Monday, April 22, 2024

Manufacturing Jobs For Engineers Presents An Optimistic Scene In 2017

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Manufacturing in India has existed since ages and it is a well-known fact that the sector employs a large number of engineers, to physically develop solutions to solve societal issues. With most other ‘traditional’ engineering streams, the manufacturing branch has also fallen prey to rumour mills that have gone as far as belittling the sector as far as students taking up courses here is concerned.

Now, to effectively throw light on the scope and career prospects for engineering students, taking up manufacturing engineering studies and careers, domain experts offer enough insights on the scenario of manufacturing in India and whether it is worth for engineers to take up jobs in the sector.

Manufacturing is still multi-disciplinary; don’t be restrictive

“Indian manufacturing sector accepts fresh engineers graduating in various streams, be it mechanical, instrumentation, electrical, and even industrial production. The domain is multi-disciplinary,” states Dr Radhakrishnan HK who is a veteran career counsellor in Bengaluru who works closely with engineers in guiding them towards right career paths.

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Dr Radhakrishnan also adds an important aspect which is the fact that the core jobs are relatively more in the sector when compared to the Information Technology enabled services (ITes) engineering domains. Also, with multi-national corporations (MNC) showing avid interest in opening new manufacturing units in various tier-2 Indian areas viz. Bidadi, Ramanagara, Jharkhand, Tiruchirappalli, and more, the opportunities exist for engineers.

Fundamentally, manufacturing engineering is a combination of cross-domain skills like engineering designing, mechanical engineering, engineering management, industrial production, industrial technology, and more. The sector also needs engineers to flex their research & development (R&D) skills at an optimal level such that the finished goods are in line with acceptable standards whilst leveraging smart technology.

What do you do as engineers within a manufacturing unit?

Typically, engineers spend their day in streamlining the manufacturing processes that are currently in place within factories and manufacturing plants. Engineers also get to work in the assembly line area or sometimes even at the exact floor of the process.

Also, it is important to note that the exact process of manufacturing needs to be mastered by engineers so that this can be improvised upon (as stated above).

“As engineers, you will also be involved in the product-level fabrication, and to create working models such that this process, if efficient, is adapted for all the products that are developed at the unit,” states Vijay Shankar B who is a Bengaluru-based senior plant engineer at SMMS Industries that manufactures connectors.

“Th exact placement of components and other micro-level aspects are decided and supervised by domain engineers,” adds Vijay.

Along with the above, engineers are also responsible for the working of developed products and for resolution of post-release queries.

Decoding the exact scope and career prospects in manufacturing engineering

As far as career scope and prospects are concerned, experts bring to light the constant rate at which jobs are generated in the manufacturing engineering sector in India.

“Manufacturing was at its peak in India during the beginning of the latest millennium, but with the onslaught of ITes, engineers are slowly drifting away towards services more than production & manufacturing,” states Jerome Matthews a Mumbai-based senior recruiter who hires for manufacturing companies across India.

Jerome, believes that it takes a lot of awareness for engineers to seek jobs in the current manufacturing domain. “As manufacturing is one sector wherein creativity can be applied to physically develop smart solutions, engineers should analyse the real-world impact (positive) that they can create in the sector,” adds Jerome.

“There is always scope for engineers in the manufacturing sector,” advises Dr Radhakrishnan.

With experts having predicted industrialisation to grow manifold, even the core domains such as production and manufacturing are expected optimistically to report a comparatively better growth rate in the next five years.

“To start off with, fresher engineers should remember that they should toil hard before seeing lucrative days,” chimes-in Nagraj Shankar who owns a printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing unit in the industrial suburbs of Bengaluru.

Nagraj’s view reflects the views of other domain engineers who state that the best part, in the sector, is the monetary bonuses that are generally associated with creatively and technically smart finished goods. Nonetheless, creativity and technology-leveraging abilities are highly sought after by recruiters while hiring engineers for manufacturing.

From the perspective of fresh engineers, designations offered in manufacturing, typically begin from Manufacturing Engineer, and go all the way up till Production and Product Managers. Again, progression in careers and designations is directly based on the level of experience and skillsets.

In fact, salaries of engineers have seen upward spikes by as much as 100% after engineers acquired experience and the in-demand skillsets.For hiring, there are companies such as Volvo, Robert Bosch, Parle, Karle Group, Hindustan Unilever, and more that are considered to be big names in 2017.

Skill-sets in demand for manufacturing engineers

“Skillsets such as Engineering Designing, AutoCAD, SAP, Project Management, and Production are highly sought after,” advises Rohith Kamrakar a Bengaluru-based senior recruiter.

