Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 22,100 people employed as materials engineers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $98,300.
Entry level employees earn approximately $60,580 per year and senior employees earn approximately $161,080
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.
- Design and direct the testing or control of processing procedures.
- Monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration.
- Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.
- Evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to process or product design objectives.
- Modify properties of metal alloys, using thermal and mechanical treatments.
- Determine appropriate methods for fabricating and joining materials.
- Guide technical staff in developing materials for specific uses in projected products or devices.
- Review new product plans and make recommendations for material selection, based on design objectives, such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost.
- Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists.
- Plan and implement laboratory operations to develop material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards.
- Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and corporate executives as necessary.
- Supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations.
- Solve problems in a number of engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace.
- Replicate the characteristics of materials and their components with computers.
- Conduct training sessions on new material products, applications, or manufacturing methods for customers and their employees.
- Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports.
- Present technical information at conferences.
- Design processing plants and equipment.
- Write for technical magazines, journals, and trade association publications.
- Teach in colleges and universities.