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Automation engineers specialize in using technology to control the production and delivery of products. They work with automated machinery designing, programming, and testing processes.

As an automation engineer, you will be employed by companies operating in mass production, such as automobile manufacturing or food processing plants, anywhere where operations are primarily carried out by robots or other automated machinery.

You will need a bachelor's degree in engineering to land a job in this field, but a master's degree in automation engineering is also a common requirement. You will need to be familiar with computer programming, and you will need to be able to think on your feet and troubleshoot emerging issues related to the equipment.

What Does an Automation Engineer Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an automation engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.8% of automation engineers included python, while 7.8% of resumes included java, and 5.0% of resumes included plc. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what an Automation Engineer does

How To Become an Automation Engineer

If you're interested in becoming an automation engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.1% of automation engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.1% of automation engineers have master's degrees. Even though most automation engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Automation Engineer Job Description

An automation engineer is a technical professional responsible for the design and implementation of automated software solutions. Their duties include meeting with developers to determine software necessities, troubleshooting software issues, and identifying software weaknesses.

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Career Path For an Automation Engineer

As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, an automation engineer can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as senior quality assurance engineer, progress to a title such as quality assurance manager and then eventually end up with the title delivery manager.

Automation Engineer

Average Salary for an Automation Engineer

Automation Engineers in America make an average salary of $92,597 per year or $45 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $121,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $70,000 per year.
Average Automation Engineer Salary
$92,597 Yearly
$44.52 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Automation Engineer

The role of an automation engineer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general automation engineer responsibilities:

  • Develop and analyze master test plans, test cases, test schedules & test scripts from analysts
  • Design, develop, deploy and test our automated processes, systems
  • Lead team efforts by providing equipment specification for vendors to quote required robotic/ automated equipment. Drive reviews of equipment quotes, leads design reviews

There are several types of automation engineer, including:

Software Engineer


Software Engineers get to apply lots of different areas of study into their everyday work. Whether it's science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, or even design, these engineers are able to use lots of different methods and techniques in their line of work.

Essentially, software engineers design, develop and test software applications for computers. They usually work in offices or labs during their average 40-hour workweek. Even though they use a wide range of study, typically software engineers only require a Bachelor's degree, although a Master's degree is appealing to most employers.

  • Average Salary: $100,260
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



Engineers design and develop new products in a variety of different industries. They might be mechanical or software engineers or create electric machinery, design chemical or geotechnical processes, or help to structure civil or management disciplines. Whatever the case may be, engineers are involved in creating the diverse technologies that facilitate the processes of our lives in different areas. Combining creative thinking with the principles of mathematics and science using a wide range of technical skills, engineers work on the design, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of various products from machines, vehicles, buildings, and roads to software or social processes serving consumers, businesses, and societies.

Engineers are creative thinkers and brilliant problem solvers. They excel at mathematical, scientific, and mechanical analysis. They follow plans and blueprints with a strong focus, yet remain flexible and work well under pressure.

Engineers develop systems for solving various problems as members of a team. They know that a single component is worthless without their counterparts, so they have to be great communicators, as well, to be successful at their job.

  • Average Salary: $92,077
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Systems Engineer


If you're looking for a job that has a lot of job opportunities tied to it, look no further. Systems engineers are in full demand from all sorts of companies across multiple industries. Everyone needs an "I.T." person in their midst because it's no secret that very few actually know how to use technology.

Sure, most people may refer to you as the I.T. person, but your job is much more complicated than that. Of course, the majority of your time will be spent managing the I.T. services and solving any issues that present themselves, but you will have days that you'll have to recover important emails or divert a disaster.

The only thing stopping you from becoming a systems engineer is a bachelor's degree. Once you've got that under your belt, you'll be on your way to becoming a systems engineer. A really important aspect of being a systems engineer is having the communication skills necessary. The hardest part of your job will be "dumbing" down technology terms so that people can understand what's going on with the I.T. system. Once you get through that, the rest of your job will be easy peasy.

  • Average Salary: $82,834
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Automation Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active automation engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where automation engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Automation Engineer Jobs By State

Automation Engineer Education

Automation Engineer Majors

Automation Engineer Degrees


69.1 %


16.1 %


10.8 %

Top Colleges for Automation Engineers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




7. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For an Automation Engineer

Choose From 10+ Customizable Automation Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Automation Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Automation Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Automation Engineer diversity

Automation Engineer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among automation engineers, 13.0% of them are women, while 87.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among automation engineers is White, which makes up 67.7% of all automation engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among automation engineers is Spanish at 47.5%.

Online Courses For Automation Engineer That You May Like

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When writing software, destruction can be just as valuable as creation. Learn how to catch bugs and break software as you discover different testing methods that will help you build better software...

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Best States For an Automation Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an automation engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon. Automation engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $116,529. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $100,719 and $97,909, respectively. While automation engineers would only make an average of $96,036 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Automation Engineer Jobs: 8,274
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Washington

Total Automation Engineer Jobs: 2,632
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Oregon

Total Automation Engineer Jobs: 969
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Automation Engineers

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Top Automation Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ automation engineers and discovered their number of automation engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Apple was the best, especially with an average salary of $144,255. Arrow Electronics follows up with an average salary of $110,147, and then comes Intel with an average of $96,740. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an automation engineer. The employers include SAIC, Veeva Systems, and Bon Secours Community Hospital

Most Common Employers For Automation Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
3Arrow Electronics$110,147$52.96177
7U.S. Bank$92,295$44.3789
8Wells Fargo$90,906$43.7034
9Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories$89,219$42.8993

Automation Engineer Videos

Becoming an Automation Engineer FAQs

Are Automation Engineers In Demand?

No, automation engineers are in less demand than in recent years. Despite a slight decrease in demand, the industry does show future growth.

The field of automation engineering shows an 8% projected growth between 2021 and 2028. The 2% increase from last year is a decline from previous years. New technology that can now be coded into software has reduced some of the duties of an automation engineer.

How Can I Start A Career In Systems Administration?

You can start a career in systems administration through proper education. There are multiple areas of study relevant for someone interested in systems administration and several degree levels.

Is Automation Engineering A Good Career?

Yes, automation engineering is a good career. Several factors qualify this field as desirable to candidates curious about this career.

Nearly 80% of all automation engineers have a bachelor's degree, with only a tiny percentage holding a master's degree or higher. College graduates can therefore begin working in this field immediately following their graduation.

What Degree Is Needed For An Automation Engineer?

A bachelor's degree is needed for an automation engineer. Automation engineers hold several degrees within the field, but most have a bachelor's degree.

Approximately 70% of all automation engineers hold a bachelor's degree. Most candidates seek this degree in computer science or computer engineering. Other significant areas such as electrical and mechanical engineering represent a much smaller percentage of degrees held by automation engineers.

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