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Auto wizards

education Updated: Jun 29, 2011 17:24 IST

The lowdown
An automobile engineer works in the vehicle manufacturing industry. Engineers hired by reputed auto companies go through a year’s training, where they are trained in various aspects of making a car. While the biggest percentage of automobile engineers still have a background in mechanical engineering, the growing trend of using electronic components in the manufacturing process may increase the demand for electronics engineers as well

Clock Work
An average day’s work routine varies greatly, depending on where an engineer is working - assembly line, design, administration or any other area. For a team leader at the assembly line, it could be this:
9am: Reach the plant, look at the day’s production plan and get to the plant floor
11am: Review the ongoing work
1pm: Lunch break
2pm: Back to the plant floor
4pm: Quality review
4pm: File the quality report
6pm: Leave for home

The payoff
A graduate engineer at a major OEM (original equipment manufacturer, i.e. carmaker) gets a stipend of R28,000 to R30,000 a month during training. This can go up to R40,000 till s/he is confirmed. A line leader/assistant manager can earn anything from R40,000 to R80,000 a month, depending on their experience in the industry. A division head with 18 years’ experience can make anything from R25 lakh to R30 lakh an annum

A passion for cars
. Aptitude for mathematics
. Fast learning curve
. Good reflexes
. Automotive engineers should have a keen interest for mechanics, cars, mathematics and
. One must be well-organised and methodical in their working habits
. Automotive engineers must be able to communicate ideas and give orders in a clear, concise fashion

Getting there
After completing Class 12 from the science stream, a student interested in automobile engineering can opt for a BE or BTech in automobile engineering. To hire engineers, companies would first look at the IITs and the NITs (National Institutes of Technology). The Madras Institute of Technology in Chennai stands out among the many institutes in the south. A number of smaller institutions offer BE/BTech degrees in automobile engineering as well. An aspirant needs to use some filters to decide which one to go for. A student should look up the institute website - if it doesn’t have one, that’s a bad sign - and see if it has the required information about the course and admission criteria. Does it list the faculty members and their qualifications, does the college have publications, projects, collaborative projects, funding from the government? Cross-check the reputation of college, find out how the alumni are doing. Do some research before taking admission in these institutes

Institutes and URLs
. Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology (all across the coutry
various websites)
. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
. Madras Institute of Technology
. MITS Gwalior

Pros and cons
. Cutting-edge technology
. International exposure
. Great pay package
. Outdated syllabi
. Constant improvement expected
. Recession impact on overseas job prospects
. Automotive engineers can advance to supervisory and senior management positions within their companies

India is emerging as a major hub of world’s automobile industry and the career opportunities in this sector would be in abundance Prof BD Pathak Delhi Technological University