Employment prospects, career growth as an Automation Engineer
At this instant in time, career experts debunk a popular myth associated with automation “Making machines smart would lead to job losses for humans.” However, one aspect worth understanding is that automation would lead to creation of jobs that are a notch above than the ones that are lost to machines. The latter category would require advanced skillsets, thereby leading to overall enrichment of life and quality living.
With myths debunked, let us look at certain sectors that employ automation engineers:
- You could choose to work with companies that develop and deliver automation software, along with equipment to external industries.
- You could work exactly with big industries involved in domains like oil & gas, and automotives. These require the bets automation products and services.
- Opportunities also exist with companies offering consultancy to clients who look at integrating products with their manufacturing processes via smart technology.
As far as career growth is concerned, automation engineers would typically start out as electro-mechanical technicians, or even plain automation engineer.
“The field is expected to grow – as rapidly as by 14% percent over the next five years,” believes Ajay. With rising opportunities, designations would naturally be fancier. These include Engineers, Process Experts, Technicians, and go on up to Managers.
Do remember that experience level is a big influencer as far as pay packages are concerned.
Skill Sets and pay packages
Experts’ advise for automation engineers is to acquire skillsets such as Distributed Control Systems, Engineering Design, Embedded Systems, mastery in programmable logic controllers (PLCs), protocols, signal types and levels, and application programming or product solutions on PCs. and more. These are to be used in tandem with problem-solving skills, effective design, and deployment skillsets to create automation solutions.
“An instrumentation engineer can expect sub Rs 4L per annum packages. Pay packages in automation are directly proportional to skillsets,” adds Ajay.
Another surprising trend indicated by experts is the scenario wherein automation professionals with more than a decade of experience starting their own startup ventures to solve real-world problems through smart technology.
“I have witnessed professionals move on from high-paying jobs to establishing startups that are now fledging. This is a recent trend,” states a chief-executive officer at a Bengaluru-based innovation startup that provides automated solutions to factories.
All in all, Automation offers a level playing field
With everything being said and done, automation still creates a ‘level-ambience’ and is a an example of survival of the fittest theory. Once you are a proper fit in the industry, you can expect enrichment of life that is in equal measure with that of your industry counterparts.
“Automation is skill enhancement and application. So, once you begin solving problems, you are in line and can expect the best just like the rest,” signs-off Dr Krishna Bhat.
|Ajay Godara||Director at Chandigarh-based Enovation Lab LLP|
|Gaur Dattatreya||Vice-President and Head of Business unit at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Bengaluru|
|Annonymous Project Manager at a Maharashtra-based Instrumentation company|
|Bengaluru-based automation engineers|
Written by Rahul R, Senior Technical Journalist at EFY