What Does An Automation Engineer Do? Their Roles and Responsibilities Explained

automation engineer

There is no disputing the fact that automation will affect jobs as it will replace human efficiency and intelligence in many fields. However, experts are yet to arrive at a consensual figure on how profound the impact will be. There are different schools of thought on the subject. There are even drastically contrasting predictions on whether automation will result in job loss or job gains. Regardless of the endless debate, one fact remains – automation is here to stay. Businesses strive to incorporate automation to streamline their IT processes, drive business ahead, and improve services. They need automation engineers to initiate the process, manage its incorporation and oversee enterprise automation efforts.

The Role of An Automation Engineer

For decades automation has been a cornerstone of the manufacturing industry. However, other sectors such as healthcare, finance, housing, and service have begun embracing automation in recent years. The role of an automation engineer is to remove errors, defects, and issues in business processes.

Businesses are also increasingly using automated chatbots to help solve customer issues. Automation helps streamline IT support desk ticketing and directs customers to the appropriate department and persons. Automation is also used to streamline service management and deliver flawless quality products and software faster. The primary goal of an automation engineer is to reduce the workload on employees and improve efficiency and reliability by streamlining redundant or inconsistent manual processes.

Automation engineers specialize in using technology to control the production and delivery of products. They work with various automation-specific processes, such as designing, programming, and testing.

Automation engineers can find huge employment opportunities in companies involved in mass manufacturing. They can look forward to getting easy employment in automobile and food-making and processing businesses. In these industries, operations are chiefly carried out by robots or similar automated systems.

If you aspire to be an automation engineer, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering at a very basic level. Moreover, master’s degree in automation engineering is a key requirement if you want to rise above the competition and remain in a short pool of eligible candidates. Also, familiarity with computer programming, thinking on your feet, and troubleshooting emerging issues are other essential requirements for becoming an automation engineer.

Responsibilities of An Automation Engineer

Automation engineers must continuously hone their skills to deliver programmed solutions for software development. You must work in close coordination with other teams to detect existing and potential problems. Likewise, the goal must be to eliminate problems by gathering information and implementing the right processes. You may have to work with hardware or software. At other times you might be asked to automate service or business processes. As an automation engineer, you must be able to:

  • Recognize automation opportunities.
  • Design and implement QA tests with scripts that test functionality automatically.
  • Run tests for various aspects such as applications, databases, networks, systems, hardware, and software.
  • Identify bugs
  • Check quality issues in business processes.
  • Install relevant applications and databases that can drive automation

You must also collaborate with business associates, partners, and industry professionals to discover methods to improve automation processes and ensure their more comprehensive implementation. The information must be gathered from clients and customers to develop automation solutions that can serve your organization’s needs in the best possible manner.

Skills You Need To Acquire As An Automation Engineer

As an automation engineer, you must specialize in a range of technical skills and soft skills. You must also understand the systems, networks, hardware, and software you are working with and have the skills to collaborate with other relevant individuals and organizations to remain current with the latest developments in the industry.

Automation engineers must compulsorily have excellent skills in SQL, Java, C#, and other tools and languages. The demand for such languages may vary by industry. Working knowledge of desktop OS, mobile, and web systems is also mandatory.

Those with added experience and expertise in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can expect an easy pathway in the job marketplace. You must also develop leadership skills as you will be involved in cross-departmental automation processes.

Some of the most common skills an automation engineer must have are:

  • Automation
  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Programming and coding
  • Project management
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Communication and leadership skills
  • Agile, cloud, and DevOps


As an automation engineer, you are required to be in charge of developing comprehensive design specifications. Also, skilled automation engineers must be adept at developing automation software based on specific requirements for an organization’s or industry’s unique processes. They must work with an eye on local standards, international criteria, and other process-oriented standards.

Their duties also generally include the recreation and testing of automated machinery and processes. Moreover, some of the most in-demand skills an automation engineer must have include experience in configuration software and a high level of expertise in scripting and coding expertise. Try to acquire as many relevant certifications as possible to add to your depth of knowledge of automation technology.