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What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

(OP)
Hi all!
I have been wondering last time, what type of sector in our specialisation is the most prospective. Nowadays, there is a big crisis in Oil&Gas sector, a lot of engineers lost their job, and nothing going to change in next few years.
What do you think about next decade in mechanical engineering, which sector is the most secure, automotive, aerospace?

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Not sure about the most 'secure', but from personal experience, Machine Design can be very rewarding from the point of view of being able to quickly see the results of your labor, particularly when compared to automotive or aerospace, at least that's my humble opinion. Besides, it's been reported that there are more engineers working for machinery manufacturers than any other industry segment. That may not automatically equate to job security, but at least it indicates that the opportunities are numerous and varied.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Power generation is a fairly stable industry, much less cyclic than oil & gas for example. Good long-term prospects for both electrical and mechanical engineers, and reasonably well paid too.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Working for the utility companies or government agencies seems pretty stable to me. People I know a the local power utility seem pretty stable. I am now with wastewater treatment and it is VERY stable.

Of course, pumping human waste isn't everyone's favorite, but it has been good to me.

For job security, I like the idea of working for a utility. It's hard to outsource much of the work, the need for the service is going to stay, and the size of the infrastructure virtually guarantees there will always be work to do.

ScottyUK,

Here in the US it depends on what part of the power industry you get involved with. My last position was with a company that built powerplants. Most of the employees there had been laid off and rehired. Many of them had gone through that cycle more than once.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Agreed - I should have qualified that to say 'operation and maintenance in the power generation industry'.

I completely understand what you mean about the layoffs during the quiet times: in the UK we've lost our heavy electrical manufacturing capability due to the decades-long period of under-investment caused by the failure of successive governments to establish a proper energy strategy, and exacerbated by the destruction in the mid-1980s of the nationalised utility industries which formed the principal customer base of our manufacturers. I doubt we will ever see that scale of engineering in this country again. sad

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

There are also less technical project management roles in government. We have a team of project admins whose job is to oversee and manage the delivery of bridge and highway projects, all of which are delivered by consultants and contractors.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Re: utility work being unable to be outsourced. The direction for two decades has been to contract out everything possible to reduce overhead. Many of the major A/E players are on retainers to do any design work above a certain cost threshold. There is a whole class of companies who provide operations and/or maintenance at plants on a contract basis. Utilities tend to be highly politicized corporations, particularly at the remote plants. Good-paying jobs are frequently doled out to locals whether qualified or not.

I worked in Plant Engineering at two utilities in the "old days" when every utility had in-house staff. It was among the most boring jobs imaginable for about 90% of the time, and a 24/7 job the remainder (annual turn-arounds). I used to go out of my way to look for meaningful work, and was strongly discouraged.

A major factor with being a Plant or Operations Engineer at a plant (not in the home office) is that the plants are purposely located way out in the styx. They are not necessarily places you'd want to live.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

I suspect the when someguy79 stated that "It's hard to outsource much of the work..." he may have actually meant "offshoring".

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

JohnRBaker,
You are correct. I wasn't very precise in my terminology there.

In my area, there is a lot of work done by outside firms for design and construction of utilities, but we still need fair sized staff of engineers working on behalf of the public. It's still most common here for utilities to be operated and managed by public agencies.

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

The electric power sector is undergoing major changes. First, there is a generational change as many persons retire in the next 5 yrs. Next, the past reliance on large central station thermal plants is ending, and the trend is toward incorporation of distributed generation and renewable energy assets.

The design and maintenance of wind towers , and the design and installation of medium sized industrial generation and cogeneration ( based on use of either micro-turbines or very high efficiency recip engines, such as the Jenbacher) will have importance over the next 10 yrs, and a newly minted ME should look in those areas. Converting currently installed base load designed plants to fast startup and cycling plants will also be prevalent. And of course decommissioning of legacy thermal and nuclear plants will also be of importance.

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

Being the largest sector I believe Energy sector is the most secure one.

Thanks & Regards,
Abhijit

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

I have been working in the public utility field, sewers, for 50 years now. It is hard to get people to work in sewers these days. But you all need sewers if you have water.

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.
WWW.amlinereast.com

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

(OP)
Hello again,
Thanks for you interesting replies.

I would like to work in utility industry but is a very difficult to change branch, for example, I was working as Designer in automotive company for almost 4 years, then I have moved to Aberdeen, because I would like to start work in O&G industry, but that was own goal. I have not found a job due to crisis, even as technician, I was looking for job in every sector, it doesn't matter for me if this is sewer or not, but in every offer they require at least few years in concerned industry.I don't know if there is any possibility to start work as civil engineer (i.e. designer)

So now, I think I have to move away from UK :)

RE: What kind of sector in mechanical engineergin is the most prospective?

In my experience, your original question will last for your entire career. And every year or so, the answer will change. Expect that and be ready for it. And chose something you like because, well just because.

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