Materials Engineers
SOC: 17-2131.00

Description:

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
25,300 employed

Projected (2024):
25,600 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Automation Engineer
  • Ceramic Design Engineer
  • Ceramic Research Engineer
  • Ceramics Test Engineer
  • Corrosion Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Extractive Metallurgist
  • Failure Analysis Technician
  • Forensic Materials Engineer
  • Foundry Metallurgist
  • Foundry Process Engineer
  • Glass Science Engineer
  • Green Building Materials Designer
  • Material Analyst
  • Materials and Processes Manager
  • Materials Branch Chief
  • Materials Development Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Materials Research Engineer
  • Metallographer
  • Metallurgical Engineer
  • Metallurgical Specialist
  • Metallurgist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Physical Metallurgist
  • Plastics Engineer
  • Plating Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Refining Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Smelting Engineer
  • Stress Engineer
  • Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE)
  • Test Engineer
  • Testing Engineer
  • Welding Engineer


  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    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.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

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

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Abrasion testers
  • Accelerated weathering machines
  • Accelerometers
  • Acoustic impediography equipment
  • Adhesion testers
  • Adiabatic bomb calorimeters
  • Ammeters
  • Analytical balances
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrophotometers
  • Atomic force microscopes
  • Attritors
  • Ball mills
  • Balling drums
  • Band saws
  • Benchtop centrifuges
  • Binocular compound microscopes
  • Calorimeters
  • Cement mixers
  • Charpy impact testers
  • Colorimeters
  • Compression testing machines
  • Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
  • Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
  • Concrete test hammers
  • Coordinate measuring machines CMM
  • Counter-current mixers
  • Current versus voltage IV curve tracers
  • Dataloggers
  • Deionizers
  • Differential scanning calorimeters
  • Differential thermal analyzers
  • Diffractometers
  • Digital cameras
  • Digitizing oscilloscopes
  • Drop weight impact towers
  • Drying ovens
  • Durometers
  • Electrometers
  • Electron microprobe analyzers EMPA
  • Electronic toploading balances
  • Electrostatic separators
  • Energy dispersive x-ray spectrometers EDS
  • Etching equipment
  • Extensometers
  • Fiberscopes
  • Film thickness measurement systems
  • Filter presses
  • Flame photometers
  • Flotation columns
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectroscopes
  • Freeze-thaw test units
  • Friction and wear testers
  • Fume hoods
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gas detectors
  • Gauss meters
  • Gel permeation chromatographs GPC
  • Graphite element furnaces
  • Gyratory crushers
  • Hardness testers
  • Heated walk-in environmental chambers
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • High temperature material testing systems
  • High tension separators
  • High-vacuum tensile testing chambers
  • Holding jigs
  • Hot blenders
  • Hydraulic presses
  • Impact testers
  • Inert atmosphere box furnaces
  • Infrared cameras
  • Infrared monitors
  • Injection molding machines
  • Isodynamic separators
  • Jar mills
  • Jaw crushers
  • Kneading compactors
  • Laboratory blenders
  • Laboratory glove boxes
  • Laboratory microwave ovens
  • Laboratory pulverizers
  • Laboratory sample splitters
  • Laboratory test sieves
  • Laboratory vacuum pumps
  • Laminators
  • Lapping wheels
  • Laser Doppler velocimeters LDV
  • Lathes
  • Linear variable differential transformers LVDT
  • Liquid conditioners
  • Load frames
  • Magnetic separators
  • Magnetic susceptibility balances
  • Masonry cutters
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Mechanical sieve shakers
  • Melt spinners
  • Micromanipulators
  • Microscope photo attachments
  • Microwave autoclaves
  • Microwave sintering furnaces
  • Microwave tube furnaces
  • Molecular pumps
  • Muffle furnaces
  • Optical compound microscopes
  • Optical emission spectrometers
  • Oscillating water tunnels
  • Particle size analyzers
  • Permeability measuring devices
  • Personal computers
  • pH testers
  • Pit depth gauges
  • Plasma-arc furnaces
  • Polarizing microscopes
  • Polishing machines
  • Porosity indicators
  • Pycnometers
  • Reflectometers
  • Rod mills
  • Roll crushers
  • Rotating furnaces
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety gloves
  • Sample presses
  • Sanding machines
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Screw-driven test machines
  • Servohydraulic test machines
  • Slurry blenders
  • Solar simulators
  • Solid state laser systems
  • Solvent dryers
  • Sonometers
  • Specific gravity balances
  • Spectrocolorimeters
  • Spectrometers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Stabilometers
  • Steam autoclaves
  • Stereo microscopes
  • Strain gauges
  • Temperature regulated shaking water baths
  • Tensile testers
  • Tension gauges
  • Thermal analysis systems
  • Thermogravimetric analyzers
  • Tube furnaces
  • Turbidimeters
  • Twin screw extruders
  • Twin-screw extruders
  • Ultrasonic baths
  • Ultrasonic dismembrators
  • Ultrasonicators
  • Ultrasound inspection equipment
  • Ultraviolet UV exposure units
  • Vacuum coating systems
  • Vacuum evaporators
  • Vacuum furnaces
  • Vibration analysis equipment
  • Viscosity meters
  • Water burets
  • Water-cooled saws
  • Wind tunnels
  • X ray fluorescence XRF analyzers
  • X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
  • ANSYS Multiphysics
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • C++
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA software
  • Data entry software
  • Digital image correlation DIC software
  • Fault detection isolation and recovery FDIR software
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • Fused deposition modeling FDM rapid prototyping systems
  • Graphics software
  • IBM Notes
  • Image analysis systems
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft SharePoint software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Visual Basic.NET
  • Microsoft Word
  • Minitab software
  • MTS Testworks
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Presentation software
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • QMC CM4D
  • SAP software
  • Stereolithography SLA rapid prototyping systems
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software


  • architecture and engineering


    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980