Materials engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Materials scientist

Materials engineers research the behaviour of materials used in industry to make them stronger, lighter and more hard-wearing.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become a Materials engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You'll normally need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. Relevant subjects include:

  • materials engineering
  • materials science or technology
  • applied chemistry
  • applied physics

You could also take a degree course specialising in one group of materials or their commercial use, for example metallurgy, polymer science, biomaterials, or sports and materials science.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in materials engineering from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • researching new ways to combine materials
  • analysing test data, using computer modelling software
  • developing prototypes for new products
  • designing manufacturing processes that use new materials
  • investigating the reasons behind component or structural failures
  • supervising a team of technicians
  • writing reports 

Working environment

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a laboratory or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into project management or technical sales. You could also specialise in a particular material, or work in research and consultancy.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Materials engineer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

HNC Operations Engineering

  • Provider: LAKES COLLEGE WEST CUMBRIA
  • Start date: 11 June 2020
  • Location: WORKINGTON

Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 4

  • Provider: KIRKLEES COLLEGE
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location:

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