Learning is a life-long endeavor. Advances in technology are perpetually
changing the tools of materials engineering, so maintaining your technical
competence will be a constant pursuit. It will also be important to
continue developing communication skills. Actively pursuing professional
development opportunities in and out of the work environment can expand
your abilities and career options.
Maintaining technical competence is important, but the development of
other capacities (i.e., communications skills, networking, mentoring) is
just as critical. By honing these crafts you will become more marketable.
a registered professional engineer is important in those areas of the
field with direct public impact, such as in consulting firms. Take the
Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam when a senior or immediately
following graduation; this exam is a prerequisite for sitting for the PE
Exam. After four years of professional experience, contact your State
Board. Each board generally has a packet of information which outlines the
steps to be taken by engineers to become a registered Professional
Engineer. This includes the requirements engineers must fulfill to qualify
as a candidate to take the Principles and Practices Examination and rules
while taking the examination. For more information, visit the
National Society of Professional Engineers
or the National Council of Examiners
for Engineering and Surveying.
The opportunity to meet and discuss materials successes and challenges
with one's peers is invaluable toward not only project success, but also
personal success. Sharing information and ideas is generally beneficial to
both parties and is a hallmark of a successful engineer. Networking is the
single most important cited resource for people to obtain new positions.
While you will perhaps seldom find yourself in a classroom, you must
remain current in your chosen specialty. Possible forms of continuing
education include: reading technical journals and publications, attending
conferences, workshops or training courses, and obtaining membership in a
Some resources in this section are provided by The Minerals, Metals &
and the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.