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SME Introduces Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification

SME, a nationally recognized certifying body in manufacturing, announced that it has developed and will offer the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) credential. The new certification, focused on assessing a candidate's comprehension of fundamental robotics concepts, may be used by those currently looking to upskill or reskill into manufacturing careers before pursuing equipment-specific or career pathway-specific training in robotics. The credential can help individuals begin a lifelong career in an industry where there is opportunity for advancement and good-paying jobs.

The industry-recognized RMF credential was developed by SME along with two organizations in the robotics education area: Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and FIRST.

"Through our extensive networks in industry, education and workforce, SME identified a common need for a robotics credential that demonstrates certification holders have a basic understanding of robotics concepts before starting a more advanced training program," said Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME, and member of the Education and Workforce Advisory Committee of ARM, the Robotics Institute. "We worked closely with the REC Foundation and FIRST to validate the body of knowledge to cover topics relevant for foundational robotics topics across a wide range of industries."

The RMF credential, focused on the fundamentals of manufacturing robotics, provides a starting point for any career pathway a candidate may pursue in the field of robotics.

"The global robotics market is expected to reach $74 billion by 2026, and there is tremendous opportunity for those who want to advance their career," Kunz said. "To keep our industry thriving, we need to help meet the high demand for advanced manufacturing and robotics talent in our country."

With an RMF credential and the fundamental knowledge it represents, a candidate has many options available to them, including:

  • Entry-level employment in manufacturing jobs that involve robotics and automation
  • Pursuing further education and training toward: robotics-specific career pathway, such as a robotics technician, robotics specialist, robotics integrator or robotics engineer; equipment-specific robotics training and certification; skilled trade in which robots may be applied, such as machining or welding; industrial maintenance or mechatronics certification.

"It is important for FIRST to recognize the high value of skills and experiences that students gain through robotics programs," said Chris Rake, COO, FIRST. "The RMF credential unlocks exciting career pathways, helping us inspire young people to become leaders in robotics and advanced manufacturing, and we are proud to join SME in developing this program."

The RMF credential is especially suited for high school and college students, dislocated workers, under-employed individuals, veterans, at-risk youth and others who are seeking new employment in high-demand manufacturing jobs.

"The REC Foundation is pleased to partner with SME to create the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification as a way to recognize students that are pursuing Industry 4.0 technology careers," said Dan Mantz, CEO, REC Foundation. "Manufacturing is evolving and today's manufacturing jobs require high tech skills. But there is a critical shortage of tech workers for these jobs, so students earning this certification will have excellent career opportunities. The Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification is an exciting complement to the existing REC Foundation industry certifications in Pre-engineering and Robotics that are part of our workforce development initiatives."

Candidates may pursue the RMF credential on their own, work with their local training provider or access Tooling U-SME resources to prepare for the exam.

Tooling U-SME offers an optional preparatory program of 22 online classes covering foundational manufacturing topics such as an introduction to manufacturing, applied mathematics, robotic applications, robot systems and components, robot programming concepts and more-topics agreed upon by manufacturing experts as being relevant for foundational robotics knowledge across a wide range of industries. Following completion of the training program, passing the certification exam validates knowledge gained.

With each class lasting approximately 60 minutes, the training program can be completed in just a few weeks (typically less than one month) or in one semester as part of an Introduction to Robotics course at school, offering short-term, but comprehensive, preparation for the certification exam.

For more information contact:

SME Headquarters

One SME Drive

Dearborn, MI 48128



200 Bedford St.

Manchester, NH 03101


REC Foundation

1519 I-30 West

Greenville, TX 75402


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