Automation Engineering has really kicked off in recent times and has become one of the noblest professions in the world.
Automation engineers are experts who have the knowledge and ability to design, create, develop, and manage systems, for example,
factory automation, process automation, and warehouse automation.
According to Wikipedia, Automation engineering is the integration of standard engineering fields.
Automation engineers make work easier for people by building systems to carry out some special tasks.
They create and apply the mechanical standards expected to control or screen the producing process.
They can be associated with creating and planning the idea, testing, establishment, and checking of mechanization forms.
The wellbeing of the office and its staff just as item quality, are key duties of those in this field.
All mechanization work needs to hold fast to inside organization SOPs, just as outer industry controls.
How to become an Automation Engineer
Basically, what you need is a Bachelors’s certificate in a robotization,
process control, or electrical building which is the main ticket course into Automation Engineering jobs.
There are so many progressively particular capabilities accessible for
people inside the field or the individuals who are hoping to enhance a less relevant base qualification.
Skills You Must Have, To Become An Automation Engineer
To become an automation engineer isn’t an easy task. There are some ideal
skills an individual must have before he can be on his way to becoming part of the Automation Engineers in the world.
The skills are:
Excellent Computer Skills
Is there any need to explain this? Computer skills have been in high demand these days for any job.
Getting very familiar with how the computer works is a very important skill
for all automation engineers particularly in program and software development.
Many aspects of the role of an Automation Engineer require the use of a computer.
A potential Automation Engineer most have good communication skills.
He should be able to talk to stakeholders and assure them of perfect results.
He will also need to be able to explain simple and complex ideas to stakeholders of all levels and within multidisciplinary teams.
An automation engineer will also need written communication skills in order to keep records
Problem-solving and creative thinking as an automation engineer, you will be required to troubleshoot problems as they arise and effective solutions.
Organizational skills you must be able to show organization skills. Have the ability to provide and set the priorities straight.
Flexibility & Adaptability you should be able to adapt to the latest machinery and technologies around you.
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Licensing and Certification for Automation Engineers
Licensing is very important in all IT fields. It helps you to easily land your prospective jobs.
One of the most popular certifications in the automation engineering field is the control system engineer license,
which demonstrates an understanding of instrumentation and automated controls.
Getting certified as a control system engineer will also give you a large
opportunity and qualify you for certain employment opportunities, as more than 40 organizations that use automated systems recognize this title.
The highest level of certification for automation engineers is the position of certified automation professional.
This is a title held by only around 400 professionals in the world.
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There are only a few degree programs in the U.S. available in automation engineering.
That is why most automation engineers earn their bachelor’s degrees in
mechanical or electrical engineering and then learn the internal aspects of automation engineering on the job.
Mechanical or electrical engineering courses may include robotics, statistics, fluid dynamics, and databases.
Some automation engineers pursue master’s degrees in some of these related fields.
Getting a certificate or license can greatly help you find a job as an automation engineer.
An individual holding the license of a control system engineer can
demonstrate his or her understanding of instrumentation and the automatic control of dynamic processes.
Also, an individual may also become a certified control systems technician,
a title recognized by more than 40 companies that use automation systems.
Finally, one may become a certified automation professional, these individuals are often found in higher-level positions since this difficult
certification is held by only about 400 automation engineers in the world.
Required Skills to Become an Automation Engineer
According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it has been reported that automation engineers must have the following qualities:
- An automation engineer must have a strong understanding of computer programming and software development
- He or she must also have the ability to troubleshoot equipment problems and perform complex system tests
- You must have creative thinking skills
- Have a Detail-oriented personality
- Have Excellent manual dexterity
- Possess the ability to communicate well to other members of the development team
Employment and Salary Outlook
According to research conducted, manufacturing is increasingly moving toward automated processes to reduce the amount of labor needed.
Thus, automation engineers are most likely to have good job prospects in the coming years.
The BLS noted that job growth for mechanical engineers, a closely related field, was predicted at 5% for 2014-2024.
The average annual salary for automation engineers was $106,629, according to a survey by Automation.com in 2015.
