Materials Engineers

Materials engineers extract, process, create, design, and test materials—such as metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and combinations of these materials called composites—to create a wide variety of products, from computer parts to surf boards. Approximately 24,190 materials engineers are employed in the United States.

Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Ceramic Engineers, Metallurgical Engineers, Metallurgists, Plastics Application Engineers, Plastics Engineers, Plastics Process Engineers, Plastics Research Specialists, Polymer Engineers
Duties Design manufacturing processes; develop and test new metals substances and other materials, like ceramics, plastics, and composites; use these substances to create a variety of products, from clothing to aircraft parts
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Director of Engineering
  • Supervising Ceramic Engineer/Plastics Engineer
  • Ceramic Engineer/Plastics Engineer
  • Junior Engineer

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