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Become A Metallurgical Engineer

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Working As A Metallurgical Engineer

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Metallurgical 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 Metallurgical 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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Metallurgical Engineer Career Paths

Metallurgical Engineer
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Production Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Project Manager Product Manager
Product Line Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Manager Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Production Manager Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Manager, Quality Engineer
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Supplier Quality Engineer
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Senior Quality Engineer
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Quality Engineer
Vice-President Of Quality
15 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Production Supervisor Plant Superintendent
Business Unit Leader
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Lead Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Metallurgical Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Metallurgist 4.2 years
Welding Engineer 4.1 years
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Material Engineer 3.3 years
Chemical Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Corrosion Engineer 3.2 years
Top Careers Before Metallurgical Engineer
Metallurgist 13.6%
Internship 9.3%
Supervisor 2.7%
Engineer 2.7%
Top Careers After Metallurgical Engineer
Metallurgist 12.6%
Consultant 3.2%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as a Metallurgical Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$61,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$113,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kaiser Aluminum
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Metallurgical Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Metallurgical Engineer in the United States is $83,611 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $113,000.

Real Metallurgical Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Metallurgical Engineer (Principal Process Commissi Ausenco Psi LLC Concord, CA May 06, 2013 $200,000 -
$250,000
Lead Metallurgical Engineer Tesoro Companies, Inc. Martinez, CA Sep 04, 2015 $165,000
Lead Metallurgical Engineer Tesoro Companies, Inc. Martinez, CA Sep 14, 2016 $165,000
Metallurgical Engineer Reliable Controls Corporation Salt Lake City, UT Sep 24, 2016 $135,000
Senior Metallurgical Engineer McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 26, 2016 $122,982
Metallurgical Engineer TECK Alaska Incorporated Anchorage, AK Nov 06, 2014 $116,181
Senior Metallurgical Engineer Paragon Industries Inc. The Woodlands, TX Dec 08, 2014 $113,776 -
$133,776
Senior Metallurgical Engineer Colonial Pipeline Company Alpharetta, GA Sep 27, 2013 $110,565
Senior Metallurgical Engineer McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 26, 2013 $109,400
Metallurgical Engineer Mineral Technologies Inc. Saint Augustine, FL Feb 09, 2015 $105,000
Senior Metallurgical Engineer Boston Electrometallurgical Corporation Woburn, MA Sep 16, 2016 $104,624 -
$150,000
Senior Metallurgical Engineer St. Paul Park Refining Co, LLC Saint Paul Park, MN Feb 09, 2016 $103,272 -
$130,000
Metallurgical Engineer TECK Alaska Incorporated Kotzebue, AK Sep 24, 2015 $102,800
Senior Metallurgical Engineer Failure Analysis & Prevention, Inc. North Kingstown, RI Jul 20, 2015 $96,262 -
$125,000
Metallurgical Engineer Richter Precision Inc. East Petersburg, PA Jul 27, 2016 $85,426
Senior Metallurgial Engineer II Osram Sylvania Inc. Versailles, KY Jul 18, 2014 $85,232
Senior Metallurgical Engineer II Osram Sylvania Inc. Versailles, KY Jul 18, 2014 $85,232
Senior Metallurgical Engineer Asarco LLC Hayden, AZ Sep 08, 2015 $85,000
Metallurgical Engineer Custom Alloy Corporation High Bridge, NJ Sep 16, 2015 $85,000
Metallurgical and Polymer Engineer Advanced Forming Technology Longmont, CO Sep 03, 2013 $84,000
Metallurgical Engineer Custom Alloy Corporation High Bridge, NJ Feb 11, 2015 $83,903
Metallurgical Engineer Richter Precision Inc. East Petersburg, PA Aug 21, 2015 $82,098
Metallurgical Engineer Nidec Motor Corporation Saint Louis, MO Sep 11, 2015 $74,936 -
$86,545
Metallurgical Engineer Nidec Motor Corporation Saint Louis, MO Jul 30, 2016 $74,110 -
$98,154
Metallurgical Engineer Asarco, LLC Sahuarita, AZ Sep 17, 2014 $73,008
Metallurgical Engineer II Asarco LLC Sahuarita, AZ Nov 09, 2016 $72,600
Metallurgical Engineer II Asarco LLC Sahuarita, AZ Dec 19, 2014 $72,600
Metallurgical Engineer II Asarco LLC Sahuarita, AZ Jun 08, 2016 $72,600
Metallurgical Engineer Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, LLC Terre Haute, IN Apr 01, 2016 $72,500
Metallurgical Engineer Alcoa, Inc. Barberton, OH Aug 15, 2013 $72,000

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Top Skills for A Metallurgical Engineer

  1. Failure Analysis
  2. Lab Equipment
  3. Heat Treatment Process
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review of manufacturing plans, AMS/MIL specifications and other proprietary logistics management systems in support of failure analysis of helicopter components.
  • Initiated and continuously performed preventative maintenance on lab equipment.
  • Developed the production heat treatment process for two new aluminum alloys for aerospace and automotive applications.
  • Examined feasibility of using Ni-Ti shape memory alloys in nuclear environments with Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute.
  • Perform metallurgical research into standard and special Copper and Aluminum rod and wire processing operations.

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Top 10 Best States for Metallurgical Engineers

  1. Maryland
  2. New Mexico
  3. Louisiana
  4. Alabama
  5. Connecticut
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Alaska
  8. Tennessee
  9. Minnesota
  10. Colorado
  • (395 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (211 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)
  • (169 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (200 jobs)
  • (344 jobs)
  • (354 jobs)

Metallurgical Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

72.2%

Female

14.1%

Unknown

13.8%
Ethnicity

White

57.6%

Asian

15.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

8.9%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.8%

German

16.1%

French

12.9%

Portuguese

6.5%

Chinese

6.5%

Mandarin

6.5%

Cantonese

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Carrier

3.2%

Urdu

3.2%

Polish

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Russian

3.2%
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Metallurgical Engineer Education

Schools

Colorado School of Mines

9.8%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

9.2%

University of Utah

9.2%

Ohio State University

7.8%

Michigan Technological University

6.5%

Pennsylvania State University

6.5%

University of Nevada - Reno

5.9%

University of Texas at El Paso

5.9%

University of Cincinnati

4.6%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

Purdue University

3.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.3%

University of Alabama

3.3%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.3%

University of Florida

2.6%

Washington State University

2.6%

North Carolina State University

2.6%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2.6%

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

2.6%
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Majors

Materials Science And Engineering

30.6%

Metallurgical Engineering

25.9%

Business

6.9%

Mechanical Engineering

6.6%

Materials Sciences

6.6%

Chemical Engineering

6.1%

Engineering

3.2%

Mining Engineering

2.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Industrial Technology

1.3%

Supply Chain Management

1.3%

Fine Arts

1.1%

Chemistry

1.1%

Geology

1.1%

Management

0.8%

Marketing

0.8%

Elementary Education

0.8%

Operations Management

0.8%

Science, Technology, And Society

0.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.8%

Masters

33.6%

Doctorate

12.7%

Other

3.8%

Certificate

1.9%

Associate

1.4%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.2%
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