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Materials technician

Alternative titles for this job include

Materials technicians test how materials behave under different conditions to help develop new products and improve existing ones.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a materials technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could do a college course to learn some of the skills you'll need for this job. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science
  • T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


To become a materials technician, you could do a Non-destructive Testing Level 2 Intermediate or Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

You could also do a Composites Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as a lab assistant or trainee technician in a testing facility and train while you work to qualify.

Employers will expect you to have 4 or 5 GCSEs, including maths, English and a science, preferably physics or chemistry.

Some may want you to have A levels or equivalent qualifications in a subject such as applied science.

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a materials technician, you may:

  • test the strength and flexibility of materials under different conditions
  • assess the cost, reliability, safety and environmental impact of materials
  • research new ways to use materials in product development
  • assess the risks posed by hazardous materials
  • analyse test results and write reports

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, in a factory or in an office.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could become a senior technician and register with the Engineering Council to get EngTech status.

With further qualifications you could qualify as a materials engineer.

You could also move into purchasing, sales or management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

V01855 - Technician Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) Apprenticeship

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually
  • Location: 1st Floor, Main Shipyard Offices, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

V01992 - Advanced Apprentice Land UK Non-Destructive Examination

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually
  • Location: 1 Radial Park Road, Washington, Tyne & Wear

Courses In England

Applied Science

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

Applied Science BTEC Diploma

  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Birmingham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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