Demand for robotics jobs continues to grow

According to Wanted Analytics, demand for workers with robotics skills has grown 29% over 2011, but there remains a lack of workers with the needed skill sets.


The IRB 120T by ABB Robotics is designed to have faster cycle speed than the IRB 120 and is designed for pick and place applications that require extensive reorientation. Courtesy: ABB RoboticsDuring May 2012, corporate recruiters and staffing firms posted over 6,000 online job ads for robotics skills, according to Wanted Analytics. Hiring demand for this skill set has grown steadily over the past three years. This represents a 29% year-over-year growth compared to May 2011 and twice the volume of job ads seen online in May 2010.

The majority of job listings were seen for engineering and healthcare positions. More than 2,000 jobs were advertised online for healthcare practitioners, the most of any occupational field, at a 46% year-over-year increase. Engineering related jobs that required robotics skills also increased, up 13% from May 2011. Other fields with high-demand for experience with robotics were technology and maintenance and repair positions, both of which also experienced year-over-year increases in the volume of online job ads. The most commonly advertised job titles that included robotics skill requirements were maintenance technician, controls engineer, manufacturing engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, software engineer, and physician/urologist.

Motoman Robotics' industrial-grade adaptive gripper. Courtesy: Motoman RoboticsThe tools, technologies, and skills that employers most commonly require in potential candidates for robotics jobs are:

1. Microsoft Office
2. Project management
3. Product development/management
4. Software development
5. Microsoft PowerPoint

Metropolitan areas with the highest volume of job listings for robotics knowledge during May 2012 were Phoenix, Detroit, New York City, Sacramento, and Chicago. Employers in Phoenix not only placed the highest number of online job ads for this skill set, but also saw some of the highest year-over-year increases at more than 600%. Detroit and Chicago also experienced growth in demand versus May 2011, while Recruiters in New York and Sacramento placed about fewer job ads for robotics skills compared to last year.

Picture 11: Robot application (automotive industry); image courtesy of KukaSacramento, in particular, has had trouble filling its need for qualified workers. Despite seeing declining number of job ads since last year, the local talent pool of qualified robotics-savvy professionals does not meet the demand. Consequently, employers in Sacramento are likely to compete heavily to attract talent. The average duration of robotics job ads in Sacramento is more than 7.5 weeks. In comparison, the Hiring Scale also shows that the easiest places to currently recruit robotics skills are Decatur (Alabama), York (Pennsylvania), Portland (Maine). These areas are likely to fill job openings faster and easier than the rest of the United States.

Wanted Analytics 

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, 

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