Mechatronics is a branch of engineering which merges together multiple disciplines—such as mechanical, electronic, computer, and robotics engineering—in order to build complex devices and systems.
Though originally conceived in the 1960s, the field has taken on increased prominence in the past 20 years as the applications of robotics have become more widespread across a greater number of industries. Other technological advancements, such as the development of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have also led to growth in the field.
In recent years, universities like Northeastern have begun offering degrees like the Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics, which are designed to prepare students for a career designing, building, maintaining, and optimizing mechatronic systems.
While many individuals who earn such a degree go on to pursue a career as a mechatronics engineer, that isn’t the only career path available. In fact, the skills that you will learn by completing a mechatronics degree can prepare you for a career in many different engineering roles.
Below, we explore the job titles most commonly held by individuals who earn a mechatronics degree, and help to outline the different options available for those who pursue an undergraduate degree in this field.
The list below contains the most commonly-held job titles pursued by those who earn their mechatronics degree.
Keep in Mind: While this list highlights the average salary for each job title, it is worth noting that salary can be impacted by many factors. The industry that you work in, the size of your employer, your level of experience, and where in the country you work can all affect your compensation.
1. Mechatronics Engineer
Average Salary: $72,323 per year
Mechatronics engineers use their understanding of mechanical, electrical, robotics, and other forms of engineering to develop and maintain various smart technologies in a range of industries. The specific tasks that a mechatronics engineer will be responsible for will naturally vary depending on the company that employs them. However, they typically involve identifying opportunities to leverage mechatronic technologies within an organization, designing and testing mechatronic devices and systems, and troubleshooting and maintaining those systems. This is a common job title for those who earn a mechatronics degree.
2. Robotics Engineer
Average Salary: $83,481 per year
On a daily basis, a robotics engineer might perform a variety of tasks related to robotics depending on the organization that employs them. Most often, these tasks revolve around designing, building, and testing robotic systems, but might also include maintenance and upkeep, as well as research and development to make the system more cost effective. While some of the robotic systems that robotics engineers work on will be consumer-facing, most often these systems are utilized in an industrial manner.
3. Automation Engineer
Average Salary: $76,209 per year
Automation engineers work to implement and maintain automated workflows within their organization. These professionals work to identify automation opportunities within their workplace, and then design, deploy, and maintain the technologies that are required for automation. They are commonly employed in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. Automation engineers are often concerned with issues of output, efficiency, and safety, particular in environments where human personnel interact directly with automated technologies.
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4. Mechanical Engineer
Average Salary: $88,430 per year
Mechanical engineers work directly with a variety of mechanical systems. Because mechanical engineering is an incredibly broad discipline, mechanical engineers can perform a wide range of tasks depending on the industry they work within, as well as their specific position on the engineering team. Most often, these professionals are involved in analyzing existing mechanical systems with an aim of making them more efficient; designing mechanical systems from scratch; troubleshooting and maintaining mechanical systems as necessary to address wear and tear; and more. Because robotic systems are at least partially mechanical, mechanical engineers can also be called on to maintain and develop components in support of them.
5. Electronics Engineer
Average Salary: $105,570 per year
Electronics engineers are primarily responsible for researching, designing, developing, building, and implementing the components of electrical devices or systems. They can be employed by industries as diverse as manufacturing, transportation, aerospace and defense, finance, medicine, and everything in between. As such, the tasks that an electronics engineer performs can vary widely. Like mechanical engineers, the work these professionals do will often directly or indirectly support robotic and mechatronic systems, which rely upon integrated mechanical and electronic systems.
6. Electromechanical Engineer
Average Salary: $76,492 per year
The job title of electromechanical engineer is very similar in many regards to that of mechatronics engineer. Individuals who hold this position are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining mechanical systems which also include electrical components. As such, electromechanical engineers perform many of the same tasks outlined above.
7. Robotics Programmer
Average Salary: $72,890 per year
Robotics programmers are responsible for developing the computer software, applications, controls, and other programs that robotics systems need to function within an operation. They often work in tandem with the robotics engineers on a team, and occasionally assist in the design and configuration of the robotic systems. Robotics programmers may also be involved in troubleshooting or enhancing existing software in order to reduce system demands or otherwise optimize the program.
One Degree, Many Career Paths
It is true that many individuals who earn their mechatronics degree go on to work as mechatronics engineers, but it’s also important to understand that this is not the only option available. By completing a Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics, you will learn the knowledge and skills required to hold a wide range of job titles with competitive salaries and increasing demand.
Not all degree programs are created equally, however. It’s crucial that whatever program you choose to enroll in is the one best suited to help you reach your professional goals. The right program will not only educate you in the discipline, but also offer you the opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience that employers want and build crucial industry connections.
As one of the only bachelor’s-level mechatronics programs in New England, the Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics program at Northeastern fulfills both of these requirements and more.
Students who pursue this degree can participate in experiential learning at a range of market-leading Boston-area manufacturing companies, including GE Aviation, Teradyne, and Brooks Automation. In the classroom, students learn from faculty who have worked in the industry in companies like United Technologies, General Electric, Gillette, Sikorsky Aircraft, Stanley Black & Decker, and more. Together, this provides students with both hands-on experience as well as powerful industry connections that can be leveraged over the course of a career.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in mechatronics? Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics offered by Northeastern University to see how advancing your education can help you reach your goals.