Electronics Engineer Career Information
What an Electronics Engineer does
Electronics engineer studies, designs and oversees production of consumer electronic equipment such as radios, televisions, computers and washing machines, to high-end electronics equipment like dish antennas, communication satellites, radar systems etc.
Your work includes:
• Developing and designing electronic products
• Construction and manufacturing of equipment
• Production process control
• Testing of new electronics components and equipment
• Installation and commissioning of products
• Maintenance of products
• Sales and marketing of products
Problem solving will be an important part of your job. You will use theory and your own ideas to work out why things are not working. You will be a link between the technicians on the production line and the design engineers.
The field of electronics has developed so quickly, and increases in complexity so much, that people tend to specialise because there is no way you can know everything. You will normally specialise in one work area of the electronics such as research and development, designing, testing, monitoring production, or marketing. You will make extensive use of computers as well as equipments such as oscilloscopes and voltmeters.
Expertise wise also, you will be specialised in one of the fields in Electronics like Digital Signal Processing, Industrial Electronics, Digital Electronics, Aviation Electronics, Fibre Optics and Light wave Engineering, Microwave Electronics, Microelectronics, VLSI Design, Telecommunication Engineering, Power Electronics, Integrated Circuits, Communication & Radar Engineering, Control Engineering and Instrumentation, and Medical Electronics.
Although most of the time you will be working indoors in the workshop or the factory you may also have to travel to worksites to handle installation of electronics equipment. Most of the electronic product manufacturing facilities and research and development establishments are air-conditioned and dust free as electronics is a precision engineering and needs a controlled environment.
You will gain employment in
• Consumer electronics companies like BPL, Videocon, etc
• Companies manufacturing electronic related products like LCD displays, cathode tubes, etc.
• Companies providing basic telephone and mobile telephone services like BSNL, VSNL, MTNL, BPL Telecommunication Ltd.
• Industrial Electronics and telecommunication equipment manufacturing companies like HFCL, Hindustan Cables Ltd., Enkay Telecommunication Ltd.
• Research & Development organizations like the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and National Physical Laboratory
• Electronic product testing laboratories like the Regional Testing Laboratories under the Department of Electronics, Government of India
• Telecommunication hardware and software producing companies like Hughes Telecommunication, Cisco systems, and Mahindra British Telecommunication
• Computer software producing companies like Infosys Ltd., TCS, and HCL • Telecommunication and Internet Service providers like VSNL, BSES, and Reliance Telecommunication Ltd.
• Defence services
• Government sector also has good openings for engineers. Other than the Public Sector Enterprises like BSNL, BHEL, SAIL, NTPC etc., UPSC conducts an exclusive exam every year, called Indian Engineering Service (IES), for recruitment of engineers specializing in various fields, in organizations like the Railways, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Military Engineering Service etc. Civil Service is also quite a popular option.
• You can also work in the sales and marketing departments of Electronics companies.
• Teaching at academic institutions remains another option open to you.
Electronics Engineering graduates have a bright employment future, as there is comparatively plentiful number of jobs at the entry level. This rosy job outlook for engineers is in large part due to a shortage of people with the right set of technical skills.
Overall prospects of electronic engineers are very good as electronics industry is developing very fast with arrival of newer technologies almost every month. The new century will also see merging of electronics, telecommunication, computer, and biotechnology which will further push the demand for electronic engineers up.
The rapid technological changes that are taking place in the electronics industry mean that engineers need to keep up to date with the skills and knowledge required. In addition, the development of modern electronic processes, and the way in which electronic equipment works through software, has meant that computer software design and programming skills are also required out of electronics engineers.
Abilities & Traits Required
You need keen interest in technology, good technical and numerical abilities, good communication skills, teamwork and leadership qualities.
You will also need to be good at interpreting drawings, problem-solving skills and decision-making. Electronic engineers need to be creative, inquiring and able to work well as part of a team. You need to be self-motivated, patient, persistent and disciplined. It is important that you are able to make good judgement and work well under pressure.
Electronics engineers should have good hand-eye co-ordination and good eyesight as they deal with very small electronic components.
Electronics engineers need to have a broad knowledge of physics, mechanics, electronics, maths and computers. A diploma (After 10th) in electronics engineering is the minimum qualification to enter this field. Of course, a Bachelors (BE or BTech after 12th in science with Physics, Chemistry and Maths) degree in the above stream will make your prospects better. To be in research and development, you will need a Masters degree.
Continuing education is important, as you need to keep up with the improvements in technology that is taking place. You therefore need to read periodicals, books and look on the Internet to keep yourself informed
Starting salary is in the range of Rs 30000-40000 per month. Salaries for diploma holders are in the range of Rs 15000-25000 per month.
Most companies have training programmes for their engineers. So you may even get to go to a reputed university abroad to specialise in a particular area at your company's cost.