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Software & systems

Robotics engineer

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

Annual Salary

£27,500 to £54,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Robotics engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a robotics engineer you could:

  • design automated systems using computer software
  • build, program and test prototypes and fix faults
  • analyse data from robot sensors, instruments and cameras
  • report on risks, issues and project progress
  • research news ways to use robots and artificial intelligence

Possible green job

This job could help the environment.

For a robotics engineer to be a green job, you could:

  • build and fix robots in the renewable energy sector
  • design robots using biodegradable materials
  • use robotic components that are easy to recycle

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a laboratory or at a manufacturing plant.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

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 have a qualification in psychology or cognitive science, you could also work in the development of artificial intelligence.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could do a college course which might help you to find a job as a robotics technician. Courses include:

  • electronic systems engineering
  • computing
  • advanced manufacturing engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering

With further training, you could then qualify as a robotics engineer.

For more information

You could do a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship to specialise in:

  • Robotics Engineering
  • Control and Technical Support Engineering
  • Electro-Mechanical Engineering
  • Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering

These apprenticeships can take between 3 and 5 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start as a robotics technician or junior engineer. You could then study for higher education qualifications and work your way up to qualify as a robotics engineer.

More information

Career tips

You'll find it useful to join robotics engineering groups or take part in robotics design competitions to build up your skills and knowledge.

Further information

You can discover more about careers in engineering and robotics from The Institution of Engineering and Technology and Neon.

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You could become a lead engineer and be responsible for managing projects.

You could also specialise in a particular area of robotics, for example:self-driving vehicles; space exploration; surgical instruments; deep ocean research; advanced manufacturing

You'll find it useful to join robotics engineering groups or take part in robotics design competitions to build up your skills and knowledge.

You can discover more about careers in engineering and robotics from The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the UK-RAS Network.

Robotics engineers will design and build the robotics systems that will can survive the harsh environment in space. It is anticipated that robotic systems will be used to manage the critical problem of space debris and will enable ambitions like manufacturing in space.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at a local school or college

  • Maths, Computing, Product Design, Sciences A-levels
  • Level 3 Certificate in Robotics and Automation

Find a local provider

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at a local provider in the South West

  • Level 4 Diploma in Computing
  • Higher National Certificate in Electrical or Electronic Engineering
  • BEng Robotics Engineering at University of Plymouth 

Search for a degree course

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 6 degree apprenticeship in robotics engineering

Search for apprenticeship vacancies

Employers in the South West 

  • Thales Alenia Space
  • Frazer Nash Consulting
  • National Composites Centre
  • Rolls Royce
  • GKN
  • GE Aviation
  • Moog
  • Jacobs
  • Airbus
  • Universities of Bristol, Bath and West of England (UWE)
  • SpaceForge
  • BAE Systems
  • Ministry of Defence

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • maths knowledge
  • design skills and knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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