Mechatronics vs Robotics: What's the Difference?

Mechatronics is perhaps one of the least understood professions out there. Most Americans think that it is a complicated field to get into like robotics which could require a degree in engineering.

Key Takeaways

Mechatronics is perhaps one of the least understood professions out there. Most Americans think that it is a complicated field to get into like robotics which could require a degree in engineering.

In reality, mechatronics is one of the best-paying jobs out there that requires only a two-year Associate’s degree or in some cases just a high school diploma with a short certificate course. Armed with this you can start earning $60k plus yearly.

In this guide, we will share with you what the difference is between mechatronics and robotics and we will also explain why, despite mechatronics being a superset of robotics, still does not require a degree to pursue.

You might have never heard of mechatronics technicians and you might not know what exactly they do for a living, because it is a relatively new career that is growing in popularity as robots take over some of the jobs that people used to do.

In a nutshell, mechatronics is a branch of engineering that studies the fundamentals of designing and manufacturing automated equipment. The position requires a variety of skills, including electrical, mechanical, and technological knowledge.

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If you are detail-oriented, have an interest in electrical systems, like to know how things work, and have a natural aptitude for math, you may want to consider a career as a mechatronics technician.

The application of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering in the design of products and industrial processes is known as mechatronics.  This position can start with only a high school diploma and a certificate in mechatronics.

Robotics, on the other hand, is a subset of mechatronics, which means that all robots are mechatronic! As automation and advances like self-driving cars become more prevalent in our culture, robotics and its parent subject, mechatronics, are more crucial than ever.

Looking to break into the mechatronics industry?

Unmudl has the right course to get you started!

Mechatronics vs Robotics

The best way to understand the difference between mechatronics and robotics is to understand that robotics is a small part of mechatronics. Mechatronics includes the understanding of Electrical Control Systems, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, and a bit of computer.

But the best thing about mechatronics is that, while each of the subjects it is composed of requires you to have a four-year bachelor’s degree, mechatronics itself does not.

For example, if you want to be a mechanical engineer, you need to have a four-year bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at a minimum. 

Similarly, Electronics, Electrical, and Computer Systems require you to have bachelor’s degrees in Electronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computers respectively.

A Mechatronics Technician, on the other hand, requires only a good understanding of these fields and may only require a high school diploma plus a short certificate course.


The term mechatronics highlights the critical nature of this subject, which is to integrate electrical and mechanical systems into a single device. Mechatronics is said to be the intersection of concepts from applied science, engineering science, and engineering to design, create, and operate things. 

As mentioned earlier, mechatronics may be considered a superset of robotic technologies. It begins with the design of the gadget and progresses to the last stage, which is the perfect operation of the equipment that the user has built. 

A robot can be used as an example of a mechatronics project. Mechatronics is also the guiding principle for building automation and production systems.

Mechatronics systems evolve with an emphasis on automation and efficiency. As these systems grow autonomous, their behavior begins to approximate that of robots. Typical examples of mechatronics projects are animatronic hands, robotic hands, biped walking robots, robot controllers, and manufacturing plant automation, among others. 

Things in the present and the future like intelligent space, robotic rooms, remote surgeries, and self-driving vehicles will all benefit from mechatronics.

Pro tip: if you are interested in seeing what mechatronics is all about, consider enrolling in a free trial.


Robotics is a technology that deals with the appearance, building, and operation of robots in automation. A robot is a gadget that performs tough, frequently monotonous tasks automatically. 

A robot is a machine that receives information about its surroundings and uses that knowledge to follow instructions in order to perform some type of task. Robotics is a subsection of mechatronics, which includes items that aren't entirely robotic in nature. 

In industries, robots are used to speed up the manufacturing process. They are also used in nuclear science, sea exploration, transmission electric signal maintenance, bio-medical equipment design, and so on. 

Robotics necessitates the use of computer-aided manufacturing, technology, electrical and biological mechanics, and software engineering. Sensor-guided robotics, mobile robotics, wifi robotics, surveillance robots, gesture-based robots, and similar projects are good examples of prevalent robotics.

Robotics can also be understood as the science and engineering of designing, manufacturing, and deploying robots and computer systems for control, sensory feedback, and knowledge processing.

Read more: Discover the latest trends in robotics.

Man Learning Robotics
by Freepik

How much do Mechatronics Technicians earn?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the 2021 median salary for Electro-mechanical and mechatronics Technologists and Technicians was $60,360 per year. This comes out to be $29.02 per hour.

The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in a certain occupation earned more and half earned less. The lowest 10% made less than $37,650, while the top 10% earned more than $98,070.

This range should give you a good idea of what people are earning annually for mechatronics and robotics salaries.

Top Metropolitan Areas Paying Well for Mechatronic Technicians

Here are the top areas in the U.S. that are paying well according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics

Top Metropolitan Areas Paying Well for Mechatronic Technicians
Top Metropolitan Areas Paying Well for Mechatronic Technicians

Job Outlook, 2020-30

On average, 1,100 job opportunities for electromechanical and mechatronics technologists and technicians are expected each year during the next decade.

How to become a Mechatronics Engineer

A two-year associate degree is often required to become a mechatronics technologist. Mechatronics and robotics, electrical engineering, or occupational safety and health are common studies for mechatronics technologists. 

The majority of mechatronics technologists, 44%, have an associate’s degree, while another 22% have a high school diploma only.

