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Really that bad for engineers?

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  #201 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:07 AM
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Project engineer in petrochemical... Better get experience and goes elsewhere. everywhere is toxic gas.. every plant leaks...(matter of big or small). You will expect to check your plant design with process engineer and issue specification to stupid contractor to build new plant. Tons of standards and codes for you to follow as you construct them.... Risk your life to ensure MOM vessels are properly constructed and registered.....Risk your life going into confine space to check your equipment... Heavy responsibility for the "so call" high paid and not worth..Stress you out as you construct you plant.

For pay wise...expected to get S$7k~8k in early thirties. Estimated EM will give you around 5k...
Let me try to explain the job scope of a project engineer in a petrochemical industry based on what I know...

A project engineer (at least in the place I work for) does the following:
- executes plant changes (the development and initiation of the project are not done by the project engineer, he/she is only responsible for executing the change i.e. costing of project, securing material, manpower and resources and ensuring the change is excuted within a specific timeframe).
- when the change is completed, he is in charge of ensuring that the change is executed as per plan (going on site to check on the work quality of the contractors that he entrusts the project with)
- alot of paper work involving the project that he executes (from obtaining approval, to project close out to all the costing coordination with vendor/contractors)
- works very closely with the people who develops the projects as they need to know the detail. so alot of time is spent on meetings/discussions with the projects developers/initiators.

Also, I think there's a misconception about the safety in a petrochemical plant. Statistically speaking, people die on the road in car accident much much more frequent than people dying in the petrochemical industry. It's actually much safer to work in the plant than driving to work =) Toxic gas releases, fire and explosions are not as frequent as one imagine it to be. There are many safeguardings in place to prevent people from getting hurt at work (be it equipment or human safeguards).

Pay wise, I would estimate a project engineer in the early 30s to be drawing a total annual package of about S$100K (including all forms of bonus). Hope this information helps.

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  #202 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 02:20 PM
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Let me try to explain the job scope of a project engineer in a petrochemical industry based on what I know...

A project engineer (at least in the place I work for) does the following:
- executes plant changes (the development and initiation of the project are not done by the project engineer, he/she is only responsible for executing the change i.e. costing of project, securing material, manpower and resources and ensuring the change is excuted within a specific timeframe).
- when the change is completed, he is in charge of ensuring that the change is executed as per plan (going on site to check on the work quality of the contractors that he entrusts the project with)
- alot of paper work involving the project that he executes (from obtaining approval, to project close out to all the costing coordination with vendor/contractors)
- works very closely with the people who develops the projects as they need to know the detail. so alot of time is spent on meetings/discussions with the projects developers/initiators.

Also, I think there's a misconception about the safety in a petrochemical plant. Statistically speaking, people die on the road in car accident much much more frequent than people dying in the petrochemical industry. It's actually much safer to work in the plant than driving to work =) Toxic gas releases, fire and explosions are not as frequent as one imagine it to be. There are many safeguardings in place to prevent people from getting hurt at work (be it equipment or human safeguards).

Pay wise, I would estimate a project engineer in the early 30s to be drawing a total annual package of about S$100K (including all forms of bonus). Hope this information helps.
Yes, your job discription of project engineer is only half correct. Don't just say on the good side. It is NOT just plain paper work and co-ordination but also the ensuring of physical building/modification of the plant as of your requirement. The word "PROJECT" engineer means everything of your project.

If your EPC contractor has ordered a new distillation tower or high pressure vessel, you might need to witness the testing... There.. you will risk your life to withness high pressure testing and somtime going into confine space internal tower inspection.

If your EPC contractor need lifting crane for installation of new distillation tower and the lifting procedure fails as it hit on other plant equipment.. You will screw your EPC contractor as your company screw you... You may be the king of your EPC contractor but you are liable for their actions..That is kind of heavy responsibilities against the so called "high paid" salary.

Every plant leaks(matter big or small) is true. Don't believe if you are on the plant tour and you will know it.. only the leak is small and not enough for fire/explosion. However, risk life for long term exposure to that smell..

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  #203 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Yes, your job discription of project engineer is only half correct. Don't just say on the good side. It is NOT just plain paper work and co-ordination but also the ensuring of physical building/modification of the plant as of your requirement. The word "PROJECT" engineer means everything of your project.

