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Robotics engineer

Robotics engineers design and build machines to do automated jobs in industries like manufacturing, aerospace and medicine.

What is a robotics engineer?

A robotics engineer designs and builds machines, and maintains the software that controls them. These machines do automated jobs within industries such as manufacturing, aerospace and medicine.

What do robotics engineers do?

There is a range of tasks you could be involved in:

  • A robotics engineer can carry out research into what customers want automated. 
  • They could use computer aided design (CAD) software to make robotic designs. 
  • They could fix issues in current machines, run test and create prototypes.
  • They could research how to use artificial intelligence within machines.
  • They could analyse data collected form robots and machines through cameras and sensors.

What makes robotic engineering different?

You could be working in a laboratory, office or manufacturing plant. There are lots of possibilities within the field of robotic engineering. You could design and maintain machine within a large range of industries from aerospace to medicine. 


Starting salary (graduate)
Example job titles
Automation engineer, robotics software engineer, robots compliance engineer
Desirable skills
Numerical, organisation, computing, problem solving, reasoning, design
Useful subjects
Maths, Physics, IT, Chemistry, DT
Robotics engineer working on a project

Working life

What is it like being a robotics engineer?

You could be working anywhere in the world and could choose to specialise in a particular area of robotics as your career develops. This is a fast-developing field, as computing and technology progresses there are an increasing number of new opportunities within robotics.

How do robotics engineers contribute to society?

A robotics engineer designs and builds machines to do jobs in a variety of industries.

  • Aerospace - You could be working on robotics used for space exploration .
  • Medicine/Healthcare - you could be designing robotic surgical instruments.
  • Manufacturing - Designing and maintaining product manufacturing equipment.
Robotics engineer installing a prosthetic arm

Work as an engineer in a variety of different industries

You could be designing surgical instruments or working to find the best ways to manufacture products. There are lots of opportunities to work a field which interests you.


Where could a career in robotics engineering take me?

With enough experience you could become a lead engineer who manages a team on a project. You could also choose to specialise in one area within robotics, for example surgical instruments or self-driving cars. You will gain useful knowledge and experience within a robotics engineering role. 
With experience, further training and education it is possible to move to another area within engineering if you wish. Some engineering fields have a lot of similarities with robotics engineering, such as mechanical engineering. The transferrable skills you gain in a robotics engineering role puts you in a good position to change career paths entirely down the line if you wished.

Become a robotics engineer

You can get into this job through:

What qualifications do I need to become a robotics engineer?

You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • artificial intelligence and robotics
  • mechatronics
  • robotics engineering
  • mechanical or electronics engineering
  • computer science or mathematics

If you want to also work on developing artificial intelligence then a qualification in psychology or cognitive science will also be beneficial.

Think engineering could be for you?

Become an engineer