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Career in Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical engineering, the broadest of all Engineering disciplines deals with design and production of tools, machines and all other mechanical equipment to be used in industries. The industry offers a wide choice of options extending across many interdisciplinary interdependent specialties. Mechanical engineering is concerned with all types of machinery in industries and all aspects of their mechanism and functioning; the design, development, construction, production, installation, operation and maintenance; such as large steam and gas turbines, components of thermal power stations, internal combustion engines, jet engines, machine tools, air conditioning and heating machines, refrigerators etc to name a few. They not only design and create new products, but also develop materials for them and ways of making them. 

In a way, mechanical engineers are involved in creating the future. They are the driving force behind many of our technologies and industrial processes including innovative products like mobiles, PCs and DVD etc in our modern world. The work of a Mechanical Engineer can be extremely challenging and fulfilling, requiring IT, design and analytical skills together with an ability to work as a team. As their work involves production, transmission and use of mechanical power and heat, they have to analyse the different materials used for the machines and their tolerances, investigate the different energy sources and the power they generate and the design problems if any. When designing and making a commercial product they have to take into account all the business and marketing aspects to make sure that the product is affordable. They share interests with many other engineers like Civil Engineers in structures and stress analysis; Electrical engineers in electronics, computing and control theory; Aeronautical Engineers in fluid flow and turbomachinery etc and also design tools needed by other engineers for their work. They work as part of a team with other engineers as well as financial, business and management professionals on a project together. Mechanical Engineers are also responsible for maintenance and repair of the devices. Care has to be taken that the plants give maximum output and the machinery is properly maintained. 

 

Eligibility

The basic eligibility criteria for a BE / B.Tech is 10+2 or equivalent examination, with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. After the bachelor's one can go in for a post graduate degree. The postgraduate course generally offers specialized training in thermal engineering, design, and production engineering. Post graduate degrees are essential for most teaching posts and positions in management and an additional degree in business administration is desirable for management positions. There is also the Associate Membership Examination of the Institute of Engineers (AMIE), which enables working people in the private and public sector, or diploma holders to acquire a Bachelor's engineering degree through distance education. A three year BEng degree course entitled Mechanical Engineering is also available. This course is also accredited with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for Chartered Engineer status. 

Selection : Selection to the graduate courses ( BE / B.Tech ) is based on merit i.e the marks secured in the final exams of 10+2 and through entrance exams. Entrance to the IIT's is through JEE' (Joint Entrance Exam) and for other major institutions through AIEEE (All India Engineering/Pharmacy/Architecture Entrance Examination) OR their own separate entrance exams and other state level and national level exams. 

Duration : BE / B.Tech courses are of 4 years' duration. The diploma courses in polytechnics are of 2-3 years' duration. 

 

Job Prospects and Career Options

In the government sector, freshers could join as Junior Engineers and go up the ladder as Assistant Engineers, Assistant Executive Engineers, Executive Engineers, Superintendent Engineers and so on.

These engineers are required in automobile, chemical, electronics, steel plants, oil exploration and refining, technical wings of armed forces, space research organisation, etc. Candidates with post graduate degree or an additional management degree could find work in administrative and managerial positions in government departments or public and private sector industries or do research as well as teaching in Research and teaching institutes. They could also opt for technical sales / marketing or work as independent consultants. Several government departments including Posts and Telegraphs, Defense, PWD, and CPWD employ mechanical engineers. Aeronautical, agricultural, automobile, chemical, and power plants, as well as the railways, need mechanical engineers to design and maintain their machinery. In agricultural sector, mechanical engineers play a vital role by establishing service centres for maintenance of tractors, oil engines, pump sets, electric motors and other agricultural equipments.