Career Advice

What Is the Role of a Robotics Software Engineer? (With Skills)

A robotics software engineer occupies a more specialized position than other software engineers who develop code and create software. Robotics software engineering might take years of training and specific abilities to build and develop software for robotics systems. Planning your professional path as a robotics software engineer can be aided by being aware of the necessary training, education, and abilities.

In this post, we describe robotics software engineering, outline the duties of a robotics software engineer, list the essential competencies, and look at the typical pay rates for this position.

What exactly is a robotics software engineer?

A software specialist that works closely with robotics systems is known as a robotics software engineer. Robotics-based devices can be found in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, medical, military, or automotive. The robotics software engineer collaborates on the system’s design and writing of the code that instructs the hardware on how to function in response to specific inputs. For instance, a software developer might create a robotic vehicle system that intelligently corrects the car if it wanders into another lane. The engineer directs and controls the robotics system will respond to the input of the automobile swerving.

What is the role of a robotics software engineer?

Some of the many responsibilities of robotics software engineers are:

Coding creation and modification

Writing and editing programming code is a robotic software engineer’s main responsibility in the field of robotics. They are conversant in several computer languages, including C++, Python, HTML, and JavaScript. They employ these abilities to write code by the functionality intended for the software. Hardware and software developers collaborate closely to make sure the hardware is capable of carrying out the necessary tasks that the software directs it to. Before releasing the finished product, they test and tweak the code to make sure it functions properly. Additionally, they must write and design the code for upcoming software upgrades and pinpoint any security issues.

Analyzing the compatibility of hardware and software

The robotics software engineer also assists in the evaluation of hardware and software integration using specialized testing procedures. For instance, an engineer may collaborate with medical experts to conduct specialized medical testing to assure functionality when developing software for a mechanical arm that can assist in surgery. An engineer also collaborates closely with the client to comprehend their design needs and offer suggestions for potential functionality. In addition to helping clients comprehend the price of their designs, they can provide recommendations on the type of software to employ for particular hardware systems.

Developing project plans, mock-ups, and status reports

In the course of the design phase, robotics software engineers produce a large number of digital and paper documents. Project maps that outline the project timeframe, individual tasks, team members, and design specifications might be a part of this. Additionally, they produce software wireframes or mock-ups for input from clients and managers. Some organizations demand that software engineers submit progress logs outlining what they accomplished, how long the process took, and when they anticipate finishing the project in its entirety. They also produce early software designs to resolve technical problems before hard programming the software.

Working together with other designers and engineers

Engineers collaborate with designers, hardware engineers, and software engineers. They take part in meetings, group chats, and assignment briefs to understand how everyone is contributing to the project. Additionally, they could collaborate with other software developers to speed up the programming. Given that robotics software engineers rarely work alone, collaboration is a crucial ability. Engineers can develop their abilities in their roles and potentially expand their professional networks via professionalism and teamwork.

Writing software instructions

Software manuals may also be written by robotics software engineers to instruct users on how to use their programs. They employ technical writing expertise and software expertise to clearly describe the features of the program to all readers. They might also assist in drafting patent papers for business software, which calls for simple administrative abilities and a thorough knowledge of the designs. Some software developers for robots only produce manuals and spend little time inside an engineering setting. If you enjoy writing, you could choose this as a career specialization.

How to Work as a Robotics Software Engineer

You can follow these steps to become a robotics software engineer:

1. Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering

In this industry, which encompasses mechanical engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering, a bachelor’s degree is typically the bare minimum demanded by companies. Additionally, some robotics software engineers seek master’s degrees. You’ll probably study classes in computer science, programming, arithmetic, mechatronics, instrumentation, and automation while pursuing this degree. It’s crucial to register for optional and mandatory courses that are pertinent to the field.

2. Improve your practical abilities

Consider expanding your education and professional experience in the following fields:

  • Statistics
  • Process control
  • Programming
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering basics
  • Automation principles
  • Material science

You can achieve this by working toward a master’s degree, finishing continuing education programs, participating in intensive training sessions, earning certifications, or acquiring work experience through fellowships and internships. You can also think about finishing a passion project unrelated to your academic obligations. The prospective employer will then have a better understanding of your skills when you share what you’ve produced with them.

