Summary of occupation
Mechatronic engineers design, develop and build products that combine mechanical and electronic engineering for a range of practical applications. Mechatronics also incorporates computer, control and systems design engineering, and can be used to create intelligent machines and advanced manufacturing and processing systems. Mechatronic engineers create engineering systems that automate industrial tasks, develop mechatronic solutions and electronic control systems for existing products or processes, and investigate the cost and performance benefits of mechatronic engineering solutions. Mechatronic engineers are mostly employed in engineering firms in the Perth metropolitan area.
Mechatronic engineers design, develop and build products that combine mechanical and electronic engineering for a range of practical applications.
A mechatronic engineer needs:
- an interest in mechanics and electronics
- creativity and imagination
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to work as part of a team
- practical and technical skills
- a detailed and methodical approach to their work.
Mechatronic engineers work mostly in the laboratories, workshops, processing plants and offices of engineering design firms. Their work is usually split between administrative and organisational tasks, and design and development work. They usually work regular hours, but may be expected to work longer hours at times, especially when working to a deadline. Mechatronic engineers may be required to travel to view new design ideas or technologies, or to present at or attend conferences.
On average, mechatronic engineers, as engineering professionals, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a mechatronic engineer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Mechatronic engineers use computers and computer-aided design (CAD) and other engineering software that is used specifically for modelling, simulating and analysing complex mechanical, electronic or other engineering systems. They use numerical computing environments and may also need to be familiar with programming languages.
To become a mechatronic engineer you usually need a degree in mechatronics engineering. Related degrees in electronics, electrical or mechanical engineering may also be appropriate.
Most of the universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.