In Indian culture, being a doctor is considered the highest achievement, followed by an engineer as number two. Why is becoming a doctor or an engineer so highly valued? There are a few reasons. First, these are incredibly competitive and difficult paths to complete. Second, the financial aspects- job security is high, and doctors and engineers are the highest-paid professionals making low to mid-six figures on average. If you like science, it is not unreasonable to weigh your options in becoming an engineer versus a doctor, but which is better financially speaking? Keep reading to find out.
What are the Differences Between a Doctor and an Engineer?
- Engineers are experts whose jobs are concerned with designing, analysing, constructing and using machines in different engineering fields. To carry out this job, they use the knowledge of Mathematics, Science, and Technology that they gained in engineering school.
- On the other hand, a doctor is a trained professional who practices medicine and is in charge of diagnosing and treating medical ailments and helping the affected individuals recover from the sickness.
- Engineering and medicine are the two most sought after careers in India, but ironically both are poles apart in their fields of study. However, certain disciplines of engineering are used in medicine.
- Moreover, there are some common disciplines for engineering and medicine, including mechanical, electrical, petroleum, civil, biomedical, genetic engineering, dermatology, immunology, neurology, and paediatrics.
Doctor vs Engineer: Quick Facts
|Eligibility||12th class or equivalent with Biology as a compulsory subject||12th class or equivalent with Maths as a mandatory subject|
|Qualification||A bachelor’s or master’s degree in medicine or PhD/ Doctorate||A bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field of engineering|
|Courses||UG: MBBS, BDS, BVSC, etc
PG: General surgery, ENT, Anaesthesia, Cardiology, Gynaecology etc.
|Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, etc.|
|Area of work||Healthcare||Construction of railways, roads, buildings, electricity boards, Information Technology, etc.|
|Average salary||INR 14,00,000 – 41,00,000 per year||INR 14,00,000 – 30,00,000 per year|
What Does an Engineer Do?
- An engineer utilises the knowledge and concepts of maths, science, and technology to design and construct machines and software to help improve the productivity and efficiency of human beings.
- They help design machines that decrease the need for human labour.
- They help protect human beings from natural disasters or extreme weather conditions by designing sturdy and well-structured buildings.
- Engineers help solve complex technical problems and design economical solutions for the same.
- Applications of engineering surround our day-to-day life processes. There are as many engineering disciples out there that candidates can choose from, like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, etc.
What Does a Doctor Do?
- The professional responsibilities of a doctor include examining the patients to diagnose and treat their illnesses or injuries.
- Doctors run various tests to determine the cause of the illness/sickness or injuries of a patient.
- They provide medical treatment to these illnesses by performing procedures, analysing medical records, and writing prescriptions.
- Doctors work as a team in hospitals by collaborating with nurses, medical assistants and other professionals with whom they are in charge.
- There are medical specialists for every specific system of the body ranging from surgeons to neurologists and so on. Candidates willing to pursue a career in medicine need to graduate with MBBS first, and in the future, they can opt for any field of specialisation depending on their interests.
Who Earns More of the Two?
- A debatable question is who earns more from a doctor and an engineer. The average salary in both professions depends on many factors, including the number of work hours, the financial strength of the organisation they are working for, and the field of specialisation.
- A primary doctor in India has a national average salary of Rs. 60,000 per month, while a specialist in any medical field like gynaecology, paediatrics, medicine or surgery earns around Rs. 2,00,000 per month. The pay scale goes on increasing with further degrees and fellowships acquired.
- If you want to follow your career in medicine and want to earn heaps, it is definitely possible as medicine is one of the fields which offers immense scope for financial growth. The harder you work and the more degrees you collect, the more you will earn!
- The average salary of engineers in India in entry-level positions is around Rs. 22,000 per month. The salary grows on increasing with the increase in experience and professionalism. Additionally, top companies in India like Punj Lloyd, Mercedes-Benz Group, Tata, and Ultra Tech Cement pay much higher salaries to their engineers, with the figures going up in lakhs based on the job responsibilities.
- The salaries also greatly vary based on the field of engineering, with petroleum engineering, computer engineering, and aerospace engineering having the highest pay package in India currently. If you are interested in earning more as an engineer, you can pursue your career in these or other in-demand branches of engineering.
- In a nutshell, the starting salary of a doctor in India at an entry-level position is much higher than that of an engineer. But after a few years, the gap between the two figures gets narrower as engineers get paid a lot more than what they used to get once they grow in terms of experience. Corporate companies revise their employees’ salaries much more often than hospitals do.
- Please note that the discussion here is based on generalisation and average analysis of the figures. If you are really passionate about your career as a doctor or as an engineer, the sky’s the limit in terms of the financial aspects. You land a job as an engineer with top companies of the world like Google or TCS; you get paid in the mid to high six figures every month. Similarly, if you work really hard as a doctor and turn out to be one of the best in the country or abroad, you will earn more money than you can possibly spend!
