What Is A Robotics Technician?

In an increasingly tech-enabled landscape, robotics technicians are poised to become some of the most in-demand workers of the future. One recent study found 88% of companies planning to invest in robotics in their organizations. This means more opportunities for those responsible for installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing robotic systems and automation equipment.
In an increasingly tech-enabled landscape, robotics technicians are poised to become some of the most in-demand workers of the future. One recent study found 88% of companies planning to invest in robotics in their organizations. This means more opportunities for those responsible for installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing robotic systems and automation equipment.

Robotic systems can range from industrial robots used in manufacturing to service robots used for a variety of applications from healthcare and logistics to hospitality and entertainment. A robotics technician’s duties can vary depending upon the industry they work in and the type of robots they work on. They often form a vital link between robotics engineers and customers.

If you are keen about working with new technologies, possess a knack for problem-solving, and have a background in science, a robotics technician’s job might be just right for you. Read on for a comprehensive understanding of what robotics technicians do, where they work, what skills they need, and the future of their profession.

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What Are The Typical Responsibilities of a Robotics Technician?

The role of a robotics technician typically involves the following functions:

  • Installation: Setting up and configuring robotic systems and automation equipment according to the manufacturer's guidelines and specific project requirements.
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspecting and performing preventive maintenance on robotic systems to ensure they operate efficiently. It includes checking for worn-out parts and conducting system tests.
  • Troubleshooting: Identifying and diagnosing issues or malfunctions and implementing appropriate solutions to resolve them. This may involve collaborating with engineers and technicians.
  • Repair: Repairing or replacing faulty components in robotic systems to restore functionality. Robotics technicians may also be involved in ordering and sourcing replacement parts as needed.
  • Programming: Programming tasks such as modifying robotic movements are also part of a robotics technician's responsibilities, with robotics engineers handling more complex programming tasks.
  • Safety Compliance: Ensuring that robotic systems operate safely and adhere to safety regulations and standards. This may involve implementing safety features and conducting risk assessments.
  • Documentation: Maintaining detailed records of maintenance activities, repairs, and modifications made to robotic systems. This is essential for future reference and compliance purposes.
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Which Industries Employ Robotics Technicians?

Robotics technicians work in a diverse range of industries due to the widespread application of robotics and automation. That makes it an ideal career for those looking to stay ahead of cutting-edge innovations.

Here are some industries that rely heavily on robotics technicians: 

  • Manufacturing: Most robots in manufacturing are designed to be used without human intervention to massively increase productivity in activities like assembly line operations, material handling, molding, and other related processes. They work to a high degree of precision and repeatability, ensuring consistent production of products. 
  • Automotive: The automotive industry uses robotics extensively for tasks like welding, painting, and vehicle assembly. They handle some of these tasks autonomously, while working alongside electricians, millwrights, pipe fitters, machinists, and machine repair workers at others. 
  • Energy and Utilities: In energy-related industries such as oil and gas, robots were primarily used for inspection and maintenance tasks in hazardous environments. They are, however, constantly finding new applications in areas such as underwater explorations and surveys. 
  • Defense and Security: In the defense sector, robotics technicians work with unmanned ground vehicles, drones, and other robotic systems used in a variety of activities such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and bomb disposal.
  • Electronics: The electronics industry utilizes robotics for precision tasks such as circuit board assembly and testing, calibration, product assembly, and many others. Robotics technicians ensure these systems run efficiently.

While these are some of the industries that adopted robotic processes early on, there are several others where robots and robotics technicians have started to play increasingly significant roles. They include: 

  • Aerospace: Robotics plays a crucial role in the aerospace industry, where technicians work with robots in a variety of precision tasks such as composites manufacturing, aircraft components assembly, and testing. The responsibilities of a robotics technician in aerospace may include collaborating with engineers to design and integrate robotic components, testing and validating the performance and safety of robotic systems, and calibrating specialized sensors and cameras for data gathering and analysis.
  • Healthcare: Robotics technicians work with medical robots used in surgery, rehabilitation, and assistance for patients and healthcare professionals. With human life often directly at stake, robotics technicians are critical to the proper installation, functioning, and maintenance of medical robots. Their job may include collaborating with surgeons and healthcare professionals, as well as updating medical robots with the latest software.
  • Agriculture: Robotics technicians maintain and troubleshoot agricultural robots and drones used for precision farming and automated tasks. The introduction of robotics in farming has immensely increased efficiency. From integrating farm systems with robotics to working with agricultural engineers in analyzing data, robotics technicians help farmers make informed decisions about optimizing crop yields and resource usage.
  • Research and Development: Robotics technicians also work in research labs, universities, and technology companies, assisting in the development and testing of new robotic systems. They are indispensable for tasks like prototype assembly, experimentation, and data collection. They play a key role in helping R&D departments deliver industry-changing systems and technologies. 

Beyond these industries, there are a few others that have lately begun employing robots and robotics technicians. Some of them are: 

  • Entertainment: Robotics technicians are increasingly working with animatronics used in theme parks, movies, and other entertainment venues.
  • Food and Beverage: Robotics technicians maintain robots used for packaging, sorting, and food processing tasks to improve efficiency and hygiene.
  • Logistics and Warehousing: Robotics technicians handle the robots used in automated warehouses and distribution centers for tasks like picking, packing, and sorting.
  • Construction: The construction industry is increasingly exploring the use of robotics for tasks like bricklaying, demolition, and autonomous equipment.
A maintenance technician in warehouse on a call
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What Can You Specialize In As A Robotics Technician?

