The fortunes of the mechanical engineering profession are not tied to any particular industry. The profession is, therefore, well insulated against the cyclical downturns that may affect industries. There will always be a sector of the global or national economy that is witnessing an uptick and employment opportunities in that sector would become available.
Options after 10th standard
After completion of 10th standard with at least 50% overall score, a student can join a polytechnic and study for a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. The duration of the diploma course is 3 years for regular study and 4 years for part time study.
Options after 12th standard
The basic eligibility criterion for admission to an undergraduate course in mechanical engineering that will lead to award of a B.E./ B. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) degree is that the candidate should have passed the 10+2 or an equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The candidate should have an overall percentage of not less than 60% to be eligible for admission to an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and 50% for admission to a National Institute of Technology (NIT) or any other reputed / regional engineering college. Admission to any of the IITs is on the basis of performance in the IIT JEE examination. For admission to any of the NITs and other reputed / regional colleges, performance in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is the yardstick. Apart from these, there are literally hundreds of other colleges offering programs in mechanical engineering; generally the performance in the AIEEE is accepted though colleges do also conduct their own entrance examination. The B.E. / B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) courses are of 4 years duration.
Options after graduation
After graduation, the student will be eligible for admission to a M.E. / M. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) course. Admission to this course is on the basis of score in the Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineers (GATE). The choice of specialization available at the Masters level includes hydraulics, IC engines, industrial engineering, machine design, manufacturing engineering, production engineering, metallurgical engineering, refrigeration and air-conditioning, thermal engineering, fluids engineering, etc
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers and The Institute of Engineers (India) offer diploma courses which the job market considers on par with the diplomas from Government polytechnics.
The annual fees for the B.E. / B. Tech (Mechanical Engineering) program in an IIT or NIT would be in the range of Rs.30,000/- to Rs.40,000/-. The annual cost of such a course in a private engineering college could be anywhere between Rs.50,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-
Leading institutes and colleges
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati;
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Varanasi;
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Surathkal;
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy;
Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology;
Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata;
PSG College of Technology, Malaviya
The responsibilities of a mechanical engineer include:
designing, developing and testing mechanical devices with manual or computer aided drawings;
developing blueprints in collaboration with team members for project implementation;
installing, commissioning and monitoring equipments, machinery and plant systems.
analysis and testing of machines;
Proficiency in computers
Excellent mathematical aptitude
Effective communication skills
Post graduate degree in management
Opportunities for employment cut across the entire spectrum of industries from power generation to oil & gas, paper, chemical, automobile, aviation, construction, etc.
To secure employment with a Public Sector Undertaking it would ordinarily be necessary to pass examinations conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) or the State Public Services Commission (SPSC). Well known PSU that employ mechanical engineers include Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), etc.
Private sector employers include Larsen & Toubro Limited, Siemens Limited, Tata Group, Godrej Group, Kirloskar group, Thyssen Krupp, Thermax limited, ABB Limited, etc.
The starting monthly salary for a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT could be in the range from R.30,000/- to Rs.60,000/-, from any other college/university – Rs.15,000/- to Rs.28,000/-. Holding a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering may fetch a month salary of around Rs.10,000/- to Rs.15,000/- per month.
Pluses and minuses
Job opportunities are plentiful and you will rarely find an unemployed mechanical engineer;
Continuous learning of new gadgets, equipment, etc.;
The profession can weather recessionary trends in global economy
The work is usually physically taxing and employees need a high level of fitness;
The working condition can be arduous;
Work pressure is high and deadlines can be very demanding