Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 17-2131 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. Include those 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. Include metallurgists and metallurgical engineers, ceramic engineers, and welding engineers.
Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
OJT: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Tasks: Conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality. Write for technical magazines, journals, and trade association publications. Evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to process or product design objectives. Plan and implement laboratory operations for the purpose of developing material and fabrication procedures that meet cost, product specification, and performance standards. Review new product plans and make recommendations for material selection based on design objectives, such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost. Guide technical staff engaged in developing materials for specific uses in projected products or devices. Replicate the characteristics of materials and their components with computers. Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists. Modify properties of metal alloys, using thermal and mechanical treatments. Conduct training sessions on new material products, applications, or manufacturing methods for customers and their employees. Supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations. Analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions. Perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports. Determine appropriate methods for fabricating and joining materials. Solve problems in a number of engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace. Design processing plants and equipment. Teach in colleges and universities.
License: Applicants for a professional engineer license must be a graduate of an approved institution. They must pass an examination covering the disciplines of the particular engineering professions with a score of 70 or higher. Application Fee: $50; Examination Fee: $300; Renewal Fee: $45; License Fee after passing exam: $25
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $31.65   Entry $65,835.00
Mean $48.46   Mean $100,796.00
Experience $56.87 Experience $118,277.00

The data is based on the May 2017 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2018.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
Related Occupations: Postsecondary Institutions With Programs:
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Food Scientists and Technologists
Materials Scientists
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
Nuclear Engineers
Petroleum Engineers
Software Developers, Applications
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Auburn University
University of Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Occupational Videos
17-2131.00 Materials Engineers