Types of Degrees Materials Engineering Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many materials engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Materials Engineering Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, materials engineering majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Materials Engineering Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Skills for Materials Engineering Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to materials engineering:
- 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.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Materials Engineering Majors
Materials Engineering majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
What Can You Do With a Materials Engineering Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with materials engineering:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||5.5%||$140,760|
|Biofuels/Biodiesel Technology and Product Development Managers||5.5%||$140,760|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Engineering?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of materials engineering majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||44|
|Hispanic or Latino||125|
Students from other countries are interested in Materials Engineering, too. About 10.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
How Much Do Materials Engineering Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that materials engineering students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $63,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $60,300 (25th percentile) and $66,300 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to materials engineering.
Salaries According to BLS
Materials Engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $69,710 to $113,680 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Materials Engineering
Some careers associated with materials engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for materials engineering careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.9%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||2.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||3.0%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||3.6%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.8%|
Online Materials Engineering Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 105 schools offered some type of materials engineering program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||4||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||2||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||76||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Materials Engineering Worth It?
The median salary for a materials engineering grad is $96,930 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 143% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,140,600 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Materials Engineering
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to materials engineering.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Panoramedia under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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