, intelligent automation, and computer aided design. Robotics engineering deals with the design and maintenance of robotics technology as well as the development of new uses for robots. Most modern factories use some form of robotics to perform repetitive tasks that can be done faster and more efficiently. These areas are popular destinations for program graduates.
Another potential area of focus is the military where robots have been used as far back as WW2 for detecting mines. Unmanned aircraft are used extensively to gather intelligence, while remote controlled armed ground robots have been used in a limited capacity already. This is just the beginning with robots expected to actively participate in combat and eventually help reduce the loss of human life while in combat.
Graduates can explore fields that are heading towards or expanding the use of robotics such as the medical field, particularly surgical procedures where robotics are already being tested and emergency services such as fire and rescue. Pursuit of advanced studies such as a bachelor’s degree in engineering will open doors and expand opportunities for program graduates. Four year degrees in electrical, manufacturing, industrial, electronic, or mechanical engineering all lend themselves to a specialty in robotics. The future of robotics engineering is an exciting one with plenty of scope for advancement and secure employment over the long term.
- Programming and operating industrial robots
- Manufacturing systems integration
- Industrial sensor and instrumentation.
- Programming and troubleshooting PLCs
- Manual and CNC machining
These titles include positions that you may qualify for with this associate’s degree:
- Engineering Technician
- Robotics Technician
- Automation Technician
- Instrumentation Technician
- Maintenance Technician
- Electro-Mechanical Technician
- Manufacturing Engineering Technologist
- Manufacturing Production Technician
- Robotics Sales Representative
- Lead Supervisor
Positions that may require a bachelor’s degree and beyond:
- Industrial Engineer
- Automation Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
- Robotics Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Electronic Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Production Manager
- Automation integrators
- Processing Plants
- Manufacturing Firms
- Automotive Industry Manufacturers
- Food Packaging Plants
- Federal and State Agencies
There are four key ways to explore your favorite career interests…through reading, through speaking with those in the know, through observing and through doing. Use the links on this page to begin exploring major related careers through ‘reading’. Go to the Exploring Career Interests link to get tips on all four key exploration strategies.
- Electro-mechanical Technicians
- Robotics Technicians
- Manufacturing Production Technicians
- What does a Robotics Engineer do?
Additional sources of information for this major include:
- NHTI Faculty, Advisors, and Robotics and Automation Engineering Technology Department resources
- Professionals who are working in the field
- Professional Associations (see below)
- Become an active student member of college, community, or professional associations, which helps you build leadership skills and promote connecting (networking) with fellow professionals.
- Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through part-time, full-time and summer employment/internship positions related to your targeted field.
- Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
Professionals who do work related to this major belong to these associations. You can use the links below to do career research and to connect with local association members. You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member.
- Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT)
- Automation Federation (AF)
- IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
- American Automatic Control Council (AACC)
- The International Society of Automation (ISA)
- The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies
See below for job posting sites related to this major (including our own home grown NHTI posting site – see first link).
- NHTI Job Board - (Employers looking for NHTI students and graduates)
- Robotics and Automation Jobs (from IEEE Robotics and Automation Society)