There's a growing need for technicians with the ability to install, maintain, operate and innovate these ever-evolving systems.

Share story

Manufacturing and production facilities are becoming increasingly reliant on technology that improves efficiency and precision. This is creating a need for technicians with the ability to install, maintain, operate and innovate these ever-evolving systems.

Mechatronics technicians integrate knowledge of machines, electronics and control systems to analyze and problem-solve 21st-century manufacturing systems. Technicians require professional training in industrial automation technology, combining the fields of machine maintenance, electronics and robotics.

A typical mechatronics job may include inspecting, troubleshooting and repairing electrical and electronic components. Technicians work alongside engineers and scientists, and their hands-on experience can be invaluable in the research and development of production. Technicians, as well as engineers, are needed in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, aerospace and other industries.

“The manufacturing industry is undergoing rapid metamorphosis,” says Lauren Hadley, acting director of Manufacturing at Shoreline Community College. “As robotics booms and automation becomes more prevalent, today’s jobs are about learning to manage those automated systems and to really merge the technology with the labor.”

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access: $1 for 4 weeks

To meet industry demands, Shoreline offers an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Mechatronics. The degree is offered jointly with North Seattle College, and is designed to give students the skills they’ll need for jobs in robotics, manufacturing and machine maintenance.

Demand for industrial machinery mechanics in Washington state is expected to grow more than 20 percent from 2012 to 2020. Nearly 30 percent of those jobs will require some college, with more than 13 percent requiring at least an Associate of Science degree.

Skills and certifications needed for a successful career as a machinery mechanic include robotics, machining, electrical systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, welding and schematic diagrams. The median salary for industrial mechanics in 2014 in Washington state was $53,700 — $65,500 in Snohomish and King Counties.

More Advance Course

Thinking of going back to school? Visit the Advance Course special section for a useful mix of motivation and information for adults who want to continue their education toward a certificate, master’s or doctoral degree.

Nearly 40 percent of jobs for aircraft mechanics and service technicians now require some college, with more than 20 percent requiring at least an Associate of Science degree.

Skills and certifications needed for a successful career in aviation mechatronics include pneumatics, hydraulics, schematic diagrams, electrical systems and welding. The median salary for aircraft mechanics and service technicians in 2014 in Washington state was $65,000–$75,000 in Snohomish and King counties.

“Local employers are knocking down our door looking for highly trained technicians,” says Hadley. “They can’t get their open positions filled fast enough.”

Learn more at Shoreline.edu