Robotics engineers are responsible for the design, creation, and testing of robots that are used in everyday life. It can be a very rewarding profession, but it takes years of preparation to do it at a professional level. However, avoid being discouraged, as being a robotics engineer is possible if you develop your skills, earn a Bachelor of Science or Technology, gain real-world experience, and personalize your job search.
Part 1 of 4: Developing Your Skills
Step 1. Take advanced math and science courses in high school
Taking advanced courses in areas such as algebra, trigonometry, and computer science in addition to physics will help you prepare for a degree in Robotics.
- If your school doesn't offer advanced courses, take math and physics classes at the highest level available.
- Having a solid command of algebra and geometry is critical to pursuing a career in robotic engineering.
Step 2. Participate in robotics clubs throughout your school or community
Participating in these extracurricular activities will give you experience that is directly related to your area of study at the university. It will also help college admissions offices recognize your interest in this area.
- Extracurricular activities are always helpful when it comes to applying to college. Try to find clubs and other organizations that have a direct relationship with the area of study that you intend to pursue. It will also help you explore the aspects of robotics that interest you the most.
- If there isn't a robotics club at your school, see if you can join one at a nearby school. Better yet, talk to the administration about starting your own robotics club.
Step 3. Enroll in robotics competitions to gain experience
This is an excellent opportunity with which you can exercise your skills through practical experience. It will also help you with college admissions, as they will see that you are actively involved in your desired field.
Schools that participate in robotics clubs may also have their students sign up for competitions. However, if there is a robotics program at your school, you can look for competitions in your area
Part 2 of 4: Get a Higher Education
Step 1. Obtain a Bachelor of Science or Technology degree
When choosing a major, look for degree programs in Mechanical, Electrical, or Industrial Engineering. Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs are widely offered at universities. In these programs, you will learn the fundamentals of engineering in almost any area of interest, including electronic composites, computing, and pneumatic systems.
- In the case of mechanical engineering, be sure to look for programs that are approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
- If the university you choose does not offer a degree in Robotics, look for a program where you can add robotics as a specialization.
- For example, on the NASA website, you can find a list of universities in the US that offer Robotics Engineering programs.
Step 2. Explore all the robotics paths in college
Testing with mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science, in addition to helping you decide on the area that you are passionate about, will give you the necessary experience in other areas of robotics. The world of robotics is constantly changing, so many people can enter the profession in different ways.
Being well versed in the engineering processes of the brain, the nervous system or the body will allow you to enter the field of robotics through alternative paths, opening up more opportunities when looking for work
Step 3. Get a master's degree in Robotics Engineering to excel
A master's degree is not required for many areas of robotic engineering, but it will give you an edge over the competition. These programs offer a variety of courses that will develop your skills in mechanical, electrical, or computer engineering.
Keep in mind that many robotics graduate programs will require you to complete a culminating course or detailed research project
Part 3 of 4: Gain Experience
Step 1. Get an internship to explore your field and establish contacts within the sector
Participating in internships is key to landing the position you want. In addition to giving you hands-on experience, it will allow you to get to know other people in your field better while making connections with people who could help you land a job in the future.
- If you want to land a successful internship, talk to your school advisors. You can also join online forums created by startups. This is an easy way to post your qualifications online and connect with a company where your interests fit very well.
- You can also connect with government organizations to find the best internship. You will need to go directly to these websites to upload your information and documents to their careers or job opportunities pages.
Step 2. Gain practical experience through training programs
This is a great option if you can't get an internship for some reason. Many reputable institutions offer training programs in the summer and winter vacations to help budding engineers gain practice.
- Likewise, these institutions allow you to choose the program that interests you the most or that has a direct relationship with your field. In this way, you will know that you will acquire the experience not only necessary for your field but in your area of interest.
- You can also improve your skills by searching for construction project online courses or by building your own project using the latest technology. This will help you develop your portfolio by adding new skills and getting practice in the application.
Step 3. Find a mentor who works in the industry
You can dabble in many specific areas of robotics, so it is important that you first identify your ideal career path. Setting a clear goal for yourself will help you choose the best mentor to help you reach your overall goal.
- Try to find a mentor who currently works in your chosen area (or has recently done so). There are many companies that can connect you with mentors through their human resources department.
- If a mentor through HR is not an option for you, reach out to other people in your field with whom you have established connections and ask them for recommendations and suggestions from mentors they have used. Also, try asking other engineers in your field if they would be interested in mentoring you.
- If you can't find a mentor through any of these sources, look online. Many websites like LinkedIn can help you connect with mentors and others in your field.
Part 4 of 4: Get a job
Step 1. Keep your resume updated and presentation letter.
Your resume should include any information that increases your position in the application process. Through your cover letter, explain to the company you are applying to how your skills and experience will benefit them and what you will contribute.
- Be sure to include your education, credentials, particular skills you have that will be beneficial to the company, and any practical experience, including construction projects.
- Always include the key skills listed in the employer ad on your resume and cover letter. Look for ways to incorporate your objectives and goals so that you are placed first in the applicant pool.
Step 2. Find a job near you
One of the best resources to help you get started looking for work is the Robotics Industries Association. This website and others like it will connect you with a wide variety of employers, making your job search a little more condensed and easy.
It may take a little time, but using websites like these is a great way to find out what employers are looking for in their candidates and what skills are most valued
Step 3. Prepare in advance for the interview
Be sure to prepare responses to sell your skills to the interviewers. Relate everything you've learned and practiced specifically to that employer's goal for your company.