We all live in a plastic-centric world, which is largely shaped by different types of polymer products, such as plastic, molded material, synthetic fibers, rubbers etc. With more and more usage of plastic products, the necessity of proper management of these products as well as the requirement of eco-friendly and recyclable plastic is also at the rise. Here enters the role of polymer engineers who use the principles of plant design, process design, thermodynamics, and transport phenomena to develop new products. Recently, polymers have become a rapidly growing sector in the materials industry. And with the launch of more polymer and petrochemical industries across India and abroad, the value of chemical or polymer engineering as a career option has increased manifold. Polymer engineering is a branch of engineering that revolves around the different facets of petrochemical industry, polymerization, structure and characterization of polymers, properties of polymers, compounding and processing of polymers. Besides, it also comprises of the description of major polymers, their structures, property relations, and applications. Considering the enormous growth potentials, aspirants, with requisite educational qualification, good aptitude, analytical skills, and knowledge of continuous changing technology, can do wonders in this highly productive field of polymer engineering.
Candidates who have completed the 10+2 examination, with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as compulsory subjects, can pursue undergraduate courses, like 4-year BE and B.Tech, in polymer engineering, plastic technology, or other related fields, to become a successful polymer engineer. However, they have to clear engineering entrance examinations, such as IIT-JEE, AIEEE, state level pre-engineering test, or any university level examination, to secure admission in engineering colleges, which offer Bachelor�s program in polymer engineering or plastic technology. After graduation, they can pursue the 2-year M.Tech course in polymer engineering or plastic technology. Candidates with a M.Sc degree, in chemistry or physics, are also eligible to apply for the M.Tech program in polymer engineering. For admission into M.Tech programs in most of the reputed institutions, candidates have to qualify in the GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering). Besides, various diploma courses are also offered by different colleges and institutes, varying from 1-3 years in duration, depending upon the course. Apart from mandatory education, budding polymer engineers should be attentive and concentrative, have good vision for checking quality and numeric skills, and possess understanding of the properties of polymer materials and processing methods.
With the apt requirement, polymer engineers can become a part of the polymer manufacturing and user industries. They can be employed as production supervisors, quality control inspectors, mould designers, and production planners in several private and public sector companies. They can even work as technologists or polymer scientists in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Oil laboratories, Petrochemicals engineering plants, Institutes of Petroleum, Petroleum Conservation Research Associations, Polymer Corporations of different nations, and other such organizations. Polymer engineers can also opt for teaching jobs and work as lecturers or professors in engineering institutes. Getting involved in research and development, processing, quality control, technical support and sales, design and manufacture of molds, training, management and related activities are some fruitful sectors to find great job opportunities in.
Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
There are a large number of leading and prestigious institutes in India that offer courses in polymer engineering or its related subjects. These include:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi;
�Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi;
Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur, Punjab; Cochin
University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kochi;
Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Pune;
National Institute of Technology, Calicut;
Delhi College of Engineering, New Delhi;
Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, Mysore;
Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore;
SSE (Shri Shivaji Education) Society�s College of Engineering and Technology, Akola, Maharashtra;
University College of Engineering, Thodupuzha, Kerala; and
VRS & YRN College of Technology,
Department of Oil Technology, Chirala, Andhra Pradesh.
Remuneration of a fresh polymer engineer is relatively high compared to other engineering streams, but depends upon the type of hiring organization. As a fresh polymer engineering graduate, one can expect a monthly salary of Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 12,000 in the private sector, while the public sector offers a pay package of Rs. 10,000 - 15,000 per month. With a Master�s degree, polymer engineers can easily fetch a starting monthly remuneration of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000. With approximate five years of experience, senior polymer engineers can be recruited at attractive salaries in the range of Rs. 50,000 to 80,000 per month. Upon gaining some 15-20 years of experience, one can join as a consultant adviser in large reputed firms.