Automobile Engineering or called in some countries, Automotive Engineering, is an offshoot of mechanical engineering being at its core with electrical, structural electronic and materials sciences closely coupled to that core.With the integration of these of various disciplines, what you get are dream machines that can barely be called mechanical or structural products. These dream machines–motorcycles, scooters, cars, trucks buses etc. to name a few of them–serve at one level, the basic utility of a sound transportation system yet at another, the same machines also get metamorphosed into status symbols, esteem shoulder-lapels, sports & fun utilities, glamour gadgets and what not, to become veritably a man’s or a woman’s mechanical pets. No other product from any other discipline has such a strong man-machine affinity as that of automobile engineering.
Automobile Engineering straddles a whole lot of engineering disciplines–combustion and engines, mechanical and structural engineering, electrical and electronics, IT hardware and software and others. In its value chain, it begins with conceptual design including innovation and R&D, Design and Development, Production and Assembly Distribution and Marketing/sales culminating in delivery and maintence services. More simply stated it deals with automobile motor systems, their design technology, production and disposal included. It is an integral process beginning with an initial concept plan, manufacture and testing right up to the distribution process. It involves in its process almost all functional aspects of management–be it production management materials & inventory management, maintenance management, marketing and sales management, franchise management, and others. Skill sets desired in managing and working in the sector are also diverse and many fold–creation, technical, precision & planning, artistic, meticulous and so on. It is a multibillion dollar industry with diverse career and job opportunities to the skilled, disciplined and educated. Indian automobile engineering industry, in the recent decade or so, has grown leaps and bounds with almost all international auto majors apart from the homegrown ones setting up their manufacturing and sales establishments here.
Automobile Engineering: The Wheel Scientist on Board
In recent times, India has grown into one of the major international hubs for the global automobile companies as the amount of investments by top foreign businesses have continuously grown. India is emerging as the centre especially for export for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) predominantly due to the cost-competitive manufacturing facilities available in India. Also, India is a major two-wheeler or three-wheeler manufacturer and is the second largest manufacturer of tractors in the world.
All these aspects of developments in the automobile industry have led to a quantum jump in the new job opportunities for those taking up the courses and jobs in the sector. There are job prospects for eligible and educated candidates. However, sizeable and promising in terms of growth and money, it must also be noted that it requires genuine efforts, dedication and determination to sustain the work pressure and vocational environment in this industry.
Nature of Jobs
In general, a typical automobile assembly has around thousands of individual parts and components going into it, each of which requires design, development and manufacture. These requirements present a plethora of job opportunities for the qualified and experienced candidates to develop their careers in this behemoth of an industry.
Specific areas of specialization in automobile engineering are:
- Engine and Transmission Systems
- Fluid Mechanics
- Aerodynamics and Structural/ Chassis Engineering
- Supply Chain Management
- Control systems
The study and practice of automobile engineering engenders an adequate comprehension of the mechanisms of internal combustion engine, vehicle chassis, electrical systems, workshop technology, motor transport affairs, research and design and fuel engineering. It now extends beyond these to electric mobility, hydrogen fuel cells, alternate fuels, motorsports and many other spheres which truly make it futuristic and challenging too. A good command over his/her communication skills will be an asset in this profession.
Automobile engineers are conventionally categorized as
- Product Engineers
- Design Engineers
- Development Engineers
- Manufacturing Engineers
The Chief Operations that comprise Automobile Engineering are Aerodynamic Modeling, Product Manufacturing, Maintenance and Servicing and Research and Development.
Education & Training
Admission to a Bachelor’s degree course in Automobile Engineering is after plus 2 or an equivalent examination.
Qualified students can opt for a diploma or a degree course to BE/B.Tech from any recognized Universities, including IITs and NITs. BE/B.Tech courses in Automobile Engg are of a total duration of 4 years with 8 semesters.
For admission in Master’s degree courses of M.Tech Or ME of 2 years duration in Automobile Engineering, the eligible students need a BE/B.Tech or any equivalent diploma or graduate degree in Automobile Engineering for 2 years. Normally the Diploma courses in Automobile Engineering are for 3 years Post-Matriculation.
Mechanical, electric or electronical engineers who wish to shift their specialization can opt for professional courses, certifications and focused training modules in automobiles that are offered in various institutions or universities across India.
Major colleges/ Institutes in India offering Automobile specification are:
- IIT Kharagpur, Kanpur, Bombay, Madras, Roorkel,
- BHU Varanasi, Guwahati,
- Delhi Technological University,
- Anna University,
- ISMU Dhanbad.
Some of the noted Private Engineering Colleges are:
- BITS- Pilani
- BIT- Hyderabad
- BIT Mesra
- PSG college of Technology, Coimbatore
- Manipal Institute of Technology
- Institute of Technology, Nirma University-Ahmedabad
- Thapar Institute of Engineering and Tech Patiala
- Dhirubhai Ambani IICT, Gandhinagar
- VJH, Mumbai
- MepcoSchlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi
Jobs & Careers
Automobile engineers can get employment in any Automobile Manufacturing Sector, Defence Services, Vehicle Service stations. Automobile Dealers, Workshops, design consultants and others. Automobile Engineering graduates can be a part of the industry as Supplier Warranty Maintenance Engineers, Underbody & Chassis Engineer, Senior Production Engineer, Quality Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer and Vehicle Instrumentation Engineer.
Some of the major Indian companies that recruit engineers are TELCO, Bajaj Auto, L&T, Mahindra & Mahindra, Gabriel, Haldex India, Hyundai, Toyota, Ashok Leyland, Honda, Hero, Ashok Leyland, Eicher, Ford India, Renault and all the auto majors of the world.
The Automobile engineers can opt for teaching profession part-time or full-time as lecturers or in engineering colleges and universities after completing their M. Tech or Ph. D programmes.
There is abundant reach for self-employment for these automobile engineers who can set up garages, workshops, service stations, body building works and others.
Freshers with a graduate degree can earn anywhere between Rs. 15,000-Rs. 20,000 per month; However, the pay packages vary according to the size of the organization employing them, job profile, additional qualifications and the work experience. Skilled candidates can earn even up to Rs.100, 000 per month.
The occupation of an automobile engineer is time-bound and necessitates hard work and tolerance to extreme conditions. Automobile engineers have to undergo heavy and strenuous work pressures due to the burdensome deadlines. Prioritization of work and multitasking is crucial to get effective results. Automobile engineers should have up-to-date knowledge of the latest technological developments so that they are at par with the growing trends and knowledge within the industry.
Truly, Automobile industry offers a wide ranging opportunities to the truly talented, hardworking and qualified.