If your EPC contractor has ordered a new distillation tower or high pressure vessel, you might need to witness the testing... There.. you will risk your life to withness high pressure testing and somtime going into confine space internal tower inspection.

If your EPC contractor need lifting crane for installation of new distillation tower and the lifting procedure fails as it hit on other plant equipment.. You will screw your EPC contractor as your company screw you... You may be the king of your EPC contractor but you are liable for their actions..That is kind of heavy responsibilities against the so called "high paid" salary.

Every plant leaks(matter big or small) is true. Don't believe if you are on the plant tour and you will know it.. only the leak is small and not enough for fire/explosion. However, risk life for long term exposure to that smell..
i agree to some extent... pipe joints and valves might not be 100% leak proof esp in old plants ... i.e. the old oil refineries. Exxon chemical plant in JI is quite new .. might not be so bad... Last time the Environmental adviser for EM asia-pacific region said given a choice better dont stay in plant for too long for health reasons. He already in 50s/60s and his job is to go around EM plants in asia-pac to check for emissions/pollution etc. He is from the 1st batch of NUS chem eng. grads and he told me he regretted studying eng. as all his peers who studied biz are now directors in companies...

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  #204 (permalink)  
Old 19-04-2011, 03:45 PM
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Anyone knows anything about Exxonmobil at Pulau Ayer Chawan? What is the work environment like?
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  #205 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2011, 08:51 PM
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Default Try first

If you are graduating with an engineering degree, try a related job first. You can still quit and try other fields if you find that you really don't like engineering stuff.

Quite a number of my friends moved from engineering to project management and finance. Their experience in previous hardcore engineering jobs are taken into significant account by their new companies' HR. Hardcore engineering = keng tow nao, use-brain type.

Another two of my friends moved the other way from gov admin and finance to engineering. Their new companies' HR considered them as entry level graduates. Their pay is just a little higher than fresh grads despite having worked 2-3 yrs already.

IMHO, it is safer to jump from engineering to admin, finance, project management, etc. than the other way round. Starting out with engineering isn't as bad as most people think.
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  #206 (permalink)  
Old 21-05-2011, 11:42 PM
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Default 364onstric

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If you want to make big bucks as an engineer you can either

1) join the financial industry - lots of engineering grads do that

2) be an engineer but not in Singapore. From what i know, engineers in other countries esp Western ones, earn LOTS and LOTS more then engineers in Singapore. Sad but true. Just like how junior lawyers in Hong Kong earn double then those in Singapore.
Or if you are the type that became an engineer because of passion and profession - go try your luck in Japan. I made my way there through my previous company in sg. I had a culture shock of my life when I started working in jp. In sg nobody gives a damn if you are an engineer while even junior bankers or lawyers gets the praises. It is the opposite in jp, engineers are very well respected over there. It's actually regarded as a noble job. Two pts to take note: (1) Don't expect a high pay like in the US. (2) You need bosses that cherish abilities over the fact that you are a gaijin.
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  #207 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:59 PM
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Smile Exxon Pay with 2 years exp

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I just got an offer from Exxon for Project Engineer role in their chemical plant in Jurong. I have 2 years of experience. Can anyone give me an idea of the job environment in the chemical plant and also an estimated pay ? I have not received the package - just a call saying i passed the interview and the need to go for a medical check up.
So how much they offering you? I am thinking of applying for exxon... based on hearsay from friends, for 1st 2 years, they have an increment every 6 mths...

So i assume after 2 years, pay will hit nearly 5K... if it's good, I am so tempted to apply..
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  #208 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2011, 12:17 AM
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So how much they offering you? I am thinking of applying for exxon... based on hearsay from friends, for 1st 2 years, they have an increment every 6 mths...

So i assume after 2 years, pay will hit nearly 5K... if it's good, I am so tempted to apply..
my bro jus joined exxon. he got 5yr exp. $4900.
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  #209 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2011, 09:22 PM
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my bro jus joined exxon. he got 5yr exp. $4900.
May I know which position is he in? Engineer?
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  #210 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2011, 11:24 PM
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May I know which position is he in? Engineer?
process design engineer
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