Gather and analyze information about production processes.
An Automation Technologist is part computer geek and part grease monkey. Automation Technologists meet with clients and learn about how they want their machines to work. The machines may do simple things like regulating the temperature of a room, or more complex things like ensuring that a certain amount of chocolate is squirted into a mold at a precise time.
As an Automation Technologist, you take these ideas and write computer programs to make them come to life. You tweak the programs if something goes wrong, and tweak the machines if some part of the design is hindering your vision.
You may be employed by companies that design automated machinery. In this role, you spend some of your time in an office, designing programs, but mostly, you’re on the production floor, supervising how the machines are being built and how they’re working. You may have to write manuals for clients, describing how the machines are designed to work, and what to do if they malfunction.
Alternatively, you may be employed by a manufacturing company and have the primary job of keeping existing machinery running, and running well. This sort of Automation Technologist position may seem less glamorous, but it can be an opportunity for great glory, especially if you can fix problems quickly and keep production processes up and running. You may tweak the existing computer programming of the machines, or you may be required to work on the machines themselves and solve mechanical problems that crop up.