What Do Materials Engineers Do?
The field of material engineering can encompass a great deal. Materials engineers are those who evaluate materials as well as those responsible for creating the machines that manufacture materials. Materials engineers may have a knowledge on a wide range of different materials or might have a focus on one specific type of material. The responsibilities of a materials engineer may include: ● Designing industrial processing systems● Preparing operational reports● Solving problems with operations● Conducting an analysis on operational data● Using thermal treatments to modify alloys The field of materials engineers is a small one, but there is a slow growth in the industry. Within the next decade, it is projected that there will be a one percent increase in how many job openings there are for materials engineers nationally. This increase will show around 750 job openings in the industry every year. Though a smaller field, becoming specified in one area of material engineering can greatly increase the chances of finding a career in the industry.
Materials Engineers Skills and Abilities
To be a successful material engineers, it is necessary that you have a strong understanding of engineering. Materials engineers are expected to understand the principles of engineering and apply them to the production of various materials. A firm grasp on physics, chemistry and mathematics is also a must for those looking to enter this field. Due to the nature of this job, it is important that you be able to utilize both deductive and inductive reasoning and have exceptional listening skills.
Materials Engineers Duties
Materials engineers are responsible for a wide range of duties. Obtaining and analyzing data, utilizing critical thinking skills to solve problems on the fly, and making important decisions are just some of what is expected of those in this field. Specific duties of materials workers may include:● Evaluating economic factors that might affect production of materials● Designing equipment for processing plants● Consulting with engineers on a variety of projects● Testing an array of processing procedures
Materials Engineers Tools and Technology
There are many tools that materials workers must know how to use. Depending on the specific field that you are exploring, the equipment may vary. Some of the various tools that are utilized in the in the field of material engineering can include differential scanning calorimeters, drop weight impact towers and high tension separators. Materials workers must also be able to use various computer programs such as FORTRAN, QMC CM4D, PTC Pro/Engineer Software and design CAD software.
Education and Training for Materials Engineers
Materials engineers must have at least a Bachelor’s degree. While there are some cases where an Associate’s degree or high school diploma is enough, these are rare and far from the standard. A Master’s degree can increase the chances of obtaining a higher income or specific position. Additional training for this position includes Materials Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Polymer Engineering.
Materials Engineers Salary
The national average for the salary of materials workers is around $87,700. The compensation for this position is generally high due to the specific knowledge required to successfully fill the position. The top ten percent of this profession can make upwards of $138,000 and even the bottom ten percent makes a comfortable $53,300.
Materials Engineers by Geography
The highest number of job openings for materials engineers can be found in California, Texas and Ohio. Over the course of the next ten years, it is expected that the highest increase in job openings for this position will be in Colorado, Utah and Florida. On average, the highest salaries for this position are found in Colorado, New Mexico and California.