Robotics / Automated Systems Technology A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose Robotics / Automated Systems Technology A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

  • 5 new welding robots increasing current technology offered – 23 total robots used for training.
  • Remodeled and updated classrooms and lab areas
  • Starting salaries $45-$57K
  • Grads can travel both domestically and internationally installing robotic equipment
  • Placement 95 – 100%
  • BSU Articulation AAS or Diploma
  • Member of Robotics Industries Association

About the Program

Robotics Automated Systems Technology at Central Lakes College, Staples Campus, is sponsored by the Robotics Industries Association, and provides technical training and education for those interested in obtaining a career in the Robotics or Automated Industry. The Robotics program at Central Lakes College, Staples Campus prepares students in the areas of robotics theory, electronics, and the repair of industrial robots.

The demand for highly skilled technicians grows with the increased use of automation in the manufacturing sector. As robotic applications replace monotonous and hazardous production positions, many new job positions are created in the areas of application, operation, maintenance, and repair of industrial robots. Graduates find abundant employment opportunities in automotive and aerospace manufacturing, machine tool companies, the packaging industry, systems integrators, nuclear power, and robotic manufacturers.

Manufacturing in the News:

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
MTRD 1130 Intro to Engineering Graphics (2 cr)
MTRD 1264 Intro to Machining Process (2 cr)
RAST 1101 Industrial Electronics I (3 cr)
RAST 1104 Introduction to Automation (2 cr)
RAST 1109 Computers in Industry (2 cr)
RAST 1110 Intro to Manufacturing (2 cr)
RAST 1111 Industrial Electronics Lab I (2 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total – 21 Credits

Spring Semester
MATH 1420 College Algebra (3 cr)
RAST 1102* Industrial Electronics II (3 cr)
RAST 1103* Motors and Drives (3 cr)
RAST 1113* Motors & Drives Lab (3 cr)
RAST 1206* Programmable Logic Controllers I (3 cr)
RAST 1212* Industrial Electronics Lab II (2 cr)
General Education (3 cr)
Total – 20 Credits

Summer Session
RAST 2101* Application Planning & Layout (2 cr)
RAST 2106* Industrial Electronics III (2 cr)
RAST 2116* Industrial Electronics Lab III (2 cr)
Total – 6 Credits

Second Year – Fall Semester
RAST 2105* Transducers (2 cr)
RAST 2132* Robotic Programming (3cr)
RAST 2151* Robot Integration Lab (6 cr)
RAST 2165* Fluid Power (2 cr)
RAST 2355* Programmable Logic Controllers II (2 cr)
General Education (3 cr)
Total – 18 Credits

Spring Semester
RAST 2154* Robot Controller Maintenance (2 cr)
RAST 2395* Advanced Robot Controller Programming (2 cr)
RAST 2390* Robotics Internship (1-3 cr)
or RAST 2399* Independent Study (1-3 cr)
Total – 5 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Detailed Program Information

Career Description: Robotic automated systems technicians are an integral part of modern manufacturing firms. Knowledge of robotic programming, flexible manufacturing, CAD systems, industrial communications and overall system integration is essential. Technologies such as new-generation robot controllers, sensors, and electrical control systems have created a need for highly specialized training. Career opportunities are available for robotic technicians in the building, repairing, installing, maintaining, and programming of robotic automated systems. Robotic technicians are valued by industry employers for their problem-solving skills.

Program Information: The Robotics Automated Systems Technology Program uses the curriculum of technical industry standards set forth by the Robotics Industry Association (RIA) along with a strong advisory board made up of industry leaders in the different manufacturing career areas. The program has the largest robotics automated systems lab in the upper Midwest. Students are trained on the same robots, controllers, and programming languages used by automated manufacturing companies.

Special Program Requirements:

Students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete one-third (23) of their credits at Central Lakes College.