The career path of a robotics technician can go down many. Depending on your interests, aptitude, and goals, you can learn different applications of robotics, focus on specific types of technician roles, and work to master technologies that can be used across several industries. 

Here are some specialized jobs you can work in as a robotics technician:

  • Maintenance technicians are a popular role in the field. Many of them work for manufacturers or distributors and respond to service calls, collaborating closely with engineers and technical personnel. 
  • Robotics software technician/programmer jobs are for those who are interested in programming, with opportunities to work on low to mid or even high-level programming of robots
  • Robotics trainers oversee trainees and less experienced technicians, mostly working in companies manufacturing robotic systems. They may also serve as instructors in trade and technical schools.
  • Autonomous vehicles are a rapidly expanding area of robotics, where technicians work on self-driving cars and drones in industries ranging from defense to agriculture.
  • Medical robotics technicians work with robots used in healthcare, such as surgical robots and rehabilitation robots. They focus on ensuring the safe and efficient operation of these medical devices.
  • Robotic automation. Technicians with this specialization devise ways to integrate robotic systems into various industries. They work on designing and implementing automation solutions for improved efficiency and productivity.
  • Robotics research and development technicians assist engineers and scientists in developing and testing new robotic technologies and applications, often optimizing robot behavior before implementation in the real world.
  • AI and machine learning in robotics. As artificial intelligence plays an increasingly important role in robotics, technicians may specialize in AI and machine learning algorithms used in robot control and decision-making.
  • Robotics sensors and perception technicians work on ensuring robotic systems can sense and interact with their environment effectively.
  • Robot vision systems specialists focus on the development and maintenance of vision systems used in robots for tasks like object recognition, navigation, and inspection.
  • Human-robot Interaction (HRI) specialists focus on developing and maintaining robots that can effectively interact with humans in various settings, such as customer service or collaborative tasks.

What Does a Career as a Robotics Technician Mean for You? 

A robotics technician position offers a high-paying, highly diversified, collaborative, and creative work experience. Some of these positions will put you at the forefront of new technologies. 

Most robotics technician positions are full-time (about 40 hours a week) or shift-based. Many require on-call availability for service and repair calls. In other words, a conventional 9-5 business schedule is not always guaranteed.

Robotics technicians receive competitive salaries, often slightly higher than what other engineers can expect. The average annual salary of a robotics engineer in the US is more than ​​$61,000. Since specialists are in such high demand, you can negotiate a higher salary based on your qualifications, length of experience, and location. Robotics technicians can also go on to work as trainers, engineers, managers, and independent consultants.  

The future outlook for robotics technicians looks promising, with the North American robotics industry expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 12% through 2026. The global market size of the industry has almost doubled since 2020.

What Qualifications and Skills Do Employers Look For In Robotics Technicians?

A strong background in Science and Mathematics in high school is a basic prerequisite, with many successful robotics technicians going for a further two-year Associate degree or a Bachelor’s degree. This often needs to be supplemented by an apprenticeship and on-the-job training. The exact qualifications required can vary depending on the specific job, industry, and level of responsibility. 

Broadly speaking, here’s what employers look for in a robotics technician: 

Education 

Most robotics technicians will have a course, degree or diploma in fields such as electronics, mechatronics, electrical engineering, computer science, or a related discipline.

An intro course followed by a more advanced mechatronics course with Unmudl can be particularly helpful with finding a job. Alternatively, a two-year Associate degree or technical certification program can also be sufficient for some entry-level positions.

Technical Skills

Robotics technicians should have a strong understanding of mechanical systems, electrical circuits, and computer programming. Familiarity with various programming languages and software platforms used in robotics, such as C++, Python, and robot operating systems (ROS) is valuable.

Hands-On Experience

Practical experience with robotics systems, automation equipment, and other related technologies is also essential. Participation in robotics clubs, workshops, or personal projects can provide valuable hands-on experience.

Troubleshooting and Repair

Robotics technicians need to be skilled at diagnosing and solving technical issues in robotic systems. They must also be familiar with the standard tools and techniques used for maintenance and repairs.

Communication

Good communication skills are vital for robotics technicians as they often work as part of a team and need to communicate effectively with engineers, colleagues, and sometimes customers.

Adaptability

The field of robotics is dynamic, with new technologies and techniques emerging regularly. Robotics technicians should be adaptable and willing to learn continuously.

Safety and Regulations

Knowledge of safety protocols and regulations related to working with robots and automation equipment is crucial to ensure a safe working environment.

Analytical Skills

Robotics technicians should possess strong analytical skills to troubleshoot complex problems and optimize robot performance.

Specialization

Some robotics technicians may choose to specialize in specific areas, such as industrial robotics, medical robotics, or automation. Specialized training or certifications in these areas can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.

Train To Be A Robotics Technician With Unmudl

There are other options available if you’re not interested in spending two or four years on an Associate or Bachelor's degree program for a career as a robotics technician. Unmudl’s on-demand Mechatronics online course can help you launch your career in less than 10 weeks! 

The program introduces students to the tools, techniques, and components used in beginner-level robotics engineering with virtual labs and prepares them to professionally build, troubleshoot, and repair robots.

Unmudl’s unique skills-to-jobs platform and wide employer hiring network can help bring your skills to the market in no time. 

Explore all courses on Unmudl today.

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