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Materials Engineer

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What is a Materials Engineer?

Job Description & Duties Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those engineers working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials. Includes metallurgists and metallurgical engineers, ceramic engineers, and welding engineers.

A Day in the Life of a Materials Engineer

  • Supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations.
  • Plan and implement laboratory operations to develop material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.
  • Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.
  • Monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration.
  • Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports.
  • Write for technical magazines, journals, and trade association publications.

Materials Engineer Skills

When polled, Materials Engineers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • Materials and Processes Manager
  • Material Analyst
  • Materials Research Engineer
  • Refining Engineer
  • Forensic Materials Engineer

Materials Engineer Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 27,000 jobs for Materials Engineer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 1.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 500 new jobs for Materials Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,900 positions for Materials Engineer per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Materials Engineer are Utah, Nevada, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Kansas, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Materials Engineers Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Materials Engineers ranges between about $57,110 and $148,110 a year.

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Materials Engineers who work in New Mexico, Maryland, or Tennessee, make the highest salaries.

How much do Materials Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $94,590
Alaska $99,010
Arizona $90,020
Arkansas $87,780
California $107,570
Colorado $100,940
Connecticut $98,310
Florida $99,570
Georgia $86,240
Illinois $84,310
Indiana $80,560
Iowa $94,930
Kansas $106,350
Kentucky $74,720
Louisiana $109,410
Maine $93,630
Maryland $116,380
Massachusetts $95,640
Michigan $82,570
Minnesota $96,780
Mississippi $85,330
Missouri $93,100
Montana $65,110
Nebraska $81,710
Nevada $95,070
New Hampshire $93,230
New Jersey $90,740
New Mexico $124,780
New York $100,880
Ohio $91,360
Oklahoma $92,470
Oregon $91,690
Pennsylvania $89,180
South Carolina $87,470
Tennessee $111,670
Texas $99,790
Utah $88,100
Vermont $90,970
Virginia $97,470
West Virginia $88,320
Wisconsin $82,410

What Tools do Materials Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Materials Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • IBM Notes
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Minitab
  • National Instruments LabVIEW

How do I Become a Materials Engineer?

Are there Materials Engineers education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Materials Engineers Work

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Materials Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Panoramedia via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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