Accreditation: Robotics Industry Association

Career Opportunities: Employment opportunities are abundant in automotive manufacturers, aerospace manufacturers, machine tool companies, welding and fabrication, packaging machinery manufacturers, robotic system integrators, nuclear power facilities, and robotic manufacturers. Selected employers of recent graduates include: 3-M, Acieta, Brenton Engineering, Delkor, Douglas Machine, Fanuc, Graphics Packaging, Hales, Hegman Machine Tool, Motoman, PAR Systems, PRI Robotics, Robotics Automation, Wolf Robotics, and Yaskawa Motoman Robotics.

Career Titles: Examples of career titles held by people in this field include field service technician, field service engineer, applications programmer, electrical controls engineer, automated systems technician, automated systems machine builder and production systems technician.

Advisory Board: Robotics Automated Systems Technology Advisory Board

Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Identify and apply appropriate safety procedures;
  • Apply knowledge and skills in electrical systems;
  • Apply knowledge and skills in mechanical systems;
  • Apply knowledge and skills in creating program code;
  • Analyze and apply specific troubleshooting knowledge and technology in the areas of electrical, mechanical, software and program code;
  • Apply effective communication and interpersonal skills as an individual and as a team member.

Transfer Opportunities

Transfer Opportunities: Courses in this program transfer to Bemidji State University, St. Cloud State University, and North Dakota State University.


nateNathan Peterson
Nathan Peterson graduated from Brainerd Staples Technical College with a diploma in Robotics Automated Systems Technology and an Associates of Science Degree from Brainerd Community College in 1994. Immediately upon graduation, he began his robotics career working for a robotic original equipment manufacturer. After starting as an entry level field service engineer, he was promoted multiple times in responsibilities during his 12 years of employment experience to the level of a department manager. In 2006, Nathan decided to make a career change and began his teaching career where he now shares his experiences with students enrolled in the Robotics Program at Central Lakes College. During this time, he continued his education through Bemidji State University and obtained his Bachelors of Science Degree in Career and Technical Education. During his tenure at CLC, Nathan has been nominated for the BOT Educator of the Year award multiple times. Email Nate for more information

gregGreg Scheler
Greg Scheler attended St. Paul Area Vocational Technical Institute for Electro-Mechanical Technician Diploma while employed at PaR Systems Inc. During his early employment with PaR Systems he built, tested and debugged custom robotic equipment for the nuclear, aerospace, and automotive industries and was promoted to field service engineering group where he traveled both domestically and internationally installing these systems at end users’ sites. During this time, he was given increased levels of responsibilities and internal promotions until he was a Field Service Project Engineer. During this time, he was member of the Staples Technical Institutes, Robotics Automated Systems Technology Program advisory board advising on curriculum development, helping with placement of program graduates, and helping in securing related lab equipment for the program. Email Greg for more information

robbieRobert Lange
Robert Lange graduated from Central Lakes College with a diploma in Robotics Automated Systems Technology in 2001. In the spring of 2001 he accepted an internship followed by full time employment with an original equipment manufacturer. During his career he installed robotic and automated systems across the nation. Robert was promoted multiple times during his career to the level of Installation Department Manager. In 2013, Robert made a career change to become a Robotics Instructor where he now educates the students enrolled in the Robotics Program at Central Lakes College and uses his experience to better prepare the student for the Robotics career. Robert has achieved several industry certificates including Fanuc Master Certified Service Engineer, American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector, and Robotics Industries Association Certified Expert Robotic Technologist. Email Robert for more information

Student Testimonials

Aitkin, Mn – Current Student
The Robotics/Automation Program caught my attention as I was unsure of what part of engineering I wanted to do; electrical, mechanical, design, or programming. This program allowed me to explore a little of each engineering field. I have become comfortable and confident in my skills which have moved deeper into the electronics and programming as we built our capstone projects from the ground up. The program, as a whole, has allowed me to network into a very good paying internship that will permit me to continue to learn and help me to achieve my goals. I will continue my education to get my Bachelors of Applied Engineering.

Former Student – Sycamore, IL
When I attended Staples Vocational Institute in 1985, the Robotics industry was still a very young field. The program gave me a very good foundation for entering the industry and gave me a great leg up. The staff are always looking for improvements that can be made to the curriculum or teaching methods to stay current with the technology of the day so students continue to be properly prepared.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below: