Details Report for:
17-2131.00 - Materials Engineers
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Materials and Processes Manager, Materials Branch Chief, Materials Development Engineer, Materials Engineer, Materials Research Engineer, Metallurgical Engineer, Metallurgist, Process Engineer, Research Engineer, Test Engineer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
Tools used in this occupation:
- Abrasion testers
- Ageing ovens — Accelerated weathering machines; Solar simulators
- Analytical balances — Magnetic susceptibility balances
- Atomic absorption AA spectrometers — Atomic absorption AA spectrophotometers
- Benchtop centrifuges
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Binocular compound microscopes; Optical compound microscopes
- Borescope inspection equipment — Fiberscopes
- Bubble columns — Flotation columns
- Calorimeters — Adiabatic bomb calorimeters; Differential scanning calorimeters
- Chromatographic scanners — Gel permeation chromatographs GPC
- Colorimeters — Spectrocolorimeters
- Compression testers — Compression testing machines; Screw-driven test machines
- Concrete or cement testing instruments — Concrete test hammers; Freeze-thaw test units; Stabilometers
- Coordinate measuring machines CMM
- Crucible furnaces — Melt spinners
- Depth gauges — Pit depth gauges
- Digital cameras
- Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying ovens
- Electromagnetic field meters — Gauss meters
- Electron microscopes — Electron microprobe analyzers EMPA
- Electronic toploading balances
- Fatigue testers — Servohydraulic test machines
- Filtering machinery — Filter presses
- Flow transmitters — Oscillating water tunnels; Wind tunnels
- Flowmeters — Laser Doppler velocimeters LDV
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatographs GC
- Graphic recorders — Current versus voltage IV curve tracers
- Grinders — Lapping wheels
- Grinding or polishing machines — Attritors; Polishing machines
- Gyratory crushers
- Hardness testers — Durometers
- Heated walk in environmental or growth chambers — Heated walk-in environmental chambers
- High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
- High vacuum combustion apparatus — Microwave sintering furnaces; Plasma-arc furnaces; Rotating furnaces
- Homogenizers — Ultrasonic dismembrators; Ultrasonicators
- Horizontal turning center — Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
- Hydraulic press frames — Hydraulic presses
- Immersion circulators — Ultrasonic baths
- Impact testers — Charpy impact testers; Drop weight impact towers
- Impedance meters — Acoustic impediography equipment
- Induction dryers — Solvent dryers
- Infrared dryers — Ultraviolet UV exposure units
- Infrared imagers — Infrared cameras; Infrared monitors
- Infrared spectrometers — Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectroscopes; Optical emission spectrometers
- Injection molding machines
- Ion exchange apparatus — Deionizers
- Isolation glove boxes — Laboratory glove boxes
- Jaw crushers
- Laboratory balances — Specific gravity balances
- Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers — Hot blenders; Laboratory blenders; Slurry blenders
- Laboratory box furnaces — Inert atmosphere box furnaces; Muffle furnaces
- Laboratory burets — Water burets
- Laboratory crushers or pulverizers — Laboratory pulverizers; Laboratory sample splitters; Sample presses
- Laboratory evaporators — Vacuum evaporators
- Laboratory microwave ovens
- Laboratory mills — Ball mills; Jar mills; Rod mills
- Laboratory mixers — Counter-current mixers
- Laboratory separators — Electrostatic separators; High tension separators; Isodynamic separators; Magnetic separators
- Laboratory vacuum pumps — Molecular pumps
- Lasers — Solid state laser systems
- Leak testing equipment — Gas detectors
- Linear position sensors — Linear variable differential transformers LVDT
- Load frame — Load frames
- Mass spectrometers
- Metal band sawing machine — Band saws
- Metal testing instruments — Adhesion testers
- Optical diffraction apparatus — Particle size analyzers
- Optical vacuum coating equipment — Vacuum coating systems
- Orbital shakers — Mechanical sieve shakers
- Orbital shaking water baths — Temperature regulated shaking water baths
- Oscilloscopes — Digitizing oscilloscopes
- Permeability testing apparatus — Permeability measuring devices
- Personal computers
- pH meters — pH testers
- Photo attachments for microscopes — Microscope photo attachments
- Photometers — Flame photometers
- Plaster or mortar mixers — Cement mixers
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Sanding machines
- Polarizing microscopes
- Porosimeters — Porosity indicators
- Portable data input terminals — Dataloggers
- Positioning jig — Holding jigs
- Power saws — Masonry cutters; Water-cooled saws
- Programmable tube furnaces — Graphite element furnaces
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Roll crushers
- Safety glasses
- Scanning electron microscopes — Scanning electron microscopes SEM
- Scanning probe microscopes — Atomic force microscopes
- Semiconductor process systems — Etching equipment; Micromanipulators
- Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — X ray fluorescence XRF analyzers; X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
- Spectrometers — Energy dispersive x-ray spectrometers EDS
- Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Microwave autoclaves; Steam autoclaves
- Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Stereo microscopes
- Strain gauges
- Tensiometers — Tension gauges
- Tension testers — High temperature material testing systems; High-vacuum tensile testing chambers; Tensile testers
- Test sieves — Laboratory test sieves
- Thermal differential analyzers — Differential thermal analyzers; Thermal analysis systems
- Thermo gravimetry analyzers — Thermogravimetric analyzers
- Thickness measuring devices — Film thickness measurement systems
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Lathes
- Traveling column milling machine — Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
- Tube furnaces — Microwave tube furnaces
- Twin screw extruder — Balling drums; Twin screw extruders; Twin-screw extruders
- Ultrasonic examination equipment — Ultrasound inspection equipment
- Vacuum ovens — Vacuum furnaces
- Vibration testers — Vibration analysis equipment
- Vibratory plates — Kneading compactors
- Viscosimeters — Viscosity meters
- Water conditioners — Liquid conditioners
- Wear testers — Friction and wear testers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — ANSYS Multiphysics; Fault detection isolation and recovery FDIR software; Image analysis systems; Minitab software (see all 5 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Dassault Systemes CATIA software; PTC Creo Parametric
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Fused deposition modeling FDM rapid prototyping systems; Stereolithography SLA rapid prototyping systems
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; MTS Testworks; QMC CM4D
- Development environment software — Formula translation/translator FORTRAN; Microsoft Visual Basic; National Instruments LabVIEW
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics software; Microsoft Visio
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Microsoft Visual Basic.NET
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Prepare operational reports.
- Direct design or development activities.
- Test characteristics of materials or structures.
- Prepare detailed work plans.
- Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
- Resolve operational performance problems.
- Design industrial processing systems.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Prepare proposal documents.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Determine operational methods.
- Create models of engineering designs or methods.
- Monitor the productivity or efficiency of industrial operations.
- Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
- Direct quality control activities.
- Conduct quantitative failure analyses of operational data.
- Direct industrial production activities.
- Prepare project budgets.
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
|17-2111.03||Product Safety Engineers|
|17-2199.02||Validation Engineers Bright Outlook Green|
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$42.16 hourly, $87,690 annual|
|Employment (2012)||23,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Little or no change (-2% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||7,500|
|Top industries (2012)||
Manufacturing (60% employed in this sector)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Materials Engineers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) , 111 Market Pl., Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202. Phone: (410) 347-7700. Fax: (410) 625-2238.
- ASM International , 9639 Kinsman Rd., Materials Park, OH 44073-0002. Phone: (800) 336-5152.
- Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) , 184 Thorn Hill Rd., Warrendale, PA 15086-7514. Phone: (800) 759-4867.