Title of Major: Mechatronics Engineering Technology, A.A.S.
Award: Associate of Applied Science degree, A.A.S.
Total Credit Hours: A minimum of 61
About the Engineering Department
Purpose: Mechatronics is a new field in engineering that integrates a variety of different technologies - mechanical, electronics, fluid power (hydraulics & pneumatics), and computer - to control machine movements. The student begins the program with courses in mechanics, sensors, basic electronics, pneumatics, control logic, and robot programming and control. The student goes on to learn how to program a specific Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), and then writes and troubleshoots programs to control five machines. The five tasks - Distribution, Gauging, Pick & Place, Pressing and Sorting - are integrated into an assembly line that produces a real product.
The courses in this program make extensive use of computers for class learning, PLC programming, machine control, troubleshooting and machine simulation. The program provides the knowledge and skills for entry-level positions in automation-related jobs. Examples would be robot installation and maintenance, automation equipment installation, troubleshooting and maintenance, and PLC programming. Examples of industries using these skills are pharmaceuticals, food processing, beverage bottling, automated warehousing, oil production, packaging, electronics assembly, medical equipment production and the military.
The U.S. Department of Labor has referenced mechatronics as a new and emerging growth area, and mechatronics has also been identified as one of the in-demand industry clusters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect employment data or wage data on mechatronics technicians; however, industry sources suggest that the annual wage is about $50,000, and the job outlook is bright through 2018. The National Council on Competitiveness estimates that 100 million new jobs will be created in the 21st century at the intersection of disciplines rather than in individual disciplines. Mechatronics technicians exhibit this multi-disciplinary or multi-skilled requirement.
Range of Occupations
- Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment
- Maintenance and Repair Workers
- Maintenance Workers, Machinery
- Electro-Mechanical Technicians
- Robotics Technicians
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
- Automation Technicians
- Mechatronic Technicians
- Manufacturing Technicians
- Robotics Technicians
- Field Service Technicians
- Instrumentation and Control Technicians
- Programmable Logic Controller Technicians