How to land a job in robotics and automation

Robtics
The robot revolution is here. Image: Shutterstock

If you want a job that won’t be taken over by robots any time soon, choose a career in robotics and automation

Robots seem to be everywhere these days, from picking, packing and loading your favourite chocolate bar faster than the eye can see, to exploring the alien surface of Mars. Where there’s a job that is dull, dirty or dangerous, it’s usually better to send in a robot.

But with advances in automation, robots are set to branch out even further. Dr Pauline Pounds, a University of Queensland researcher and Vice President of the Australian
Robotics & Automation Association, thinks this will eventually mean rethinking our idea of what ‘work’ means. “We will reimagine work from a task of labour to being a task of supervision,” she says.

Pauline
Dr Pauline Pounds is a researcher and Vice President of the Australian
Robotics & Automation Association.

Some jobs will be history – but engineering won’t be one of them. Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer engineers and more specialised mechatronics engineers all have important roles to play in designing, building and maintaining robots now and into the future.

Luckily for you, right here, right now is where the robotics revolution is kicking off.

“There has never been a better time to get into robotics,” says Pauline. And Australia punches above its weight in robotics automation, with innovators using sensors and systems made overseas and then developing algorithms to make them do useful tasks. As a result, Australia is a leading player in mining, infrastructure and agricultural automation.

The best part? There’s a place in robotics for everyone. “I’m thrilled to see so many girls and young women involved in robotics and automation,” says Pauline.

Engineering & Automation Study

Engineering+ Automation Jobs

  • Mechanical engineer: $55K–$110K
  • Control/Automation engineer : $59K–$126K
  • Robotics engineer: $53K–$138K*

*Source: salaries according to payscale.com

This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2021.

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Ben Skuse

Author: Ben Skuse

Ben Skuse is a UK-based former mathematician turned professional science writer, who has written for the Careers with STEM magazines for over 5 years. You can follow him on Twitter @BenSkuseSciComm.

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