Life As a Materials Engineer
Occupation Description 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.
Life As a Materials Engineer: What Do They Do?
- Replicate the characteristics of materials and their components with computers.
- Monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration.
- Write for technical magazines, journals, and trade association publications.
- Plan and implement laboratory operations to develop material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.
- Review new product plans and make recommendations for material selection, based on design objectives such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost.
- Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.
Skills Needed to be a Materials Engineer
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.
Types of Materials Engineer
- Metallurgical Engineer
- Research Engineer
- Ceramic Design Engineer
- Physical Metallurgist
Are There Job Opportunities for Materials Engineers?
There were about 27,000 jobs for Materials Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). 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.
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.
Average Materials Engineers Salary
The salary for Materials Engineers ranges between about $57,110 and $148,110 a year.
Materials Engineers who work in New Mexico, Maryland, or Tennessee, make the highest salaries.
How much do Materials Engineers make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools do Materials Engineers Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Materials Engineers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Word processing software
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Microsoft Visio
- Microsoft SharePoint
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- IBM Notes
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- Computer aided design CAD software
- National Instruments LabVIEW
Becoming a Materials Engineer
Education needed to be a Materials Engineer:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Materials Engineer?
Where Materials Engineers Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Materials Engineers employed by various industries.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those interested in being a Materials Engineer may also be interested in:
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More about our data sources and methodologies.
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