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Materials Science and Engineering Overview - The Field - Preparation -
Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Industries - Development -
Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations - Profiles of Materials Engineers - Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast

Virtually all industries demand people with backgrounds in materials engineering. These people may be monitoring impurities in steel destined for an assembly line, shrinking the size of circuits to improve the reliability of a pager, or designing new materials for a missile casing. Industries may employ materials engineers to reduce the overall weight of a vehicle, remove limitations in power plants, or research product failures for a liability suit.

There are four general sectors of industry that employ materials engineers:

Primary Materials Producing
These companies provide basic materials to other companies who manufacture a component for a product or the end product itself. Examples are steel companies, glass companies, polymer powder producing companies, etc. Typically these are relatively large organizations. This sector comprises a small number of companies that support a much larger number of manufacturing businesses.

These companies produce a component or end product using materials from Primary Producing companies. This sector includes a large number of companies ranging in size from a few to thousands of employees. This sector represents many different industries: transportation, electrical/electronics, machinery, computers/office, biomaterials, durable goods, and non-durable goods.

Companies in this sector provide support for others. Employers include consulting firms, research and development organizations, construction companies, utilities, engineering services, communications companies, and research groups.

Educational institutions, government, legal organizations, healthcare, business services, finance, insurance, and wholesale/retail are some of the other employers of materials engineers.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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