Production Engineer Career Information
What a Production Engineer does
Production engineers are responsible for the planning, organisation, co-ordination and control of production in a company. It will be your job to ensure that your products are made in the required quantities at the lowest possible cost.
You will decide the best possible way to produce an item. It can be anything from crayons to cars. You will work out the best process to develop the product. You will decide what kinds of machinery will be required and oversee its installation. In certain cases you will also have to supervise the recruitment of skilled and unskilled workers to handle the production lines that you set up.
Once the entire production system has been set up, your job will move on improving the efficiency of the production process. You will be looking at the minutest aspect of the process and initiate changes if required. You will have to keep abreast of the latest technological advancements in the market and recommend the upgradation of machinery and processes if it makes sound economic sense.
Safety is also one of your important concerns. You will be required to ensure that all safety standards for men and machinery are strictly adhered to. You will work closely with personnel in the management arm of the company as well as the workers on the production lines to ensure that everything goes off smoothly. At the end of the day it will be your responsibility to ensure that the actual production meets the scheduled requirement. You will set the production target for a certain period in accordance with the factory management.
At the senior level, you will be responsible for helping junior engineers plan, execute, and meet the company's requirements in areas of safety, quality, productivity, and finance. You will be required to provide your technical expertise to enhance and expand the company's business.
Almost any organisation in the industrial sector requires the services of production engineers. A majority of production engineers work in manufacturing industries. Other employment avenues exist in the construction and pharmaceutical sectors.
Engineering consultancy organizations like Larsen and Tubro and Tata Engineering services also employ production engineers.
The increasing complexity of production processes has contributed to the demand for production engineers. In today's troubled times, companies are trying to cut costs and improve efficiency. That has also added to the demand for experienced production engineers. With enough years of experience you can even start off your own small scale manufacturing businesses.
Abilities & Traits Required
• Strong technical and numerical abilities
• Good communication skills
• Team work and leadership qualities
• Analytical ability
• Organising ability
• Spatial reasoning
• Excellent logical reasoning skills
• Ability to grasp concepts quickly
In order to be a production engineer you need to have a BE Production Engineering or BTech Production Engineering or ME Production Engineering or MTech Production Engineering. After the Std 10 exams you can do a three-year diploma course. After which you can either join an engineering firm straightaway or enroll for a three-year degree programme.
Instead of doing a diploma, you could study science with Physics, Chemistry & Maths up to HSC (Std XII) and then enroll for a four-year degree course in production engineering.
If you wish to study further after graduation you could choose between doing a Masters in Production Engineering, like an ME (Master of Engineering), M.Tech (Master of Technology) or MS (Master of Science-if pursued in the US). All these courses need you to study for another two years. You can also do a Ph.D if you want to enter the field of research and teaching.
In the Production engineering course, you will learn subjects like design for manufacturing, quality management techniques, use of machine tools and robotics, etc.
In this field, knowledge of software tools like Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is most essential.
Alternatively, you can also become a production engineer after completing your BE in any stream and working in the production department of an industry for three to four years.
Because this is a specialised skill, starting salaries are comparatively higher in the range of Rs 30000 - 50000 a month for those with a Bachelor's degree and around 45000 – 60000 for those with postgraduate degrees. Pay scales in government organisations are marginally lower in the range of Rs 35000 - 45000 a month. But then you have job security along with numerous other perks and privileges.