Essential Information on schools that offer Automation Engineering
For Students interested in learning more about automation engineering,
which is related to the design and/or repair and maintenance of automated equipment and machines,
including computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines or robots, there are several different types of education programs to choose from.
Certificate programs are available in automation engineering, which prepares students for careers in manufacturing.
At the associate’s level, programs are often found in automation engineering technology.
These programs often include hands-on labs, and students are prepared for technician careers related to the repair of automation machines.
Bachelor’s degree programs in automation technology typically include
some engineering coursework and prepare graduates for more advanced technical or supervisor roles.
All three programs will require that students be high school educated before enrolling, preferably with a strong math and science background.
Students can expect to spend one to two semesters studying a certificate,
two years for an associate’s degree, and four years for a bachelor’s degree.
These programs do not typically qualify graduates for engineering positions; however, students interested in becoming licensed engineers
could consider undergraduate degrees in mechanical or electrical
engineering, which may include some coursework in automation engineering.
Certificate in Automation Technology
Certificate programs are designed for individuals interested in entry-level employment in manufacturing facilities.
Preparation for positions in the food-processing, oil, mining, and chemical
industries require learning machining, electrical circuits, and how to program a logic controller.
As preparation for industrial environments, prospective automation technicians learn how to use a variety of industrial cutting tools
as well as how to debug and operate robotic equipment. Additional topics of study include:
- Computer-integrated manufacturing
- Motor controls
- Electrical circuits
- Industrial automation
- Computerized numerical control (CNC) programming
Associate of Applied Science in Automation Engineering Technology
These programs are hands-on, requiring students to use pliers, soldering
irons, screwdrivers, and wire strippers to analyze and repair both analog and digitally-based networked systems.
In order to prepare graduates for these manually intensive careers, laboratory-work makes up a significant amount of the curriculum.
Graduates are prepared for industrial careers specific to process controls.
Students use circuit design and electronics principles to debug machines,
the program controls, and otherwise streamline the fabrication process. Programs train students in topics like:
- Algebra and trigonometry
- Controls and sensing
- Network maintenance
- Process controls
- Software tools
Bachelor of Science in Automation Technology
Students learn about computers, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing technology, as well as management within the technology field.
Some programs are designed to suit the needs of the manufacturing sector or specific industrial applications, such as automated building control.
At this level, students can prepare for supervisory-level positions in automation.
In addition to learning about materials and processes, course work may include:
- Computer-aided design
- Tool design
- Robotic controls
- CNC materials
- Programmable controllers
Popular Career Options
The highest employment levels for individuals with automation engineering technology backgrounds were found in engineering services
and semiconductor or navigational controls manufacturing, according to
the May 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Entry-level workers are qualified to hold job titles such as:
- Calibration mechanic
- Generation technician
- Controls technician
- Instrumentation programmer
- Automation technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Of the categories the BLS sorts the field of engineering technicians into,
electro-mechanical and electronics are the most relevant to this field (www.bls.gov).
BLS reports showed that electro-mechanical engineering technicians held 14,720 posts as of May 2015.
At the same time, electrical and electronics engineering technicians had 139,080 jobs, according to the same source.
Electronics engineering technicians were expected to see a 2% decline between 2014 and 2024 and electro-mechanical technicians were projected
to see a 1% increase in employment, according to the BLS job outlook report.
The relative lack of change in these types of jobs has been attributed to the
industrial sector’s desire to streamline processes, thus eliminating excess jobs.
Electro-mechanical technicians took home a median annual wage of $53,340, according to the May 2015 BLS report.
The same report shows that electronics engineering technicians earned a median annual salary of $61,130.
Continuing Education Information
Career professionals are able to enroll in 4-semester certificate programs in order to learn about new technologies.
Alternately, those with a bachelor’s degree in automation technology are
eligible to apply for a Master of Science in Automation Engineering program.
These programs help students enhance their skills in information management, 3-D modeling, system design, and materials engineering.
Prospective automation engineering technicians are able to enroll in certificate, Associate of Applied Science,
and Bachelor of Science programs in automation or automation engineering technology.
These programs teach students the basics of physically working with
electronics, with four-semester certificates for career professionals and master’s degree options for bachelor’s graduates.