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Become A Materials Process Engineer

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Working As A Materials Process Engineer

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • $83,316

    Average Salary

What Does A Materials Process Engineer Do

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), and other substances to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also help select materials for specific products, develop new ways to use existing materials, and develop new materials.

Duties

Materials engineers typically do the following:

  • Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and managers as necessary
  • Prepare proposals and budgets, analyze labor costs, write reports, and perform other managerial tasks
  • Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists
  • Design and direct the testing of processing procedures
  • Monitor how materials perform and evaluate how they deteriorate
  • Determine causes of product failure and develop ways of overcoming such failure
  • Evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to the design objectives of processes or products

Materials engineers create and study materials at an atomic level. They use computers to replicate the characteristics of materials and their components. They solve problems in a number of engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace.

Materials engineers may specialize in understanding specific types of materials. The following are examples of types of materials engineers:

Ceramic engineers develop ceramic materials and the processes for making them into useful products, from high-temperature rocket nozzles to glass for LCD flat-panel displays.

Composites engineers develop materials with special, engineered properties for applications in aircraft, automobiles, and related products.

Metallurgical engineers specialize in metals, such as steel and aluminum, usually in alloyed form with additions of other elements to provide specific properties.

Plastics engineers develop and test new plastics, known as polymers, for new applications.

Semiconductor processing engineers apply materials science and engineering principles to develop new microelectronic materials for computing, sensing, and related applications.

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How To Become A Materials Process Engineer

Materials engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering or in a related engineering field. Completing internships and cooperative engineering programs while in school can be helpful in getting a position as a materials engineer.

Education

Students interested in studying materials engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; in science, such as biology, chemistry, and physics; and in computer programming.

Entry-level jobs as a materials engineer require a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs include classroom and laboratory work focusing on engineering principles.

Some colleges and universities offer a 5-year program leading to both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A graduate degree, which may be at the Ph.D. level, allows an engineer to work as a postsecondary teacher or to do research and development.

Many colleges and universities offer internships and cooperative programs in partnership with industry. In these programs, students gain practical experience while completing their education.

Many engineering programs are accredited by ABET. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Materials engineers often work on projects related to other fields of engineering. They must determine how materials will be used and how they must be structured to withstand different conditions.

Math skills. Materials engineers use the principals of calculus and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Materials engineers must understand the relationship between materials’ structures, their properties, how they are made, and how these factors affect the products they are used to make. They must also figure out why a product might have failed, design a solution, and then conduct tests to make sure that the product does not fail again. These skills involve being able to identify root causes when many factors could be at fault.

Speaking skills. While working with technicians, technologists, and other engineers, materials engineers must state concepts and directions clearly. When speaking with managers, these engineers must also be able to communicate engineering concepts to people who may not have an engineering background.

Writing skills. Materials engineers must write plans and reports clearly so that people without a materials engineering background can understand the concepts.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure for materials engineers is not as common as it is for other engineering occupations, nor it is required for entry-level positions. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken after graduation from college. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own requirements.

Certification in the field of metallography, the science and art of dealing with the structure of metals and alloys, is available through ASM International and other materials science organizations.

Additional training in fields directly related to metallurgy and materials’ properties, such as corrosion or failure analysis, is available through ASM International.

Advancement

Junior materials engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers may receive formal training in classrooms or seminars. As engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects where they have greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, materials engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Many become engineering managers or move into other managerial positions or sales work. An engineering background is useful in sales because it enables sales engineers to discuss a product’s technical aspects and assist in product planning, installation, and use. For more information, see the profiles on architectural and engineering managers and sales engineers.

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Materials Process Engineer Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Material Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.2%
Engineer 3.8%
Chemist 2.8%
Top Employers After
Engineer 2.4%
Consultant 2.4%

Do you work as a Materials Process Engineer?

Materials Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.9%

Female

22.6%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

56.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Asian

13.9%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.0%

Mandarin

11.1%

Chinese

7.4%

French

7.4%

Cantonese

7.4%

Korean

7.4%

Portuguese

3.7%

German

3.7%

Greek

3.7%

Carrier

3.7%

Tagalog

3.7%

Polish

3.7%
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Materials Process Engineer Education

Schools

Wichita State University

6.8%

University of Toledo

6.8%

University of Utah

6.8%

Ohio State University

6.8%

University of Florida

5.7%

University of Washington

5.7%

University of Central Florida

5.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.7%

University of Alabama

4.5%

San Jose State University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Iowa State University

