Thinking Tech

The robotics industry is hiring

Posting in Design

Nearly three-quarters of robotics companies expect to grow in the next five years.

If you're in danger of being replaced by a robot, can you get a job in the robotics industry? Maybe.

Even though the industry is still "nascent," according to a survey by Robotics Business Review, it's growing, and a majority of robotics companies expect to hire people for both technical and non-technical positions within the next couple of years.

Here's a snapshot of the robotics industry, taken from a survey of 117 U.S. companies that manufacture, resell or use robots -- with the customers for robots still being the least common.

- Half of all robots are developed for researchers or academics. Defense and other industries follow and are tied at 39%. Consumer robots are 37% of the market, and they're more popular than educational or healthcare robots.  "Other" robots and robot services make up over a fifth of the market.

- Over half of robotics companies are in the West (there's a concentration in Silicon Valley and one around the defense industry in Southern California) or the Northeast (the Boston area).

- Small robotics companies predominate -- 60% of companies have fewer than 50 employees, while only 16% have over 1,000 employees. Nearly 40% of companies have less than $1 million in revenue.

- Nearly three-quarters of robotics companies expect to grow in the next five years.

- Most of the vacancies are for engineering and scientific positions -- R&D, software, mechanical and electrical and systems engineering, hardware design, and Quality Assurance and testing. However, non-technical employees will be hired too, especially in sales and marketing.

- The most desirable engineering candidates also have other skills -- the ability to solve problems, think critically, work on their own and on teams, communicate, show leadership and be professional.

In that sense, the robotics industry is just like any other industry.

(Photo by Singapour Année)

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Deborah Gage

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Deborah Gage has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Minnesota Public Radio, Baseline and various magazines and newspapers. She is based in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure