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Design, Fix, Tinker: Become a Mechatronics Technician

Last updated on July 25, 2019

Mechatronics refers to the combination of mechanics and electronics, and uses advanced manufacturing technology and automated fabrication machinery. It may have a funny and often misunderstood name, but it’s actually an advanced manufacturing field for people who are interested in diagnosing, repairing and maintaining automatic equipment. Workers test, maintain and operate machines at worksites, including factories. Advanced Manufacturing/Mechatronics associate degrees focus on either design or electronics, with several complementary certificates, to develop marketable technician skills for the dynamic world of high-tech manufacturing.

Should I Study Mechatronics Engineering? Is Mechatronics a Good Career?

In a recent study, the Manufacturing Institute projected that the industry will need to fill two million jobs over the next eight years. “Mechatronics is a great area because so many mechanical things go wrong, and it’s not that hard to learn how to fix them,” says Eastfield student Karlo Celestino. “I don’t understand why more people aren’t here learning how to do that. Everything breaks down, and you always need people to fix them.”

From microcontrollers to hydraulic systems, students are diving headfirst into the world of mechatronics. Students in the program learn how to use some of the most advanced machines available in the market today. They work on computer-controlled cutting machines to cut and shape metal blocks, such as carbide, steel and aluminum, into the parts that the instructors assign. Hands-on classes make learning fun, and research projects give students a real taste of the working world. In this program, you’ll take classes like:

  • Mechanical Principles in Automated Manufacturing
  • AC Circuits
  • Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician
  • Industrial Automation II

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll be qualified for entry-level positions in electro-mechanics and mechanical engineering technology, both of which offer average starting salaries in north Texas of $36,000 and $29,000, respectively. Bachelor’s degree programs in mechanical engineering are also available in north Texas at universities like University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University.

According to the DCCCD’s Labor Market Intelligence Center, CNC machining is one of the hardest positions to fill in the Dallas area. LMI figures reveal that the manufacturing industry in the Dallas area is the sixth-largest sector by employment, and the median wage for machinists is almost $37,000 per year.

According to program coordinator for advanced manufacturing Brian Fleming, students who graduate from his program make around $18 per hour at their first job, and sometimes they can earn even more.  He added that job openings will start to grow in the near future.

“We have a depleting workforce because the baby boomers are about to retire,” Fleming said.

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Dallas Community Colleges That Have Mechatronics Programs

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