What is a Materials Engineer?
Job 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.
List of Materials Engineer Job Duties
- Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.
- Plan and implement laboratory operations to develop material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.
- Monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration.
- Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports.
- Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.
- Design processing plants and equipment.
Skills Needed to be a Materials Engineer
Materials Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Plastics Engineer
- Materials Development Engineer
- Welding Engineer
- Research Engineer
- Ceramic Design Engineer
Job Outlook 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,900 job openings in this field each 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.
Materials Engineer Salary
The average yearly salary of a Materials Engineer ranges between $57,110 and $148,110.
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|
What Tools & Technology 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
How to Become a Materials Engineer
What education is needed to be a Materials Engineer?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Materials Engineers Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Materials Engineers employed by various industries.
Those interested in being a Materials Engineer may also be interested in:
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More about our data sources and methodologies.