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Materials engineering careers

As a student who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences and focuses on materials engineering, you might explore entry-level positions like a junior materials or process engineer, materials analyst, quality control technician, materials testing specialist, or research assistant. Often, you’ll work in collaboration with more experienced engineers on monitoring and ensuring the quality of materials, conducting experiments on material properties and performance, improving manufacturing processes, and evaluating materials for specific projects or applications. As your level of professional and hands-on experience grows, or you decide to pursue further education, you can advance to more specialized or senior positions at a variety of organizations across numerous industries—automotive, electronics, consumer goods, high-tech, biomedical, energy, and aerospace and defense.

Where do materials engineers work?

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Research and development centers
  • Materials suppliers
  • Energy companies
  • Biomedical and healthcare companies
  • Government agencies and laboratories
  • Academic or research institutions

What do materials engineers do?

  • Create or improve materials through research and development.
  • Test and analyze material properties, such as tensile strength, hardness and thermal conductivity.
  • Select appropriate materials based on the required properties or performance.
  • Characterize materials by using microscopy or spectroscopy to understand their structure and behavior.
  • Experiment with material modifications like coatings, treatments or additives that enhance properties.
  • Maintain quality control by ensuring manufacturing materials meet standards and quality requirements.
  • Investigate the causes of material failures and propose ways to prevent similar outcomes.
  • Develop eco-friendly materials or processes that support sustainable initiatives.