Materials Engineers

materials engineer_1.webp
$100,140 Median Wage (2022)
1,500 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
5.10% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: N.A.

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

Detailed Work Activities

  • Present research results to others.
  • Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
  • Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Direct quality control activities.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Recognition

Relationships

Support

Independence

Tasks

  • Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.
  • Design and direct the testing or control of processing procedures.
  • Monitor material performance, and evaluate its deterioration.
  • Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.
  • Evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to process or product design objectives.
  • Modify properties of metal alloys, using thermal and mechanical treatments.
  • Determine appropriate methods for fabricating and joining materials.
  • Guide technical staff in developing materials for specific uses in projected products or devices.
  • Review new product plans, and make recommendations for material selection, based on design objectives such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost.
  • Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists.
  • Plan and implement laboratory operations to develop material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.
  • Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and corporate executives, as necessary.
  • Supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations.
  • Solve problems in a number of engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace.
  • Conduct training sessions on new material products, applications, or manufacturing methods for customers and their employees.
  • Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports.
  • Present technical information at conferences.
  • Replicate the characteristics of materials and their components, using computers.
  • Design processing plants and equipment.
  • Write for technical magazines, journals, and trade association publications.
  • Teach in colleges and universities.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Initiative

Leadership

Cooperation

Concern for Others

Social Orientation

Self-Control

Stress Tolerance

Adaptability/Flexibility

Dependability

Attention to Detail

Integrity

Independence

Innovation

Analytical Thinking

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.