MATERIALS ENGINEERS are involved in the extraction, development, processing, and testing of the materials used to make various products, from computer chips to golf clubs. They work with metals, ceramics, and plastics, and combinations of materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They deal with the science and technology of producing materials that have properties and shapes suitable for practical use. The activities of material engineers range from primary materials production, including recycling, through the design and development of new materials to the reliable and economical processing or manufacturing of a final product.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $80,000 average per year ($38.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (21,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.9% per year)
A bachelor's degree in materials engineering from an accredited engineering program is usually required for beginning jobs as MATERIALS ENGINEERS. Degrees in related fields such as mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and aerospace engineering may also be accepted. Graduate training is essential for engineering faculty positions. Many engineers obtain graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance promotional opportunities. Licensing may be required.