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Materials Engineers

Materials Engineers
Quick Facts : Materials Engineers*
2010 Median Pay$83,120
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201222,300
Job Outlook9% (Slower than average)
Employment Change1,900

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, semiconductors, plastics, composites, and other substances to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also develop new ways to use materials.

What Materials Engineers Do

  • Monitor how materials perform and evaluate how they deteriorate
  • Determine causes of product failure and develop solutions
  • Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists
  • Design and direct the testing of processing procedures
  • Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with others as necessary

Work Environment

Materials engineers generally work in offices where they have access to computer-aided design (CAD) programs. Others work in supervisory roles either in the factory or in research and development laboratories. Most materials engineers work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of materials engineers is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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The average salary of materials engineers was $83,120 in May 2010.
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Materials Engineers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Materials Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Materials Engineers*
Percent Change in Employment

Materials Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Materials Engineers

Materials engineers typically have a bachelor's degree in materials science or engineering or a related field. Employers also value practical experience. Therefore, cooperative engineering programs, which provide college credit for structured job experience, are valuable as well.
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