Are you a born problem-solver who takes pleasure in taking on novel challenges? You might appreciate using computers while also disassembling objects to learn how they operate. A job in mechatronics engineering might be ideal for you if that describes you.
What is a mechatronics engineer? What do engineers in mechatronics perform? Continue reading to discover more about a common path to pursuing this satisfying career.
What is a Mechatronics Engineer?
Engineering has a subfield called mechatronics. Although it is sometimes thought of as a young, developing subfield, the phrase “mechanical electronics” really dates back to 1969, when a Japanese engineer chose to combine the words “mechanical” and “electronics” to express the new electronic features of developing industrial equipment. However, the name didn’t really take off until recently; nowadays, mechatronics is widely acknowledged as a distinct subfield of engineering.
What precisely are mechatronics and a mechatronics engineer, then? Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that integrates aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering, control systems, robotics, and other fields. Engineering in systems, computers, and telecommunications are also included in mechatronics.
To put it another way, a mechatronics engineer is a highly competent individual who combines various knowledge and skills and uses them to address challenging problems with contemporary equipment and systems. Employers are placing more significance on mechatronics experts as fewer systems and devices are now entirely mechanical or electrical.
Modern products, however, often straddle those divides (such as Internet-connected window treatments and robotic surgical equipment). Mechatronics engineering is becoming more and more well-liked since modern systems and machines frequently require the attention of an engineer with a broad, diverse skill set.
A Typical Job Description for a Mechatronics Engineer
Nearly every industry, including the automotive, industrial automation, aerospace, and information technology services, employs mechatronics engineers. Their employer and the project they are working on will have a big impact on how they spend their days. However, generally speaking, a typical job description for a mechatronics engineer will include the following items:
- Identify issues affecting industry or consumers, then use engineering principles to create creative solutions.
- Create new goods by fusing electronic, robotic, artificial intelligence, or automated systems with physical systems.
- Examine current goods and procedures, such as those used on an assembly line, and search innovative ways to enhance or automate them.
- Modeling and analysis of mechatronic systems in practice
All of the responsibilities listed in the job description for a mechatronics engineer are designed to improve, simplify, or protect people’s lives in some way. Mechatronics engineers, like all engineers, are genuine problem solvers and tinkerers at heart who relish taking on the difficult difficulties impeding societal advancement.
Are Mechatronics Engineers in High Demand?
Mechatronics engineers are not directly tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however data for the related field of mechanical engineering technology is available. Aspiring mechatronics engineers may gain some insight by looking at these career patterns.
According to the BLS, firms are anticipated to hire at a rapid rate, with the job growth rate for mechanical engineering technologists and technicians estimated to be roughly 2% from 2021 to 2031. Through 2031, the BLS estimates that companies will hire 4,200 new mechanical engineering technologists and technicians annually.
What Is the Path to Mechatronics Engineering?
Talk to your high school guidance counselor about adding extra pertinent courses to your schedule if you are still in high school and eager to pursue a career in this exciting subfield. These include pre-calculus, engineering 101, and advanced physics or chemistry. You might also find it useful to take courses in computer science, electronics, and circuits.
You must complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering after high school. Even while not all colleges offer a mechatronics-specific degree, it’s a smart idea to hunt for one that does. For instance, you might graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on mechatronics.
You will have to pass two professional tests after receiving your bachelor’s degree. After graduating, you’ll be qualified to take the first exam, and after gaining some work experience, you’ll be qualified to take the second.
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Get Your Mechatronics Degree Emphasis
Getting a mechatronics degree after high school is the first step toward becoming a mechatronics engineer. You could, for instance, register in a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a Mechatronics Emphasis degree. Regardless of the school you select, you can generally anticipate studying the following subjects:
- Electric circuit fundamentals, including a look at operational amplifiers, mesh analysis, series and parallel load configurations, transient analysis, and node analysis
- Real-world applications for static analysis of 2D and 3D stresses on static systems
- The use of advanced control software to govern electrical and mechanical systems using lumped parameter models
- Using complex computer-aided design (CAD) tools for both design and production
- Processes for manufacturing, assembling, and material handling automation
You will also study calculus, physics, and chemistry, which are crucial core subjects for engineering students. You’ll probably enroll in one or more capstone courses, project-based classes that let you apply what you’ve learned. For instance, you’ll gather information, create project concepts and feasibility analyses, coordinate timely group effort, and create a prototype.
The greatest degree required to pursue a satisfying job in this profession is often a bachelor’s degree plus industry accreditation.
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Obtain FE Credentials
You’ll be ready to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test, which is given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), after receiving your bachelor’s degree in mechatronics. Although passing the FE exam is not necessary to become a certified mechatronic engineer, it can help you further your career. However, passing this initial exam does not grant licensure; you must pass a second exam after acquiring some work experience in order to become licensed.
A scheduled break is included in the lengthy FE exam. The FE exam is offered in several forms for seven distinct engineering specialties. There isn’t currently a FE test designed just for mechatronics engineering. Nevertheless, a lot of motivated mechatronics engineers sit for the mechanical engineering FE exam. You could also decide to take the FE exam for electrical and computer.
Obtain Experience in Professional Employment
You will be referred to as a “engineer intern” (EI) or a “engineer-in-training” (EIT) once you pass the FE exam. Until you pass the second exam and receive your engineering license, you are unable to use the title “engineer”. You must first accumulate several years of full-time work experience in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. (A licensed engineer is not required to work in an engineering position as an EI or EIT.)
Obtain Your PE Certifications
You’ll be qualified to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam if you’ve fulfilled the appropriate job requirements. Similar to the FE exam, there are multiple PE test variants for distinct engineering specialties. There isn’t a mechatronics test yet, but you can opt to take the PE exam in mechanical, electrical, control, industrial, or systems engineering.
You can call yourself an engineer after completing your PE exam. Be cautious to examine the rules for the state where you plan to work as some jurisdictions may demand mechatronics engineers to renew their licenses on a regular basis.
Also Read: 20 Jobs You can Get with an Associate Degree
Difference Between Mechanical Engineering Technology and Mechatronics Engineering
You must first obtain a bachelor’s degree if you intend to pursue a career in engineering. But what’s the difference between a mechatronics degree emphasis and a mechanical engineering technology degree, and should you pursue one over the other?
Your ability to design, develop, assess, and improve mechanical systems and machinery will be enhanced by earning a standard mechanical engineering technology degree. Internal combustion engines, HVAC units, and escalators are a few examples. You will study the fundamentals and applications of natural laws, such as the laws of force, motion, and energy, in your classes. Electrical engineering is another subject you might look into, but it won’t be your main focus.
In contrast, the concepts of mechanical engineering will also be emphasized in the mechatronics degree emphasis along with electrical engineering, electronics, and computer design. You will acquire a wide range of skills as a mechatronics student that cut across different engineering specialties. Even if the more conventional area of mechanical engineering is still flourishing, mechatronics expertise is becoming more and more valuable in today’s labor market.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do engineers in mechatronics perform?
The "intelligent" electromechanical devices and integrated systems that are a part of our daily lives, such as wearable technology, cellphones, 3D printers, satellite systems, and intelligent vehicle systems, are created by mechatronics engineers using a multidisciplinary and systems-based approach.
What else may mechatronics engineering be called?
Mechatronics is frequently used interchangeably with automation, robotics, and electromechanical engineering in contemporary discourse.
Is studying mechatronics challenging?
Not at all, no. Specialized knowledge and exceptional attention to detail are required for mechanical engineering. While some people find it challenging to work in engineering, others find it exciting and fulfilling to use their skills to solve problems.
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