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Complete Guide to Making a Career in Plastic Engineering

Plastic Engineering

Plastic Technology Engineering has recently gained high momentum in terms of institutes offering this course and students wanting to pursue the same. A career in plastic engineering majorly deals with processing, designing & manufacturing of plastic products.

Plastic Engineering: An Overview

Look around in your living room! And ask yourself a question if you would be able to live without your mobile phone case, charger, electric casings, TV set, music system, toothbrush, camera, desk, chair, etc. Now go to the kitchen and look around for some more plastic appliances – you would see the refrigerator, microwave oven, crockery, window sills, food processor, kettles, etc. Go to your office and check if you can live without your computer, pen, fax/printing machine, circuit boards, fuse box, doorknobs, etc.

This is how deeply plastics are integrated into our current lifestyle. Plastics have bestowed us with freedom of design, durability, energy efficiency as well as recyclability. There is no alternative to plastics for almost all the above-mentioned products. Plastics also come with other desirable properties like heat insulation & electrical insulation along with being light-weight. It stays to be acknowledged that plastic is the only ‘all-purpose’ material.

India still lags behind a lot in terms of plastic manufacturing as well as usage. As per a recent report by CIPET (Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology), the Indian Plastics Industry is yet in the nascent stage and moving rapidly towards realizing its full potential. Compared to the per-capita plastic consumption of 109 kg in US & 29 kg in China, India is still at 5.8 kg. All the estimates are suggestive of the fact that the Indian Plastic Industry is expected to maintain high economic growth while the consumption is propelled to new levels in the coming years.

Research & innovation are also key aspects of the job of a plastic engineer. There are a variety of universities offering this course and myriad opportunities lie for job opportunities in private industries, the public sector as well as teaching. Therefore if you thinking of pursuing a career in plastic engineering, then you should read about the job prospects and salary structure mentioned in the bog.

Education Required

To pursue a career in plastic engineering, you can go for a diploma in plastic engineering after 10th grade or a BE/B.Tech course after 10+2. You have to be good with Physics & Chemistry primarily; mathematical skills might prove as an added advantage. Various institutes offer M.Tech programs to BE/B.Tech degree holders from branches like chemical engineering, plastic-rubber technology, mechanical engineering as well as textile engineering.

Top Indian Institutes

Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET)1. Diploma1. 10th gradeAhmedabadhttp://cipet.gov.in/ 
2. B.E./B.Tech2. 10+2 (with PCM)Bhubaneshwar
3. M.Sc.3. B.Sc. (chemistry)Chennai
4. M.Sc. Tech4. 10+2 (with PCM)Kochi
5. M.E./M.Tech5. B.E./B.TechLucknow
6. Ph.D.6. M.E./M.Tech 
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi)1. M.Tech
2. Ph.D.
1. B.E./B.Tech
2. M.E./M.Tech
New Delhihttps://home.iitd.ac.in/
Madras Institute of Technology1. B.Tech
2. Ph.D.
1. 10+2 (PCM)
2. M.E./M.Tech
LD College of EngineeringB.E.10+2 (PCM)Ahmedabadhttp://ldce.ac.in/departments/plastic-technology
University College of Science & Technology, Calcutta University1. B.Tech
2. M.Tech
3. Ph.D.
1. 10+2 (PCM)
2. B.E./B.Tech
3. M.E./M.Tech
Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra1. B.Tech
2. M.Tech
3. Ph.D.
1. 10+2 (PCM)
2. B.E./B.Tech
3. M.E./M.Tech
Indian Plastics Institute1. Certificate course
2. Diploma
10+2 or equivalentMumbaihttp://www.ipiindia.org/activity-publication/education/dipi

Top International Institutes

CoursesAverage Score in EntranceCity, CountryWebsite
Lehigh UniversityM.S, M.Eng, Ph.DSAT: 1972Bethlehem, USAhttp://www.lehigh.edu/engineering/academics/graduate/polymerscieng.html
Case Western Reserve UniversityGraduate ProgramSAT: 2040Cleveland, USAhttp://engineering.case.edu/emac/
Aalto UniversityGraduate ProgramIELTS: 6.5Greater Helsinki, Finlandhttp://www.aalto.fi/en/studies/education/programme/nordic_master_programme_in_polymer_technology/
Alsace TechDegree CourseSeparate Entrance ExamStrasbourg, Francehttp://www.alsacetech.org/EN/trainings/school-fact-sheets/ecpm-strasbourg.html
University of Massachusetts, AmherstGraduate ProgramSAT: 1850Amherst, USAhttps://www.pse.umass.edu/academics/admissions

Fee Structure

Almost all the top institutes in India offering plastic engineering are government-affiliated. The fees may vary from INR 10,000 to 80,000 depending on the institute/university. For overseas universities, the cost that a student would incur for the degree would vary from INR 15 lacs to 35 lacs.

Salary Structure

Starting salaries for plastic engineering graduates might vary in the private sector from INR 12,000 to 25,000 per month & in the public sector from INR 10,000 to 20,000 per month. For people with M.E./M.Tech degrees, starting salaries can go as high as INR 30,000 to 40,000 per month.

Job Opportunities

You may find a number of job opportunities for a career in plastic engineering. As per the current estimation by CIPET, the Indian Plastic Industry directly or indirectly employs 3.3 million people. The appraisal & growth rate in the industry has the potential of generating 3 million additional employment opportunities in the next few years. With the new concept of biodegradable polymers, there is a huge demand for new R&D in this field opening up even more horizons for the use of plastics.

Just in the first decade of the 21st century, the demand for plastic raw material has more than doubled from 3.3 million metric tons to 6.8 million metric tons. Furthermore, the recycling industry in India has umpteen employment & growth opportunities as well.

As a plastic engineer, you may find jobs and be a vital resource to various critical sectors of the economy like agriculture, infrastructure, consumer goods, telecommunication, medical, automobile, construction, packaging, healthcare, etc.

Some of the profiles that plastic engineers work on may include roles as:

  • Production Engineer
  • Safety Supervisor
  • Lecturer
  • Mold & Process Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Product Designer
  • Quality Control in-charge
  • R&D Officer
  • Extrusion Specialist

Future Prospects

A number of worldwide multinational companies involved in the production, manufacturing or R&D of plastics might provide wonderful job opportunities to plastic technology engineers. In the public sector corporations of India, plastic engineers might find employment opportunities in companies like Oil India Limited, Petroleum Conservation Research Association of India, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Oil & Natural Gas Limited, etc. Plastic Engineers may also find lectureship jobs in various colleges & universities with decent pay packages.

The most asserting fact of a career in plastic engineering is that career opportunities are not going to decline. Instead, the industry is growing at an enormous rate. So, one can be assured of a good career, handsome salaries & respectable designation.

3 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Making a Career in Plastic Engineering”

  1. Good post. It’s great to know that there are so many opportunities out there for people who want to pursue a career in the field of plastic engineering. It sounds like a really interesting and diverse way to make a living, too!

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