Initially, the median pay of instrumentation engineers is Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2.2 lakh a year. The average pay of a graduate engineer — regardless of the branch — is Rs. 6.5 lakh per annum.
Must be good at maths and physics
Skilled at handling instruments and software
Have leadership qualities
Adept at trouble-shooting
Take science with physics, chemistry and maths at the plus two level. Instrumentation engineering is available as BTech or BE programmes, entry to which is normally through a written test.
Institutes like BITS Pilani offer it with electronics, as BE (Hons) electronics and instrumentation. Job options in this field are good. Instrumentation engineers work in software firms like HCL and TCS, as well as hardware companies. Other employers include Larsen & Toubro, ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), Siemens, Texas Instruments, National Instruments, Bechtel, Fluor Daniel, Foster Wheeler and even American Express. In the public sector, there are companies like EIL, BHEL, NTPC, SAIL, GAIL and ONGC.
Pros and cons
Your wider knowledge base gives you an edge over mechanical or electrical engineers in a plant
Money is good
Highly responsible role — if the instrumentation system fails, the whole plant will grind to a halt
Your health could be affected because of high noise and temperature levels at manufacturing plants
If things go wrong at work, you are required to be on call 24X7