“There wasn’t a moment where I got into cars. It wasn’t a conscience decision or something that came later; it was there since I was born. I just love it.”
— Eric Bana
This quote by the Australian film and television actor – Mr. Bana, summarizes the love that automobile engineers have for vehicles. And why not, automobiles are no longer just a mode of transportation. All the advancements in science and technology along with the concept of style, has given birth to cars, which are not just functional, but also cater to the luxury segment.
There are a number of aspects to an automobile engineering job and accordingly a number of programs are offered by the technical institutes. Automobile engineers are trained to build and test vehicles, repair them with various instruments as well as stylize them. When a new vehicle is launched in the market, each of its features is given special attention – the idea being that the vehicle be as safe as possible on the road. If not redesigning the entire vehicle, the design engineers design components of the vehicles, test them in laboratory and then incorporate them in the automobile.
In India there are only a few colleges, which offer a course in automobile engineering. The trend, with auto manufacturers has been to hire mechanical engineers, electrical and electronic engineers as well as metallurgists for the job. In the recent times, in keeping with the demand for car styling, there are design institutes, which offer courses in automobile design. Engineers who undergo such courses contribute significantly to the car companies. The Engineering Jobs in the automobile engineering sector, requires the engineers to be well versed in physics, which is applicable in technical aspects that is useful in understanding the working of the engine. Another important aspect is the knowledge of materials, which is used in the design process. This helps them in using the materials appropriately depending on the function of the part for instance, use of fiberglass or steel. The job of an automobile engineer encompasses material treatment, design of control systems (electronics), the Computer Aided Design (CAD) & CAM process and logistics.
Automobile Engineers are also employed in service stations wherein they oversee the repair of vehicles. They also find employment with defense services and private transport companies. For those who enjoy the world of research, can continue their education after the post graduation degree and join a Ph.D. program. Thereafter they can work as faculty in reputed technical colleges both in India or abroad. Also, as a researcher in this field, one can do further development by experimenting newer and safer ways to design an automobile.
Courses and Eligibility
A course in automobile engineering equips you with the knowledge of the manufacturing process of the vehicle including the stages towards its final assembly. Though very few colleges offer a course in Automobile Engineering at the undergraduate level, you can always do a basic 4 year engineering course (5 years for a dual degree) and get a BE or a B.Tech degree. Thereafter, you could go in for a specialization in Automobile Engineering at the postgraduate level. There are also some institutes that offer a diploma in Automobile Engineering.
Bachelor of Engineering (BE)/ Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech): The eligibility is class 12th with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as the main subjects and Entrance Exam. The AMIE (Associate Memberships of the Institution of Engineers) offers courses, which are also equivalent to BE and B.Tech.
Masters in Engineering( ME) or Masters in Technology M.Tech: Eligibility is BE, B Tech and entrance – Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) exam. The marks scored in this exam are valid in most colleges.
For those who wish to study further, a Ph.D. in engineering can be pursued.
The fee for a four year course in any branch of Engineering from the IITs is around Rs.2 lakhs. Since automobile engineering course is available in most colleges as a postgraduate program, an aspirant will have to spend around Rs.2 lakhs more for the specialization. The government funded colleges offer scholarships, fee waiver and loans in case the student makes to the merit list.Many colleges also have the concept of a ‘research associate’ at the post graduate level, where in the students can collaborate with a professor on an ongoing research and earn a monthly stipend.
Top colleges to study B Tech Automobile Engineering / M Tech Automobile Engineering
There are Engineering Colleges in India that offer B.E/B.Tech or M.E/M.Tech courses in Automobile engineering. Some of the well-known colleges in this field are:
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur VJTI, Mumbai DTU, Delhi offers B Tech in Automobile engineering.IIT Hyderabad BITS, Pilani NIT Jaipur
Automotive Design Institutes:
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad IIT Bombay
Pay and Remuneration
For a fresh graduate, Automobile Engineering Job can fetch a salary of anywhere between 3 to 4 lakhs. As one progresses and adds years of experience to their work, the salary can go up to even 18 to 20 lakhs per annum. Those who are freelancers and own their company can earn as much as they want to.
In India, with the boom in the automobile manufacturing industry, there are a number of companies which hire automobile engineers. Some of the well-known ones are Maruti, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, etc. Moreover, these big car manufacturers are dependent on smaller companies which manufacture the various components used in the car. And, this opens up a whole new world of job opportunities for Automobile Engineers.
Fresh Engineering graduates, when hired by an automobile manufacturing company, have to undergo practical training to understand the practical aspects right from the supply chain to assembly to management as well as marketing.With a few years of experience, these young engineers can go for management degrees with specialization in manufacturing and operations. Such a qualification from reputed institutes are in high demand from top tier consultancy companies
Enzo Ferrari and Christian Von Koenigsegg are names which are now not unknown to those aspiring to be automobile engineers. In India where Automobile industry is still in its infancy, it is the company names like Tata Motors, Maruti and Mahindra and Mahindra which are popular. The engineers working in the companies and designing the latest cars are not known individually.
Rajesh Mirajkar and Dilip Chhabria are two people who have made a name for themselves in the automobile circles. They are not exactly involved in the ‘engineering’ aspect of automotive industry. They use their designing sense to stylize the vehicles and make them unique.
A Day in Life
A career in automobile engineering generally requires one to be working for a big car manufacturing company. His job there, generally would involve putting the concept sketch into a physical form. The process of designing a car is a long one and once the final product is made, the job does not end. It is the engineer’s responsibility to conduct crash tests, damage assessment and analysis to make sure that the car is safe for road. Automobile engineers can start with their own company and can manufacture automobile spare parts. Those inclined towards design can stylize the cars so that each and everyone is a unique piece in itself. There are some automobile engineers who are engaged in repair and maintenance of vehicles. They work in huge service garages and oversee all the different requirements pertaining to vehicle’s repairs. In the end, it would be pertinent to say that whether employed with a manufacturer or working for their own firms, automobile engineers are people who are passionate about their jobs.