Is Being an Automation Engineer a Good Career Path?
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Factories rely on automation engineers to produce goods at the right time and at a low cost. Industrial automation is a term used to describe the process of moving work from humans to computers and robots. Despite how it may sound, industrial automation does not completely eliminate humans, as humans are responsible for creating and maintaining automated systems. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to get started as an automation engineer in the field of industrial automation and the career opportunities it offers.
Role of an Automation Engineer
The manufacturing industry has relied on automation for decades, but the business, healthcare, and financial industries have only recently adopted it. When it comes to IT automation, the focus is usually on service automation and QA testing of automated processes rather than manufacturing and factory automation. Engineers in the field of automation are tasked with eliminating errors, defects, and problems in product or software development and customer service processes.
Automation engineers can also use robotic chatbots to solve customer issues or direct customers to the right person, which can help implement this technology. Automation is also used to simplify IT help desk ticketing and service management and to produce high-quality products and software more quickly and with fewer errors. All of these goals can be achieved by automating manual processes that are either redundant or inconsistent, thereby reducing employee workloads.
Automated solutions for software processes are the work of an automation engineer. Working with other teams to gather requirements and automate processes will be an important part of your job as an automation engineer. You may be asked to automate service or business processes as well as hardware or software. Working as an automation engineer, you should:
- Find ways to automate the software development process.
- Create and run automated quality assurance (QA) tests using scripts.
- Perform tests on databases, systems, networks, applications, hardware, and software as a group.
- Be on the lookout for bugs and flaws in your software or business processes.
- Prepare your computer for automation by setting up relevant software and databases.
- Understand how automation can improve your workflow by working with other departments in your company.
- Gather customer or end-user requirements to develop the most effective automation solutions.
Average Salary of an Automation Engineer
QA engineer is the most common position in IT automation engineering. For QA automation engineers and similar positions, Glassdoor reports an average annual salary of $100,580. QA automation engineers with at least five years of experience are said to be paid an average of $124,000 annually.
How To Become an Automation Engineer
An automation engineer streamlines and automates a wide range of manufacturing processes using machines and software. If you’re mechanically inclined and good at troubleshooting, a career as an automation engineer might be a good fit. To become an automation engineer, here are the steps you need to take.
Step 1: Earn an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related field is typically required for automation engineers. Courses in statistics, robotics, and artificial neural networks should be included in these programs (ANN). Engineers, scientists, and IT professionals who want to work in the automation industry should take courses that focus on these subjects. In some positions, a master’s degree in a related field may be required, as well as previous experience with manual and automated testing.
What college or university degree should you get to work as an automation engineer?
Bachelor’s degree holders make up 68 percent of the workforce in this field.
Step 2: Gain Entry-level Experience
You may be able to gain hands-on experience through an internship, externship, or volunteer position while taking undergraduate or graduate-level courses. Take advantage of these chances to learn more about the business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when shadowing workers to learn more about what you can expect from the position. As a junior automation engineer, you’ll ensure that the project’s code is working properly.
Step 3: Hone your Skills
Several specific abilities are required to be a successful automation engineer. The following are a few of the more common examples:
- Adaptability: As this is a constantly changing industry, you must be able to adapt to new methods and technologies quickly.
- Communication Skills: You may be asked to explain novel and complex ideas to a multidisciplinary team. Communication skills are necessary. Record-keeping in this highly regulated industry may necessitate an ability to communicate effectively in writing.
- Computer Skills: Working with computers, particularly in programming and software development, is necessary.
- Problem-solving Skills: There is a good chance that you will have to deal with problems and come up with creative solutions.
Step 4: Become Certified
A certification in automation engineering can help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs as an automation engineer. One of the following automation certifications is an excellent place to start.
The International Society of Automation (ISA) offers the Certified Automation Professional (CAP) designation, demonstrating competence in the automation industry because the exam covers a wide range of automation topics.
An engineer with a license in control system engineering, this credential emphasizes process control and is awarded by the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Step 5: Improve your Knowledge
Like those in other computer-related fields, automation engineers must keep up with software and computer program changes. Sometimes, you may be asked to complete additional training when new programs are released or attend industry seminars. Attending conventions sponsored by the industry is another option where you can see how automation works first-hand. These gatherings may also provide you with helpful hints.
If you’re looking to work as an automation engineer, your level of expertise is critical. When it comes to working as an automation engineer, things are a lot better. Automating these tasks, such as writing code and testing software, is possible from a distance. You’ll still have to visit your clients or tour their workplaces as an automation engineer.
If you need more information about getting started as an automation engineer, drop your questions in the comment section below.