3. Join organizations for professionals

Look into the various professional organizations in mechanical engineering or robotics that are available to you. These organizations are useful since their members frequently receive advantages including access to networking events, education opportunities, and a setting where you may meet people in the industry. It’s even possible that the professionals you encounter through an association or group will act as your mentors as you develop your career or will provide you with information on employers who commonly recruit for the kinds of positions you’re interested in.

4. Acquire experience

Before submitting your application for your first career as a robotics software engineer, there are a few options to gain relevant experience. An internship is one method. Even though many university degree courses demand an internship, you can still complete one. Internships are a good opportunity to get work experience and gain insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of robotics software engineers. In a similar vein, you can apply for part-time work with a company that employs robotics software engineers. After that, you can put your experience to use by working with other robotics software engineers and making contacts in the industry.

5. Test out interviewing

It’s crucial to make a good impression on the prospective employer while applying for a job as a robotics software engineer. Review some frequently asked questions that interviewers for these occupations ask, then practice your responses with a friend or other trusted advisor to get ready. A hiring manager can be interested in learning more about your abilities, the computer applications you’ve used, and certain aspects of your experience.

Essential capabilities for robotic software engineers

The major competencies used by robotics software engineers are listed below. You might improve as a candidate for a position as a robotics software engineer by striving to develop these abilities:


When collaborating on various projects, robotics software engineers use several programming languages. C++, Java, Python, and other programming languages are frequently used. Additionally, robotics software engineers frequently use proprietary programming languages that are unique to the manufacturer. Robotics software engineers are frequently sought after by employers that value their aptitude for learning new languages as well as their familiarity with the most widely used ones.


Robotics development is a difficult process. As problems develop, robotics software engineers apply their problem-solving abilities to handle them. This could be putting novel hypotheses to the test, looking into related robotics projects, or checking the robotic’s code for faults.


A whole team is needed for many robotics projects. These team members could comprise several engineers, program managers, and a user experience specialist. Whether or not their teammates have the same degree of technical expertise, robotics software engineers must be able to communicate clearly with one another. This includes exchanging ideas, accepting and applying criticism, clarifying technical issues, and occasionally giving presentations.

The discipline of robotics constantly experiences learning advances. Robotics software engineers frequently possess active learning abilities, which means they spend time away from the office learning about these most recent advancements. To do this, you might study research papers, go to conferences, or connect with other robotics software engineers. Robotics software engineers can improve the outcomes of their projects by bringing fresh ideas to them by keeping up with the newest advancements in the field.

Competencies for robotics software engineers

Software engineers who work with robotics often possess a strong foundation of fundamental abilities. These abilities may consist of:

  • Coding skill: Robotics software engineers possess a solid understanding of one or many computer languages. Because complex programming is frequently required for robotics systems, developers always strive to get better at this skill.
  • Teamwork: The capacity to cooperate on projects with other people and collaborate effectively in a group is another essential competency for robotics software developers. Since engineers frequently work in bigger teams, they must be able to effectively convey project inputs and objectives.
  • Computer proficiency: Robotics software engineers work extensively with computer systems and computers, thus they must be proficient in both basic and complex software, hardware debugging, and software navigation.
  • Observation: Because robotics systems’ software is capable of performing complicated tasks, the source code for those systems likewise has the potential to be intricate. Software engineers who specialize in robotics have a keen eye for detail and are aware of the things to check in their code to guarantee software performance.
  • Planning skills: Excellent planning abilities are necessary for robotics software engineers because they frequently assist in developing project deadlines and maps. They might also make plans on how to organize their day to be as productive as possible.

Robotic engineering careers

Examine these related jobs, their salaries, and their main responsibilities if you are interested in working in robotics engineering. 

1. Controls engineer

National average yearly salary: $53,451

Primary responsibilities: A controls engineer creates the machines and other support equipment that craftspeople utilize to produce items. They create procedures that concentrate on improving operational effectiveness and resolving any problems that may arise.

2. CAD creator

National average yearly salary: $67,256

Primary responsibilities: A CAD designer is in charge of creating technical drawings that assist civil engineers and architects in designing infrastructure such as buildings, airports, bridges, and highways.

3. A mechanical engineer

National average yearly salary: $80,076

Primary responsibilities: A mechanical engineer creates the tools and machinery required to facilitate mechanical operations. They can design anything, including power generators and lifts, and they can also maintain, fix, and upgrade these systems. To guarantee that the equipment they have created satisfies criteria, mechanical engineers often supervise its production.

