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Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

I will be graduating soon and I am looking for a job as entry level materials engineer. I would like to know the earnings, job outlook and growth area. Thanks

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

This is a difficult question to answer and requires some research. First off, I would suggest that you get a copy of one of the recent TMS (The Minerals, Metals, Material Society) Journal of Metals (JOM) magazines. I don't remember if it was the March or April issue of this year, but they had an interesting article on pay levels and job prospects for Materials Engineers including salary commensurate with work experience.

If you will be graduating as a Materials Engineer, I would strongly suggest you join ASM and/or TMS. They have excellent resources for obtaining this type of information, and more importantly for career networking;


If you conduct an internet search, I have seen web sites posted by various Universities that show starting salary levels for Materials Engineers.

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Another thing that you have to take into account is location.  If you get a job at a location that nobody wants to go to, you will have a higher salary, up to $20,000CAN more.  That is a number that I approximated based on my friends salaries that had starting jobs in northern Canada.  
To get a job at the time being....  I am not sure...  a lot of engineers in these forums seem to have a hard time getting a job..  The market is low.  But, if you are willing to relocate, I don't see any problems for you to get a job.  
As gor the growth area, it depends on the company where you get hired and what you get hired for.  The trend that I've seen is that those who get hired as metallurgists, in the lab, stay in the lab.  
Besides the TMS, you can also look into becoming a member of the Order of Engineers if there is one where you live.  That is the most direct way to get in contact with the right people.
Good luck!  


RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Materials Engineer I  25th%ile  Median  75th%ile  
(the United States)  $47,691  $52,342  $54,931

You may drill down by states in U.S.:

Also usful information on employment for materials professionals at:

Compare the cost of living in hundreds of U.S. cities(salary calculator):

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Here in the states the market is really bad. I mean really bad. Wages for entry level have actually fallen since '98 when I got my BS and I'm almost sorry I went back for the MS right away, should have worked fro a few years and went back after some of my debt was eliminated. Now the pay scale is so weak I wont be able to go back for a Phd till I'm much older.

That said There arnt a large number of us out here and we will likely be some of the last to be offshored.... (Not like the Mechanicals, theres tons of em and they tend to be utilized much more as I can see it.) But evy body know s at least 5 ME's and the world graduates tons and tons of them.

Good Luck!

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Regarding employment opportunities for MatE's, it is really dependent on location and type of work. I don't see any off-shoring in the Technical Services area (failure analysis, research, equipment condition assessment activities, material consulting, etc) because you need to have engineers see and touch equipment. I work in the Power Generation sector and like everyone else companies will look to cut costs. However, if you provide an engineering skill set that can't be easily obtained thru outsourcing you should be ok. Most failure analysis companies started with engineers that saw a need to fill gaps related to outsourcing needs of companies.

I agree that there are fewer and fewer metallurgists. Although, when I was in school, metallurgical engineering was still a subject area that had the least number of graduates because most people misunderstood the field. I do know that when I graduated, metallurgical engineering was the second highest paid profession behind petroleum engineers.

All is not lost!!! I believe there will be a critical shortage of MatE's (especially hard-core mets like myself). If I had to do it over, I would still become a metallurgist.

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Its really difficult to predict growth areas.  During my career in Materials Engineering, much has changed since 1969 when I entered and aerospace was booming, basic metals industries were hiring and the semiconductor and biomaterials industries were being established. I recommend that you start in an industry or lab environment that best suits your interests now and move on after gaining 3 to 5 years ecperience unless that job provides plenty of stimulation, diversity and potential for advancement.

I have had no real problems finding employment during the past 35 years, predominantly with EPC firms engaged in  Power and Petrochemical arenas. Also there has rarely been a dull moment and the travel has been enlightening as well as financially rewarding.

Good luck in your engineering career but don't be afraid to change if it does not turn out as you had envisioned. In today's world embrace change. I've known many highly competent engineers that switched careers and were amply rewarded.  

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Stanweld, can you share some detailed examples of competent engineers who switched careers and were amply rewarded? I am considering this myself, and would like to know the experiences of others who have made the transition.


RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

Although I cannot give names, one of my former supervisors (Chief Materials Application Engineer) went into the Insurance business. Another former Chief Materials Engineer acquaintance swithched to property management and made millions during the '70s & '80s. Another friend went to law school at night and became an attorney. I had two other co-workers who went to business school and recieved their MBAs and left the Engineering industry altogether.      

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

I shall give the India perspective. There is a demand for Metallurgical Engineers and also Chemical Engineers. The salaries they can get is reasonable(but not comparable to hosepaid by IT companies.) This has happened as most of the graduates pickup some programming skills and join a software company. Of late BPO centres are attracting the young.  Life style, values and work ethics are having a western orientation. God save when the bubble bursts the younsters who will find it difficult to relocate and continue with their lives.

RE: Job Prospect as Materials Engineer

I went back to school after 10 years, got an MBA, and decided to stay in engineering.
My specialty is technical maketing of special alloys.  I am good at explaining to people how to select alloys to meet their needs.
I have found (changed) six good jobs over the last 30 years.  Considering the number of MatEng's out there, there are a fair number of openings.  Just don't expect to find a job that doesn't require you learning a new industry or moving a long ways.  There aren't that many MatEng jobs in the entire US.
As companies managment becomes more and more short sighted and screwed up, the long term potential of engineers like us that work based on accumulated knowlage and not computer programs is becoming worse.
The future in this biz is strictly contract consulting.  If my kids were older I would jump now.  Nobody wants you on the payrole, just bring you in when they have a problem.
My suggestion for a first job is to go someplace where you can get experience.  Take the job in nothern Canada or the Middle East or where ever.  Any more no company is going to want to keep you longer than 7-10 years anyway.  Get you hands dirty, learn, meet people, and go to every conf. that they will send you to.  All the while looking for your next job.
And when it comes time to leave don't worry.  They would not pause 2 sec. in droping you.  When you find an opportunity take it and move on.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Corrosion never sleeps, but it can be managed.

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