Pro tip: if you are interested in seeing what mechatronics is all about, consider enrolling in a free trial.

How to become a Mechatronics Engineer

The best course for Mechatronics

Course Title: Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance - Level II

Type of Course: Online - On Demand Course

Duration of Course: 8 hours per week, 10 estimated weeks only

Cost: $674.00 Total price (excluding tax)

Course Description: 

Begin your career as a technician of material handling equipment. Earn a certificate while developing job-ready skills for an in-demand career. No formal education is required.

This Level II original course is only exclusively available at Unmudl.

The Level II Intro to Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance course is intended for learners with some experience or background who want to work as an industrial technician or in maintenance. 

This course comprises a series of online, on-demand Amatrol e-learning modules that cover the area of advanced manufacturing and are linked with SACA certification standards. The course covers all aspects of electrical, mechanical, motor control, and pneumatic topics. 

Learners who complete this course will be equipped with the fundamental information and abilities required to maintain and troubleshoot material handling equipment. Learners who complete the course successfully will receive a certificate of completion and will be prepared to apply for Maintenance Technician positions.

Mechatronics professionals install, maintain, and repair machinery and equipment in industrial settings and can find work in high-tech manufacturing facilities, hospitals, hotels/resorts, utility companies, schools, and retail chains.

Credentials: This Level II curriculum also prepares students for the following SACA certifications:

C-201: Electrical Systems 1

C-203: AC Variable Frequency Drives 1

C-204: Motor Control Troubleshooting 1

C-209: Pneumatic Systems 1

Factory automation with automated guided vehicles and robotic arm in transportation to increase transport more with safety
Image by vanitjan on Freepik

What do mechatronics professionals do?

Mechatronics engineering can achieve a lot across various disciplines and has a strong foundation to build on for many different kinds of tasks. Mechatronics professionals understand both mechanical and electrical engineering fundamentals and speak both languages, allowing them to collaborate with both mechanical and engineering teams.

These specialists work with large industrial robots, smaller pick-and-place robots, control systems for bottling or packaging food and beverage items, drones, creating control systems for amusement park rides, and prototyping.

Some mechatronics specialists work in businesses that build and maintain automated equipment. Manufacturing, mining, aviation, robotics, defense, and transportation are examples of such industries. 

Large industrial enterprises with high-volume production also employ mechatronic professionals. Because of technology advancements, many new professional options are on the horizon.

An analysis of a number of job postings by employers showed the following tasks were frequently requested of mechatronics technicians:

  • To establish the method and sequence of assembly of a machine or piece of equipment, read blueprints, schematics, and diagrams.
  • Using precision measuring devices, check the dimensions of parts.
  • Use metalworking machines to create housings, fittings, and fixtures.
  • Examine parts for surface flaws.
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic assemblies to be repaired and calibrated.
  • Use instruments to evaluate the performance of electromechanical assemblies.
  • Install electronic parts and hardware with soldering equipment and hand tools.
  • Robotic equipment must be operated, tested, and maintained.
  • Analyze and document test results

What types of jobs are available in mechatronics?

A degree or certificate in mechatronics can lead to roles in management, particularly project management. Laboratories and processing plants, as well as engineering design offices, are typical examples of workplaces that employ MTs (Mechatronic Technicians).

Cybersecurity, telecommunications, computer science, automotive engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and consumer products and packaging all use mechatronics specialists.

The following mechatronics and robotics jobs are typical examples of mechatronics specialists:

  • Automotive Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Service Engineer
  • Control System Engineer
  • Instrumentation Engineer
  • Data Logging Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Project Engineer

Top mechatronics technologist employers

As of the date of the printing of this guide, the following were the top employers hiring right now. For an updated list check skills do mechatronics specialists require?

Top mechatronics technologist employers

Because Mechatronic specialists possess broad transdisciplinary skills, they can progress into more traditional engineering specialties.

A mechatronics specialist is a problem solver who works well in groups. Thinking creatively is the first step; communicating good ideas to coworkers requires excellent team working skills as well as communication skills.

Many mechatronic engineers model, simulate and analyze complicated mechanical, electrical, or other engineering systems using computer-aided design (CAD) and other engineering tools.

What are the responsibilities of mechatronics specialists?

Depending on their sector, mechatronic specialists execute a variety of tasks. Some design, develop, maintain, and manage high-technology engineering systems for industrial job automation. 

Others use mechatronic/automated systems to transport material components or finished goods or develop and help in the production of consumer products like cameras and video recorders. 

Others conduct research on the feasibility, cost implications, and performance advantages of new mechatronic equipment. Some MTs use electronic and mechanical technologies, as well as computers, to perform tasks where human labor would be hazardous (for example, underwater exploration, mining, or forestry).

Final thoughts

One of the least understood professions out there has to be mechatronics. A lot of people confuse it with Robotics which is but a small subset of what mechatronics can do. Due to recent developments requiring to automate everything, the demand for mechatronics engineers should increase.

These days everything from cars to robotic assembly lines requires mechatronics technicians and it is a great career to get into. This is especially true considering the fact that the only education required to start you off is a High School Diploma and a Certificate in Mechatronics.

For the purpose of this guide, we even shared with you the best certificate course that was developed in collaboration with the Central New Mexico Community College.

In short, mechatronics is a great opportunity that you should look into if you have an inclination toward electrical and electronic systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better mechatronics or robotics?

Can a mechatronics engineer build robots?

Does NASA need mechatronics engineers?

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