Also, as per the popular online compensation information portal PayScale, it should do no harm for engineers to acquire additional skills such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Manufacturing Process Engineering, AutoCAD, and Autodesk.

Obviously, requirement for a bachelor’s degree in engineering goes without saying. Here, it is worth noting that some engineering universities in India directly offer manufacturing as a stand-alone stream, whereas others teach concepts of manufacturing in branches like instrumentation, mechanical, industrial production, and industrial engineering.

Landing that dream manufacturing job

Here, it is worth noting that manufacturing absorbs engineers from across streams, due to its multi-disciplinary and cross-domain nature. Value-additions are welcomed in a big way in this sector. Value additions, here, refer to the additional skillsets above.

“For engineers desirous of landing a job in the manufacturing sector, the best way is to apply or enrol for apprenticeship programs and customised training programs which are offered by most of the industry leaders today,” informs Dr Radhakrishnan.

Firms such as Robert Bosch, Volvo, and more generally offer internships for students whilst absorbing fresh engineers as apprentices. This represents an ideal learning opportunity for both engineering students as well as fresher graduate engineers.

Even in case engineers prefer to switch firms, after internship (or apprenticeship), a course-completion certificate here comes in handy while applying with other recruiters. Nonetheless, the bottom-line of apprenticeship programs is the learning, of the manufacturing processes which is obviously priceless.

“Nowadays, campus placements for manufacturing jobs are on a downside; hence, students are better-off in equipping themselves with the trending skillsets and certifications,” states Dr Krishna Rao who is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at an engineering college in Karnataka.

As per Dr Krishna Rao, fresher engineers can check out the certification programs offered by both the state and central governments; these programs are fundamentally reskilling (and skill development) programs that are useful for prospective employment. One such initiative is the Kaushalya Karnataka program which is aimed at reskilling and training at least five lakh youth of Karnataka state.

The Kaushalya Karnataka initiative brings employment opportunities under one roof whilst promoting entrepreneurship among engineers (the youth in general). Engineers can register for free; even trainers can also register to offer training and skilling programs for the fresh graduates.

Apart from Kaushalya Karnataka, there are various other similar schemes which are aimed at making engineers industry-ready for manufacturing. The Government of India also offers certification programs in industrial engineering for fresher engineers across the country. Through these, engineers can keep themselves abreast about the latest trends.

Manufacturing industry adds to the entrepreneurship quotient of engineers

Domain experts believe that with the right skillsets, it should not be difficult for engineers to turn entrepreneurs as manufacturing offers plenty of opportunities to solve societal issues via development of physical entities.

“Engineers in manufacturing have increased opportunities to turn into entrepreneurs. The best illustration for this is fresher engineers starting their own wireless LED lighting units. PCB manufacturing is also at an all-time high after the Make in India and Skill India initiatives,” advises Nagraj Shankar.

Preferred recruiters and employers

As far as engineers desirous of working with external firms are concerned, recruiters such as Robert Bosch, Volvo India, Tech Mahindra, Shell Info Technologies, and GE top the list as per independent surveys conducted by Dr Radhakrishnan.

“Understand that even the conventional ‘factories’ offer lucrative careers for engineers, but this is commensurate with experience,” adds Nagraj Shankar.

Pay packages to expect

Since manufacturing involves equal physical as well as non-physical processes, from an engineering perspective, domain experts state that a fresher can expect a starting package of ₹1.6 lakhs per annum. In most factories, there are additional financial perks and bonuses associated with salaries.

Since salary packages here are greatly influenced by industrial experience, engineers can expect to earn ₹7 lakhs per annum (approximate range) with industry experience of more than five years.

Manufacturing in India in a nutshell

Manufacturing in India is multi-disciplinary
Manufacturing engineers have a better chance at solving real-world issues
Actual product development takes place
Manufacturing offers additional bonuses with pay packages, for engineers
Rate of career growth is generally on the higher side, rate of job creation is reportedly constant
It is seemingly worth taking up manufacturing jobs in 2017, for engineers

Contributors to the story

Dr Radhakrishnan HK a Bengaluru-based career counsellor possessing more than two decades of experience in guiding engineering students
Vijaya Shankar B Bengaluru-based senior plant engineer at SMMS Industries
Jerome Matthews Mumbai-based senior recruiter
Rohith Kamrakar Bengaluru-based senior recruiter
Nagraj Shankar Owner of a PCB manufacturing unit in Bengaluru industrial area
Bengaluru-based Manufacturing Engineers numbering 3



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