Materials engineers source, test and assess the materials used in construction. They ensure that building foundations and materials are suitable and offer guidance on the best materials to use for a project, based on their individual properties, project costs and timeframes.
Typical hours per week
39 - 41
Number employed in the UK
How to become a materials engineer
There are different routes to becoming a materials engineer. You could do a university course or an apprenticeship.
You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and able to follow instructions.
You may need a (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.
You could complete a foundation or undergraduate degree in :
You could also complete a degree specialising in a specific group of materials and their uses, such as metallurgy, polymer science, biomaterials, ceramics and glass, or geology.
You’ll need :
If you have an undergraduate degree in anything other than materials engineering, you may find that a postgraduate qualification will open up more opportunities.
If your degree is accredited by a relevant professional body, such as the , it can help you to achieve the status of chartered engineer at a later date.
An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.
You may be able to do a Materials Science Technologist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need :
Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works in construction.
Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.
Addditional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a materials engineer include :
What does a materials engineer do?
As a materials engineer you will be responsible for looking into the properties of various materials used for projects in construction, and then selecting the best based on these findings.
The job role of a materials engineer involves the following duties :
What is it like to be a materials engineer?
How much could you earn as a materials engineer?
The expected salary for a materials engineer varies as you become more experienced.
Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.