It's only been around since 1998 – the recognized traineeship to become a mechatronics engineer. And it shouldn't be confused with an automotive mechatronics engineer. The job profiles are oceans apart. The job title is derived from the interdisciplinary field of mechatronics – in other words, the combination of mechanics and electrical engineering / electronics – complemented by control engineering and information technology. So, do we know more about this interesting profession now? In any case, trained mechatronics engineers are highly sought-after, and the career prospects for the future are outstanding. There are currently three of these coveted traineeships at Schwalm Robotic GmbH. They are held by three young men who – on August 1, 2013 – are just starting their training or are already in their first or second year. All three of them are undergoing several rigorous years of dual training and have only one aim in their sights: to become a mechatronics engineer! Why? We put precisely this question to them in a personal interview.
The "longest-serving" trainee is Fabian Schäfer (23). He is on the verge of completing the second year of training and has already successfully passed the intermediate examination. He is the first to speak after being asked "Why?". "I found out a lot after passing the school-leaving examination and completing my stint in the Federal Armed Forces. I wanted to do something with technology. Mechatronics sounded interesting and I applied to several companies that were offering traineeships. Schwalm was one of them. And I was delighted when Schwalm accepted me. Firstly, because it's a small, family-run business and there's a pleasant working atmosphere. Secondly, and all the more important, because mechatronics engineers are electricians and metal specialists. Both specialist areas are represented here in the company and topically go hand-in-hand thanks to Schwalm being a robotic systems manufacturer. This means that here, I'm simultaneously being trained by specialists in metalworking and electrical engineering, as well as hydraulics, pneumatics and control technology. My 3½ years of training also includes measuring, testing and programming components. Simply put, the range of training is extremely broad. And it's precisely that that makes it so interesting for me."
Paul Mischin has a similar, yet different story to tell of his traineeship to become a mechatronics engineer. The 20-year-old, who will soon be in his second year of training, loves metal and sees his focus as being more on the mechanical side, supplemented by electronics. "I can see and touch metal. You can't see electricity. That's why I really like machining metals such as brass, stainless steel, aluminum, etc., by turning, milling, sawing, drilling and filing them, and observing how the metal reacts differently to the component manufacturing process. And that's down to the 100th millimeter. That fascinates me. Like my two colleagues, I attach a great deal of importance to a good education. I'm in excellent hands here at Schwalm. I have a clear focus with an aim in my sights – that is, to drive along the technician career path after successfully completing my training to become a mechatronics engineer, as well as undergoing advanced and further training."
He's been listening closely to what his colleagues have had to say – the youngest member of the team, Timothy Weil, who is 18 years of age. After holding down holiday jobs and undergoing taster courses at Schwalm, he is now also starting his traineeship to become a mechatronics engineer on August 1, 2013. Born and bred in Asbach, Timothy lives a mere 500 meters away from the company headquarters. "After recently passing the specialist school-leaving examination, I'm now looking forward to starting at Schwalm. I was able to get a few initial impressions during my holiday jobs. I can already solder a plug," smiles Timothy Weil. But it'll be full speed ahead in August, with a 3-month basic "Metal" course at Pro Waldhessen (a not-for-profit training + qualification limited liability company) in Bad Hersfeld within the context of dual training. "I'll spend 3.5 days a week in the training workshop, and 1.5 days in the vocational school in Bebra. I'll then return to my trainer, Schwalm, with the basic metal knowledge I've acquired in November."