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01/29/2021

Amazon adds robotics apprenticeship to upskilling initiative

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Eligible Amazon employees can gain hands-on training in maintenance of mechatronics and robotics technology.

As part of its $700 million Amazon 2025 employee retraining initiative, the e-tail titan is launching the Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship (MRA) Program. The program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, gives employees the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship that will train them on the skills and technical knowledge needed to fulfill mechatronics or robotics technical maintenance role. 

All Amazon employees can apply for the first phase of the MRA program. If accepted, they’ll attend classes and receive training from one of our higher education partners. Upon successful completion of this 12-week course, employees begin a year of on-the-job learning under a technical maintenance specialist. After their year of learning on the job, they will be eligible for a full-time role as mechatronics and robotics technicians.

In addition, top-performing employees who successfully complete the first phase of the program may be selected for the second phase, which provides additional training with one of Amazon’s higher education partners, followed by approximately two years of on-the-job learning, after which participants will be eligible for more skilled and higher-paying roles in technical maintenance.

According to Amazon, employees who enroll in and fulfill the MRA program requirements can expect to see their wages increase up to nearly 40% at the end of the first phase. For apprentices who are selected for and complete the second phase, the average wage can increase by up to another 48%.

Amazon began testing the program with academic partner Vincennes University in Indiana, and then expanded it to three other higher education institutions: Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina, Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania, and Dallas College in Texas. The company expects to add more education partners in the coming months.

Amazon introduced Amazon 2025 in July 2019, pledging to “upskill” 100,000 of its employees across the U.S. by 2025.