4.5%

Colorado School of Mines

4.5%

University of Arizona

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

Winona State University

4.5%

Washington University in Saint Louis

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

University of South Florida

3.4%

Southern Methodist University

3.4%
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Majors

Chemical Engineering

16.2%

Materials Science And Engineering

14.7%

Mechanical Engineering

11.5%

Business

10.4%

Chemistry

6.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.0%

Engineering

4.0%

Metallurgical Engineering

3.6%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Materials Sciences

3.2%

Plastics Engineering

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Management

2.5%

Industrial Engineering

2.5%

Finance

2.2%

Physics

2.2%

Aerospace Engineering

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.8%

Aviation

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.0%

Masters

33.1%

Other

8.7%

Doctorate

6.9%

Certificate

4.2%

Associate

1.2%
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Internship
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Real Materials Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Materials Process Engineer Paragon Mining Inc. San Carlos, CA May 21, 2014 $110,000
Principal Materials Process Engineer Diamond Foundry Inc. San Carlos, CA Sep 17, 2015 $110,000
Principal Materials Process Engineer Diamond Foundry Inc. San Carlos, CA May 21, 2014 $110,000
Principal Materials Process Engineer Diamond Foundry Inc. San Carlos, CA Oct 24, 2014 $110,000
Principal Materials Process Engineer Diamond Foundry Inc. San Carlos, CA Dec 29, 2015 $110,000
Mocvd Process Engineer, Materials Engineering Transphorm Inc. Goleta, CA Dec 11, 2014 $100,000
Senior MIM Materials & Process Engineer ATW Companies, Inc. East Providence, RI Jan 05, 2015 $100,000
Materials and Processes Engineer Superfici America, Inc. Concord, NC Aug 26, 2016 $98,000
Materials Process Engineer Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Franklin Town, MA Aug 24, 2010 $91,570
Materials and Process Engineer, Flammability Engineer Encore Interiros, Inc. Irvine, CA Dec 01, 2014 $91,500
Materials & Process Engineer The Boeing Company Everett, WA Sep 21, 2009 $91,233
Materials Process Engineer (Electrospinning) Harvard Bioscience, Inc. Holliston, MA Oct 01, 2012 $90,000
Materials, Process & Physics Engineer The Boeing Company Everett, WA May 06, 2011 $90,000 -
$113,000
Meterials & Process Engineer Park Aerospace Technologies Corp. Newton, KS Mar 21, 2016 $81,453
Materials Process Engineer L.J. Gonzer Associates Yorktown Heights, NY Oct 01, 2011 $81,120
Materials Process Engineer L.J. Gonzer Associates Yorktown Heights, NY Dec 05, 2011 $81,120
Materials and Process Engineer Octex Holdings, LLC Sarasota, FL Jan 03, 2016 $80,018
Materials Process Engineer Advanced Renewableenergy Company LLC Nashua, NH Dec 15, 2011 $80,000 -
$100,000
Process Engineer Material Ejoule Inc. Fremont, CA Jan 09, 2016 $79,306 -
$83,480
Material & Process Engineer, Specialist Lg Fuel Cell Systems, Inc. North Canton, OH Nov 21, 2015 $78,773
Materials Processing Engineer Ellwood National Crankshaft PA Mar 24, 2012 $78,750
Materials and Process Engineer Learjet Inc. Wichita, KS Oct 20, 2011 $70,138
Engineer, Materials & Processes Kestrel Manufacturing, LLC Superior, WI Aug 25, 2016 $69,440
Material & Process Engineer, Specialist Rolls-Royce Fuel Cells Systems (Us) Inc. North Canton, OH Jan 01, 2012 $69,093
Engineer I, Materials and Processes Piper Aircraft, Inc. Vero Beach, FL Jun 09, 2016 $68,350
Laser Materials Processing Engineer Csquared Innovations, Inc. Farmington Hills, MI Sep 05, 2013 $67,000
Laser Materials Processing Engineer Csquared Innovations, Inc. Novi, MI May 01, 2015 $67,000
Process and Materials Engineer Us Mouldings LLC Manning, SC Jan 23, 2012 $66,877
Materials/Process Engineer Nexsun Ethanol, LLC Ulysses, KS Jan 01, 2011 $65,790

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Top Skills for A Materials Process Engineer

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  1. Procedures
  2. Failure Analysis
  3. Product Quality
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide support to continuously improve manufacturing procedures & processes and ensure compliance with design specifications and intentions.
  • Documented findings and prepared report for internal and external customers to support Failure Analysis Group.
  • Analyzed and tracked product quality and characteristics for delivery and monthly status reports.
  • Worked in the Materials, Processes, and Specifications Laboratory conducting process verification and materials testing.
  • Conducted research and development projects, updated operator management systems, aided in product development, and quality control.

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Top 10 Best States for Materials Process Engineers

  1. New Mexico
  2. Maryland
  3. Louisiana
  4. California
  5. Alabama
  6. Connecticut
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Texas
  9. Alaska
  10. Tennessee
  • (120 jobs)
  • (451 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)
  • (3,445 jobs)
  • (255 jobs)
  • (376 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (1,526 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (221 jobs)

Top Materials Process Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Materials Process Engineer Employers

Materials Process Engineer Videos

The Engineering Process: Crash Course Kids #12.2

What's an Engineer? Crash Course Kids #12.1

Process Engineering Seminar / January 2014

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