Also See: NEET vs JEE Best Career Option
Doctor Vs Engineer: Jobs and Scope
|Job Profile||Description||Average Annual Salary|
|Assistant engineer||The assistant engineer works under the charge of a senior engineer. They are found in every disciple of engineering. Junior engineers are promoted to the role of assistant engineers when they gain sufficient experience. The role and responsibilities of each position vary.||INR 6 lakh|
|Junior engineer||It is an entry-level position in the field of engineering. The junior engineer usually works under the guidance of a senior engineer and reports back to him. There are junior engineers in every branch of engineering, including civil, mechanical, and electrical.||INR 5 lakh|
|Chief engineer||It is the highest position of engineering in the department. A chief engineer is responsible for the proper functioning of the entire department and overlooks the work of the subordinates.||INR 20 lakh|
|Project engineer||Every project the company performs is headed by a project manager, who is responsible for overlooking the work of the entire project and ensuring that it is completed in time. They collaborate with different team members, collect data, create testing methods to evaluate the project quality, and produce reports.||INR 9 lakh|
|Job Profile||Job Description||Average Annual salary|
|General physician||It is an entry-level position after MBBS and when the individual has not specialised in a particular field||INR 7 lakh|
|Neuroscientists||They are medical professionals who deal with the treatment of diseases of the nervous system. Neuroscientists need to be well-versed in other disciplines of medicine, including physiology, biochemistry and psychiatry.||INR 12 lakh|
|Cardiologist||They are medical professionals trained to treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is one of the most coveted streams of medical science and comes with great incentives||INR 20 lakh|
|Surgeon||These doctors are specialised in performing surgeries to treat a vast number of diseases. Surgeons perform more than 200 million surgeries every year||INR 19 lakh|
As it is clear from the discussion, generalising the financial aspects of the medical profession against those of the engineering profession wouldn’t be a fair analysis. There are so many other factors involved. Between a primary care doctor and a medical specialist, there is a huge difference from the financial perspective. Similarly, between a fresher engineer and an experienced one, there is quite a difference.
Having said that, if you are thinking of pursuing a career just for the sake of the money it will fetch you, you are not doing it right. Both doctors and engineers work hard in their respective professional colleges, and you can only do that if you are passionate about your career choice. It is very hard to stay interested in and dedicated to a career if you are in it only for the money.
1. How to become an engineer?
To become an Engineer, aspirants can pursue undergraduate entrance examinations like JEE Mains and CUCET. After successfully cracking these entrance exams, aspirants would eventually get admission into some of the top engineering colleges across the country.
2. How to become a doctor?
To become a doctor, aspirants can pursue undergraduate medical Courses or MBBS from some of the top medical colleges in India after successfully cracking the undergraduate medical entrance exam NEET UG.
3. How is the job of a doctor and engineer linked?
1. Medicine and engineering are completely different fields of study, but the principles of engineering are often used in medicine. Engineers design new advanced technologies to diagnose or assess the human body on a deeper level, for example, biomedical engineering and genetic engineering.
2. As the two fields of study are related, doctors often employ the machines or software created by engineers in their procedures. It inflates the scope of engineering and also opens up more job opportunities for them.
4. What is the working methodology of doctors and engineers?
1. The job responsibilities of a doctor include examining patients to treat their medical ailments or injuries. Various tests need to be run to diagnose and get rid of the illness/sickness or injuries of a patient. Doctors give medical treatment to patients by performing medical procedures, evaluating medical histories, and formulating prescriptions.
2. An engineer, on the other hand, uses the knowledge of maths, science, and technology to design and create machines and software that help enhance the productivity and efficiency of humans. The machines that engineers construct help reduce human labour. They also help save humankind from natural disasters or extreme weather conditions by helping with the design of buildings.
5. Why is being a doctor considered the best job?
1. In many cultures, including our Indian culture, being a doctor is considered the highest achievement. This is because it is an extremely competitive and challenging path to complete, and the kind of work you do is often considered noble.
2. For that reason, being a doctor is considered very prestigious. Secondly, the financial perks. Job security is good because humans will always have health problems, and doctors are always needed. In addition to this, doctors are the highest paid professionals, with most making low to mid-six figures on average.
6. Is choosing a medical profession a safe choice?
Choosing a medical profession is a safe choice. It is the only profession where if you work really hard, you are guaranteed to make low to mid-six figures. Do you think you can make more in other professions? Sure, but getting into business or engineering does not have that guaranteed level of financial security. The range of income is much broader, meaning you can earn much less or much more than the average doctor, but generally speaking, you’ll probably be making less.
7. Why is engineering considered a great career?
Owing to a vast number of perks such as job satisfaction after you graduate, the opportunity to work in a team environment, great employability scope, handsome remuneration, and great future prospects, engineering is considered as one of the best careers one can pursue.