#BeAnAwesome: Mechanical Manager
What will I do?
Depending on which part of the value chain your company is positioned at, the job you perform can vary greatly, even if they all reside within the same industry. If the company you choose to work for is on the supply side, then you will more likely be part of the sales force – in charge of marketing and closing orders; engineering team – consisting of designers, application, and process engineers; or service team – doing hands-on installation work and on-site supervision. In the case of end-users (consumers of the supply), then you would be more involved in operating and maintaining the power system.
Is it for me?
The energy industry, especially on the design side, is predominantly a technical field that is always on a constant lookout for talented graduates who have the following qualities:
- analytical skills– able to systematically approach a case logically and solve complex problems
- unselfish team players – able to collaborate closely with peers
- strong communication skills – able to clearly present a problem
- pragmatic outlook – able to look at all options and pick the best fit to a given problem
- resourceful – able to seek out alternative options when things do not go as planned
- and above all, a passionate individual.
In any case, the most important question you should really ask yourself is whether or not the prospect of powering the future and creating better livelihood for people excites you. I am sure that you have heard countless times from others that 'passion' is the real key to success in any industry, and this is no exception.
What is the most enjoyable part of the job?
Our company had been under pressure to lower our portfolio cost in order to compete with increased competition. That meant looking for innovative ways to redesign our products in order to lower its overall production cost yet not compromising on quality. It was a really challenging task and but we managed to achieve our objectives. In my experience, born engineers really enjoy such challenges and there is no shortage of such challenges in this industry. The best sense of satisfaction is attained when your design works without a flaw.
Who will employ me?
The energy business is always on the lookout for strong candidates from all fields of engineering as long as you possess the right aptitude (just as those mentioned above). As a graduate engineer, you must first consider what sort of work (ie, sales, business development, design, project management, servicing, etc) excites you and then find a company that can provide that opportunity. Graduates can expect open positions in sales, design, and servicing at most leading companies.
How much will I earn?
As a graduate engineer, a typical entry-level salary ranges from RM2,800 to RM3,500 depending on the company. For oil and gas, the salary can start as high as RM4,500 to RM5,000. A salary guide, such as the Salary Guide by HiredNow, can serve as a good reference.
Your basic tertiary education certificate is the most fundamental requirement for the energy industry. Normally, a specialised qualification is needed for those in the electrical field, such as the chargeman certificate meant for personnel operating electrical installations. However, in most cases, your tertiary education is already more than sufficient.