By Joe Crowe
You may have heard the word “mechatronics” before. While it combines the familiar terms “mechanical” and “electronics,” it’s possible that what it is may not be clear. Mechatronics is a science that focuses on intelligent technology, an overarching term for an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the future of engineering with smart machines such as robots. Mechatronics is an emerging career combining electrical, mechanical, and software skills to work with robots, ATMs, and other computer-integrated manufacturing technology.
What Can You Do?
“Almost anything you want,” says a report from California University of Pennsylvania. A mechatronics degree offers valuable interdisciplinary skills that provide flexibility, adaptability, and a big-picture point-of-view, all of which are beneficial to success in an engineering career. “In a sense, it’s like earning three or four technology degrees in one,” the university says.
Mechatronics engineers are valuable employees, says Jerome Moore, an instructor at Piedmont College in South Carolina. “This one person is able to program the programmable launch controller. They’re able to troubleshoot a pneumatic valve. They’re able to replace a motor. Instead of having several different people performing different job functions, we’ve got one person that understands the entire process,” Moore says.
What Are The Job Opportunities
The outlook is positive for careers in mechatronics, says a report at Capitol Technology University. While mechanical engineering and mechatronic engineering overlap, a mechatronics engineer has more options. Possible careers include automation specialist, controls engineer, instrumentation engineer, and robotics technician, Capitol’s report says.
Mechatronics engineers are well-suited for automation and robotics engineering jobs, which are the second-most in-demand jobs in 2019, the report says. So, to answer the question posed at the start of this article: Mechatronics is a career path on the cutting edge of manufacturing and where many different skills will be used, which sounds like a pathway to a bright future.
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