Advice and Tips for Graduates of Mechatronic Engineering
Mechatronics is an emerging multi-disciplinary engineering field that combines mechanical, software, electrical, computer, control and systems design engineering to design, build and maintain efficient products and machineries that use electronic and computer control systems (e.g. robots, motor vehicles, power generators, component and goods handling systems, automatic equipment). Mechatronic Engineers are also involved with the practical application of their interdisciplinary engineering knowledge to manufacturing processes, in order to improve the safety, efficiency and productivity of industrial tasks. As the processes and operations required in modern manufacturing are gradually becoming automated, Mechatronics is an emerging field that presents new opportunities for mechatronic engineering graduate students in the future.
Career Pathways as a Mechatronic Engineering Graduate
Mechatronic graduates can expect a career pathway that easily leads into management positions or a pathway that leads into the more traditional disciplines of electronic/electrical/mechanical engineering. However, in those traditional disciplines, graduates with degrees in electrical or mechanical engineering may be viewed more favorably by employers.
3-5 Years Experience
Graduate Electrical Engineer
Automation Process Engineer
Lead Mechatronics Engineer
Where do I work and what positions are available?
Mechatronic Engineering graduates will find opportunities in large global companies developing. You will find Mechatronic engineers in diverse industries ranging from working in large global enterprises developing advanced and innovative vehicles to working in smaller ‘high tech’ companies providing equipment and software. As such, workplaces vary and include laboratories, engineering workshops and design offices to processing plants. Mechatronic engineers may also have opportunities to travel, either to view new technologies & design ideas or to attend & present at conferences.
- Asset Management engineer
- Automation engineer
- Data Logging engineer
- Electrical/Electronic engineer
- Electro mechanical engineer
- Instrumentation engineer
- Maintenance engineer
- Plant engineer
- Process engineer
- Process monitoring and plant systems engineer
- Project engineer
- Software engineer
- Systems engineer
Sectors and Employers/industries/career options:1
Computing and Electronics
Hardware and Software
Minerals and Energy
Research and Development
Employment & Salary:
The median salary for employees with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng/BE), Mechatronics Degree who are now control systems engineer is approximately AU$86,000. For control systems engineers, project management skills are associated with higher pay, whilst the effect of experience on income is moderate. (PAYSCALE). According to the 2006 ABS Census, Mechatronic engineers which are classified under “Other engineering professionals” can expect to earn between $900 to $2000 a week depending on their experience and company. Jobs in the oil and gas industry tend to be the most lucrative.3
Advice and Tips: Standing out as a Mechatronic Engineering Graduates
- What skills do I need for Mechatronic Engineering:
Mechatronic graduates utilise computers and a variety of engineering software (eg. AutoCAD) to model, design, simulate, analyse engineering systems and may need to know programming languages for their jobs. The emphasis on certain skill is determined by the nature of the job.
For Control Systems Engineer for example, popular skills include: Microsoft Office, SCADA, Project Management, Engineering Design, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)/ Automation. Students can investigate the popular skills required for their desired occupation here.4
- Do I need a master’s?
The benefits of a Masters in Engineering (Mechatronics) are debatable, and change depending on your desired employment company, location, and the specific mechatronic engineering position you desire. Students should consider these factors before pursing a master’s.
What do Mechatronic Engineers do?
The day-today tasks and duties of Mechatronic engineers vary depending on the job, industry and project. Tasks may include but are not limited to:5
- Designing, developing, maintaining and managing high technology engineering systems to automate industrial tasks
- Surveying the mechanical systems to make sure they are well-functioning, overseeing maintenance programs and quality control.
- Applying mechatronic or automated solutions to the transfer of material, components or finished good.
- Applying advanced electronic control systems, which are usually computer-driven.
- Researching and assessing new product innovations and designing and assisting with the manufacture of consumer products such as cameras and video recorders.
- Applying electronic and mechanical processes and computers to tasks where the use of human labour may be dangerous such as underwater exploration
- Research the practicality, cost implications and performance benefits of newly designed mechatronic equipment.
1 Eng.unimelb.edu.au,. 'Engineering Mechatronic Careers'. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 July 2015.
2 Engineersaustralia.org.au,. 'What Is Mechatronics? | Engineers Australia'. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 July 2015.
3 Careercentre.dtwd.wa.gov.au,. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 July 2015.
4 Payscale.com,. 'Control Systems Engineer Salary (Australia)'. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 July 2015.
5 Jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au,. 'Mechatronic Engineer | Job Guide'. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 July 2015.