Robotics is a field that involves the maintenance, use and design of robots. Robots can be used in a wide variety of industries such as transportation, weaponry and manufacturing, reports Education-Portal.com. Robot technicians in 2010 earned salaries that ranged from $36,279 to $52,148, according to Payscale.com. Meanwhile, the average robotics engineer salary in the United States in 2010 was $61,000, reports SimplyHired.com. Several steps can help you to successfully learn the complex field of robotics online.
Complete high school courses such as computer-assisted drafting, computer technology and computer science, according to CollegeBoard.com. Other helpful courses include algebra, trigonometry and physics. These types of courses will enable you to excel in a certificate or associate degree program in robotics online.
Apply to an online certificate or associate degree program in robotics, which are designed to prepare high school graduates for careers as robotics technicians. A certificate program typically lasts 28 to 34 weeks part-time, while an associate degree program takes two years to complete. These programs require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED.
Contact your chosen academic institution to ensure you have a computer that meets the requirements of the program, which include having high-speed Internet and multimedia capabilities. During the program, you will need to be able to communicate with classmates and teachers via e-mail, watch video lectures and complete tests online. In addition, ask the school if you need a particular hardware platform or operating system if you are required to purchase robot simulation software or prototype robotics kits, reports Education-Portal.
Complete courses on subjects such as robot programming, robot mechanics and communications. You will learn how to maintain and repair industrial robotics systems in addition to how to operate control programs and sensors. Also, be prepared to complete complicated software simulations online in addition to completing associated lab courses on campus if required, according to DegreeDirectory.org.
Look for a four-year bachelor's degree program in an area such as engineering with a concentration in robotics, which can open up more opportunities in the field. With a bachelor's degree, you can land an engineering role rather than a technician position.
Robotics degree programs typically do not exist at the bachelor's level, and bachelor's degree programs that do include robotics courses usually are not available fully online. However, completing a bachelor's degree that offers robotics instruction will make you eligible to enter graduate school and thus improve your engineering job opportunities. In many cases, fully online degrees in robotics are available only at the master's level and include courses such as computer science, computer architecture, automation and modeling. When you enroll in a master's degree program, be prepared to complete laboratory work on campus if necessary as well.
- robot transformer image by Sergey Drozdov from Fotolia.com