Where do you want to work?
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:
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.
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
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Senior Materials Engineer
Top Careers After Senior Materials Engineer
Hispanic or Latino8.5%
Black or African American0.9%
Senior Materials Engineer
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Pennsylvania State University9.7%
Georgia Institute of Technology -8.1%
Ohio State University8.1%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute8.1%
Colorado School of Mines6.5%
University of Connecticut4.8%
University of Massachusetts - Lowell4.8%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute4.8%
University of Pittsburgh -4.8%
Michigan State University4.8%
Tennessee Technological University4.8%
Washington State University3.2%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign3.2%
Arizona State University3.2%
Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne3.2%
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology3.2%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor3.2%
Senior Materials Engineer
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Material Engineer||C&J Spec-Rent Services, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 25, 2014||$165,000|
|Senior Materials & Corrosion Engineer||Shell Global Solutions (Us) Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 27, 2014||$161,000|
|Senior Raw Materials and Metal Recovery Engineer||Real Alloy Recycling, Inc.||Beachwood, OH||Dec 14, 2016||$160,000|
|Senior Materials Engineering Advisor||Blade Energy Partners, Ltd.||Houston, TX||Aug 21, 2014||$159,589 -
|Senior Piping Material Engineer||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 28, 2016||$147,420|
|Senior Piping Material Engineer||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Nov 12, 2014||$140,400|
|Senior Materials Engineer||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Sep 01, 2013||$140,000|
|Senior Piping Material Engineer & CAD Support Specialist||Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 29, 2016||$139,572|
|Senior Piping Material Engineer||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 28, 2013||$135,000|
|Senior Materials Engineer||Alta Vista Solutions, Inc.||Sacramento, CA||Dec 08, 2012||$130,000|
|Senior Materials Engineer, Mechanics||Nokia USA Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Mar 23, 2016||$129,438|
|Senior Material Engineer, Mechanics||Nokia USA Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Aug 31, 2016||$129,375|
|SR. Material Handling Engineer||Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 26, 2015||$126,381 -
|SR. Materials Innovation Engineer||VF Outdoor, Inc.||San Leandro, CA||Jan 02, 2012||$110,000|
|Senior Substrate and Materials Engineer||Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation||San Diego, CA||Sep 01, 2012||$107,000 -
|Senior Materials Engineer||Worleyparsons Group Inc.||Monrovia, CA||Sep 25, 2014||$105,810|
|SR. Materials Engineer||Holtec International||Marlton, NJ||Mar 24, 2016||$105,000|
|Senior Materials Engineer||Tribocor Technologies, Inc.||Stafford, TX||Jul 21, 2015||$105,000|
|Senior Mechanical Transducer, Materials Engineer||Sonos, Inc.||Cambridge, MA||Sep 06, 2015||$104,624 -
|Senior Mechanical Transducer, Materials Engineer||Sonos, Inc.||Cambridge, MA||Jun 09, 2015||$104,624 -
|SR. Materials Engineer||Medtronic, Inc.||Fridley, MN||Aug 14, 2016||$104,040|
|SR. Materials Science Engineer||Tessera, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Oct 01, 2012||$94,931 -
|Senior Materials Engineer||Medtronic, Inc.||Danvers, MA||Mar 26, 2012||$94,100 -
|Senior Materials Engineer||Intecsea, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 07, 2015||$92,435|
|Senior Materials Engineer||Caterpillar Inc.||San Diego, CA||Nov 14, 2011||$92,250|
|Senior Materials Engineer||CNH America LLC||Burr Ridge, IL||Jun 30, 2014||$92,044|
|Senior Materials Engineer||CNH Industrial America LLC||Burr Ridge, IL||Jun 30, 2014||$92,044|
|Senior CMP Materials Engineer||Globalfoundries U.S. Inc.||Malta, NY||Oct 01, 2011||$91,957 -
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
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