Engineering Jobs in Qatar
Information on Engineering in Qatar, How to Find Engineering Jobs and Current Engineering Vacancies
Also see: Latest Engineering Jobs (on the jobs board)
Qatar is, as they say, open for business. Despite the world downturn, construction in Qatar continues strongly and that means engineering jobs are still very much in the forefront of Qatar's job market. But what is an engineering job? Come to that what is engineering?
A dictionary definition says engineering is "the application of science to the design, building and use of machines, construction etc." (I like the etc.) . Engineering is a frequently used word and in one way or another covers most aspects of modern life. But that doesn't help the student looking for a career or the job seeker looking for work.
Lets start with a simplified overview of "Engineering". To understand the job market and job opportunities in Qatar there are a few major disciplines; Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Chemical. For all of these Qatar's job opportunities abound. You certainly should know what discipline you are searching for. The purpose of this article is not to make lists and anyway most lists would be redundant as titles/descriptions from one agency will not always be the same from another. The best advice is to read and search carefully so that you don't waste you time looking in the wrong direction.
Don't forget there are many administrative engineering opportunities to be found behind all pure engineering roles. Project engineers, design engineers, quality control (QA) & quality assurance (QA) engineers, safety engineers, contracts engineers, procurement engineers, sales engineers . and to make matter worse many of these don't even use the word engineer!
Engineering jobs in Qatar generally pay well. Levels are varied and do depend on the industry and employer. At the top end is arguably the Oil & Gas sector with employment with one of the large multi-national oil companies such Shell, ExxonMobile or Total. These types of companies need to employ the best, usually against stiff competition, and their pay and benefits generally reflect that. A senior engineer or manager can be looking at a family package including housing schooling and transportation exceeding QR100k per month. Lower positions pay less, with monthly salaries at anywhere between QR15k and 40K per month, but are still attractive particularly when the benefits (housing, transport, medical etc) are added.
Today the other big area for employment in Qatar is the construction sector. Continued growth of infrastructure facilities such as hospitals; roads; electrical generation, transmission & distribution; water supplies, treatment & sewage plants; hotels, housing and high rise office & apartment buildings ensure there are plenty of opportunities for qualified staff in all disciplines. Salary levels are a step down from the Oil& Gas sector, but remain attractive. The upper end would be in the region Of QR60K packages with the junior engineer probably in the order of QR12K.
Sadly for some the package is not only based on qualifications and ability. National origin often plays a part.
Expatriated positions (i.e. you are employed from outside the country and are brought to Qatar to work) provide the best packages. Usually this will include accommodation, air-travel for leave and for those on a recognized family status contract air-tickets and perhaps assistance with schooling costs for dependants. Locally employed positions generally carry fewer benefits than expatriated ones. The logic is that you are already here so are likely to have a home and transport etc. The are no hard and fast rules and what the individual will be offered will depend on the perceived job level, industry and employer.
An international company working on a large contract where quality is essential (such as the petrochemical industries or major construction projects like the New Doha International Airport) will need to attract the highest caliber of employees and salaries and benefits will recognise this. The construction industry will vary much more widely from mega-projects in high rise towers to smaller companies working on single standalone residential properties.
The good news is that there is no personal income tax in Qatar. What you get is generally what you keep.
The other bit of good news in Qatar is that there is a labour law that lays out the minimum requirements to protect the employee against bad employment practices such as non-payment of dues. There is also an open and accessible mechanism for employees of all levels to use in case of difficulty or dispute with his employer.
Through this myriad of opportunity how does the job seeker find his perfect slot in Qatar's engineering fraternity? There is no simple answer but from a distance (and even if you are close at hand) the simplest solution is to register with a good employment website. These work on the basis of match-making between employers and candidates.
It is useful to be as specific in your search as possible. The spread of opportunity is extensive. Searching for "Qatar Engineering" or "Engineering Jobs in Qatar" whilst useful will generate many positions that are not what you as the candidate are looking for. You know what you do so at least stay within your own scope and key in "Civil Engineering jobs in Qatar" or "Mechanical Engineering" etc.
There is a difference between engineers (defined as those who are qualified to at least first degree level), technicians or mechanics (usually those with vocational training) and semi-skilled & unskilled workers. These lines are often clouded by capability and experience and many candidates, employers and agencies, will use labels without care. Does the client really want an Acoustics Engineer when all he needs and is willing to pay for is someone to operate the stereo? On the other hand the Automotive Electrician who thinks of himself as an Electrical Engineer will be wasting his searches using that title.
There are plenty of so-called agencies who are out for nothing more than to make money from the unsuspecting and trusting candidate. Usually these work on the basis of asking the candidate to part with cash at some point to register or assist with an overhead cost or simply as commission for finding them a job. This is not necessary. The employer pays the agent. Period.