Robotic Process Automation (RPA) represents an exciting new frontier in business technology. As companies race to develop or adopt RPA tools to streamline their front- and back-end processes, it’s worth taking a closer look at how to break into this field.

RPA is software that can be configured to conduct repetitive tasks, according to a set of pre-defined rules or processes. One of the most attractive features of Robotic Process Automation software is that it requires little to no code to operate, making it accessible to many areas within a business.

In practice, the current and potential applications of RPA are vast. Professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail businesses are increasingly deploying RPA to automate routine and manual tasks. Onboarding customers, issuing invoices, managing inventory, shipment tracking and audit planning are just some examples of how RPA is used today.

Gartner research has tipped RPA portfolios within large organisations to grow threefold by 2024, indicating that businesses will search for new ways to apply RPA to increase efficiency and save costs – and will need the expertise to make this happen.
RPA careers carry significant growth potential for Business Analysts, Data or Solutions Architects, and other IT professionals.

The Core Skills of RPA Professionals

Managing workflows is the heart of Robotic Process Automation. RPA professionals require strong analytical and planning skills, so they can parse the existing workflows within a business process before designing a bot to carry out that process. Automation is dependent on continuous testing and adjustments, so a keen ability to problem solve is crucial for identifying new use cases, troubleshooting and fixing bugs.

Software development skills are not essential for careers in RPA. According to UiPath’s 2020 State of the RPA Developer report, the split between people entering RPA from either business or technical roles is about 50-50. Many RPA tools in use today are GUI-based, making them accessible to people who do not have a background in programming.

However, if you are interested in the career path of an RPA Developer or Architect, understanding the inner workings of a specific tool or platform is critical. Python, .NET, Java, C++, and Ruby are just some examples of coding languages that can be foundational for RPA developer roles.

If you have a background in data analytics or AI, an RPA role can be an excellent vehicle for the skills you may have in machine learning, database management (such as SQL) or programming.

Career Paths in RPA

Robotic Process Automation job titles will vary by company, owing to the newness of the speciality and potential overlap with other technical roles. The core RPA job categories include:

  • RPA Developers design, build and test workflows as part of RPA implementations. As a developer, you can design software robots to work alongside humans and use robots to perform application testing to save you time. Working closely with business analysts, developers help document workflows and assist with maintenance. An RPA Developer role can also be part of another role where automation can provide significant improvements to processes. Some data centre jobs, for example, use automation in critical monitoring and backup processes.
  • RPA Business Analysts work alongside RPA Developers to collect and analyse data for automation projects. Analysts are responsible for mapping out processes and providing subject matter expertise for an operational area.
  • RPA Solution Architects lead teams of RPA Developers to identify and design business processes for automation. They establish the overall architecture of solutions and manage their entire lifecycle.
  • Project Managers. As with other project manager roles, RPA project leaders are accountable for projects being delivered on time and within budget. You may also partner with various business areas to identify and implement new RPA solutions.

How to Break into the Field

If you are ready to explore RPA careers further or have your mind set on a specific path, you can take these steps to get started:

  1. Consider Your Domain. Start thinking about the area you would like to specialise in. How does it connect with your previous experience? Which transferrable skills could you bring to this role? What skills do you need to develop further?
  2. Learn RPA Tools. Aim to learn at least one RPA tool or platform, to build the right foundation in the concepts and technical workings of RPA. Leading RPA vendors include UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere (.NET), Robocorp (Python), Power Automate (Microsoft) and WorkFusion.
  3. Get Certified. Some of the largest RPA vendors also offer certifications in Robotic Process Automation tools, including Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UiPath and Microsoft. Obtaining an RPA qualification will make a valuable addition to your CV.


Robotic Process Automation is one of the fastest growing specialisations across a diverse range of industries. As more organisations apply RPA to more complex processes, the demand for RPA professionals will continue to grow. Whether you have experience with analytics, machine learning, coding or managing business processes, RPA can be a promising career choice.

Are you keen to make your mark in a rewarding RPA role? Our data and analytics recruitment specialists can connect you with Australia’s leading employers and help you start the next chapter of your career. Get in touch with Ryan to discuss our current job opportunities.