4. Production Engineer

National average yearly salary: $81,063

Primary responsibilities: A manufacturing engineer is in charge of designing and analyzing production procedures as well as the particular machinery employed in the production process. They create a workflow, write reports, make sure all equipment complies with standards, and provide a cost estimation of the business operations.

5. Hydraulic engineer

National average yearly salary: $87,172

Primary responsibilities: The upkeep of hydraulic power-using systems is the responsibility of a hydraulic engineer. They research systems in the field, provide suggestions for improvements, devise original plans for the systems they are evaluating, and project how the system will continue to work in the future.

6. Robotics engineer

National average yearly salary: $87,239

Primary responsibilities: A robotics engineer works on developing and updating the software that aids in operating the devices as well as prototyping new pieces of equipment. They investigate the ideal robotic system production procedure and test the systems to make sure they are performing at their optimum.

7. Electrical Engineer

National average yearly salary: $87,276

Primary responsibilities: Designing and creating electrical equipment is the responsibility of an electrical engineer. They check the functionality of the equipment that is already in use and may need improvements. The electrical components of cars, cell phones, telecommunications networks, and radar systems can all be designed by electrical engineers.

8. Software engineer

National average yearly salary: $93,820

Primary responsibilities: A software engineer is in charge of developing software to support organizational needs. To determine the technology solutions they need and to maintain software upgrades as required, they engage with interested partners. Additionally, software programmers keep up with documentation and instruct users.

9. Automation Engineer

National average yearly salary: $95,810

Primary responsibilities: An automation engineer creates automated machinery as well as the entire processes that it supports. They evaluate these pieces of equipment as well to make sure they are still working properly and adhere to requirements. If automation engineers find any flaws or issues with the equipment, they could need to make changes.

Salary information on a national scale

Although there isn’t any specific compensation data accessible for robotics software developers, you can use that figure as a general point of comparison. The average yearly income for software engineers is $96,861. Senior software engineers typically make $118,426 a year, with experience and seniority having the opportunity to improve those salaries. If you want to earn more money and have access to greater workplace benefits, think about getting a master’s degree and working in leadership roles in software engineering.

Cities with the best salaries for robotics engineers

Check out this list of the US cities where robotics engineers can earn the most money. 

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: $ 87,335 annually
  • Milwaukee, WI: $ 87,476 annually
  • Austin, Texas: $90,351 annually
  • Pasadena, California: $91,519 annually
  • California, Santa Barbara: $91,907 annually
  • Boston, Massachusetts: $99,714 annually


Engineering jobs in robotics can be quite lucrative. The following considerations should be made as you contemplate this career path:

  • You must commit to lifelong learning. The technological world is always shifting and evolving. You must commit yourself to keeping up with technological developments if you want to be relevant and competitive.
  • Be solution-oriented. You might occasionally run into issues. When that happens, you might need to have the ability to step back and concentrate on searching for a solution instead of becoming trapped in the issue.

If any of the following apply to you, a career in robotics engineering may be the best choice for you:

  • You are dedicated to lifelong learning.
  • You flourish in an intellectually stimulating setting.
  • You exhibit high levels of initiative, morality, competence, and responsibility.
  • You can manage numerous projects, prioritize conflicting needs, and efficiently manage your time.
  • You have strong organizational, analytical, and problem-solving abilities.

By comprehending the basic components, start acquiring the basics and technical abilities necessary for a robotics career.

Frequently Asked Questions on robotics software engineers

  • How many years is the training period for robotic engineers?

After graduating from high school, most robotics engineers will finish a minimum of six to eight years of schooling. In addition, before getting a license in the state in which they operate, they need to have several years of professional experience.

  • How can I begin my robotics career?

A college degree with a concentration in computer science, engineering, or mathematics is frequently the initial step toward a career in robotics. You can prepare for the coding elements of the work by training in computer science, and you can prepare for developing a robot’s hardware by studying mechanical engineering.

  • Is a job in robots rewarding?

Engineers in robots do receive good pay. Robotics engineers are in charge of creating the systems that robots utilize and the robots themselves. They generate plans and parts for building robots using computer-aided software applications.

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