Do you know how old the field of Metallurgy is? It is as old as the Bronze Age, which was more than 5000 years ago. That being said, the awareness about the Metallurgy field in India is destitute. The disapproving society looks down on students who do not choose Computer Science or Information Technology (CS/IT) branches. An interesting statistic – there are only 65 colleges in the whole of India, which offer Metallurgy, whereas there are over 4000 colleges that offer CS/ IT. The following list explores various career opportunities after graduate or post-graduate degrees.
1. Steel Plants
Whether it is Integrated Steel Plants (ISPs) or mini steel plants, there are many big players spread wide and far in the company. The government-owned SAIL (Steel Authority of India) has many ISPs like in Bhilai, Durgapur, Rourkela, Vizag, while in the private sector, Tata Group, Jindal Group, Essar Steel & Arcelor-Mittal-Nippon Steel are a few of the well-known companies in the Iron and Steel Manufacturing Industry. The salary can range between 6-15 LPA depending on private sector versus public sector undertakings (PSUs).
2. Non-ferrous Industries
As big as the iron and steel industry is, the non-ferrous industry is quite a in demand as well. Aluminium, Zinc, Copper are the most common metals are that used in daily life. Hindalco, Vedanta, Hindustan Copper are the key players in the non-ferrous industry. These plants are usually located in remote locations due to proximity to ore mines. The pay scale is in the array of 4-10 LPA.
After the graduate degree, research is the top choice for a good chunk of students. To get into research institutes, one needs to have higher degrees like M. Tech/PhD and specialization in the fields that are the focus areas for research institutes. Some of the best research centres in India are DRDO, NMRL, BARC, IGCAR, CSIR-NML, etc. Salary structure differs vastly based on the proficiency level and can range from 10-40 LPA.
4. Automotive Industry
In today’s fast-paced world, bikes and cars are present in every household. Every day there is an increasing demand to make the vehicles safer and lighter in weight. This field is commonplace for mechanical and metallurgical engineers. Maruti Suzuki and other big names do hire metallurgists from campus, offering a starting package of 6-10 LPA.
5. Semiconductor Industry
The first hard drive weighed a ton and could store less than 3 MB. Today hard drive can store up to 2 TB of data and weigh only 0.5 kg. Two things are happening in conjunction – the capacity is increasing, on the other hand, the weight is decreasing. This is nothing less than magic, the magic of nanotechnology and the semiconductor industry. A combination of both Metallurgy and Materials Engineering makes it possible to design the materials that render all technically feasible. The semiconductor industry is one of the toughest to get in for a Metallurgist and requires specialization through further studies. Applied Materials, Texas Instruments, Continental Device India Ltd. (CDIL) are a few of the big names. The average salary starts from 12 LPA for M. Tech candidates.
6. Oil and Gas Industry
The Oil and Gas (OnG) Industry relies heavily on the “Integrity” of the producing assets. Corrosion Resistant Alloys (CRAs) application, cathodic protection, Oil Field Chemicals (OFC), Non-destructive Examination (NDE), inspections and a lot more areas relating to Metallurgy is of significance to the OnG Industry. In India, there is a presence of National Oil Companies (NOCs) like ONGC, IOCL and International Oil Companies (IOCs) like ExxonMobil, Shell, as well as private companies like Reliance and L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering. The remuneration for candidates fresh out of college can range from 8 – 15 LPA.
7. Aerospace & Defence Organizations
Space Rockets, fighter planes or passenger aeroplanes all require materials that can withstand extreme temperature conditions ranging from minus 270 deg C to 1500 deg C, high load-bearing capacity, high fatigue strength, and are lightweight. The exotic materials used like Nickel Superalloy have to be imported from countries like China, Russia which costs India a fortune. Organizations like ISRO, GTRE, MiDhaNi (Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd.), Ordnance Factory, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are working on making long strides towards decreasing the reliability of India on other countries in this sector. All the companies listed above are government-sanctioned, and one can expect a good remuneration based on their skill level.
There are lots of opportunities if one knows where to look for it. Today, Google is a powerful tool and lots of apps like LinkedIn, which help get information at your fingertips. The above listed are the major ones only pertaining to Metallurgy. If you add Materials to the mix, the scope is endless. Everything humans touch is made of Materials, and hence there is an opportunity in everything. Reach out, grow your network and create your own unique story!