Materials Engineers

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What do they do?

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.

Also known as:

Materials and Processes Manager, Materials Branch Chief, Materials Development Engineer, Materials Engineer, Materials Research Engineer, Metallurgical Engineer, Metallurgist, Process Engineer, Research Engineer, Test Engineer

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Materials Engineers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, more slowly than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 4.1%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #10 in job growth rate
  • 40

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #23 in net job growth

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Materials Engineers:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (5.8%)
  • Master's degree (22%)
  • Bachelor's degree (48.8%)
  • Associate's degree (7.6%)
  • Some college, no degree (10.1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (4.6%)
  • Less than high school diploma (1%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
  • Test characteristics of materials or structures.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.3 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

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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