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Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are involved in developing, processing, applying, and evaluating a variety of materials. These include metals, alloys, ceramics, plastics, and composites.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Corrosion Engineer, Engineer Professional, Metallurgical Engineer, Plastics Engineer, Welding Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Metallurgical and Materials Engineers (2142) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Metallurgical and Materials Engineers (C042) 
  • 2011 NOC: Metallurgical and materials engineers (2142) 
  • 2016 NOC: Metallurgical and materials engineers (2142) 
Interest Codes
The Materials Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Metallurgical and Materials Engineers

Interest in synthesizing information to design, develop and specify the processes for moulding, shaping, forming and thermal treatment of metals, alloys and metallic systems ceramics, semiconductors and other materials


Interest in precision working to conduct chemical and physical analytical studies, failure analyses and other studies and operational testing


Interest in supervising technologists, technicians, other engineers and scientists; and in recommending material selection, design of materials, corrosion-control measures, operational testing and other procedures

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2018

In general, materials engineers:

  • study the properties and traits of metallic and non-metallic materials (such as strengths, conductivities, and resistance to corrosion)
  • develop and review metallurgical-, materials- and corrosion-engineering plans, standards and specifications
  • develop, test, and apply new materials tailored to meet specific needs (such as alloys, composites, plastics and ceramics)
  • use heat and mechanical treatments to modify the properties of alloys
  • research, develop, and monitor processes (such as for extracting metals from ores or non-destructive testing)
  • develop the best methods for fabricating and joining materials
  • monitor the performance of materials, including:
    • using destructive or non-destructive methods to assess the way they break down
    • developing maintenance schedules
  • study material failures to find causes and develop solutions
  • inspect construction sites, monitor materials placement, and review/write specifications
  • field test soils, concrete, and asphalt to ensure adequate performance
  • lab test the same through destructive and non-destructive methods.

Materials engineers can be grouped into three areas:

  • Extractive metallurgical engineers obtain pure metals from ores through various processes.
  • Physical metallurgical materials engineers study the nature, structure, and properties of metals and their alloys. They also study how metals respond to applied forces and heat treatment.
  • Materials selection engineers study how metals, plastics, ceramics, or other materials work. They use these materials in different ways. They consider technical and economic factors. They also study what causes materials to fail.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Materials engineers may work in offices, plants, labs, field sites, or a mix of these settings. Senior engineers may spend more time in an office setting. They often work as managers.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Materials engineers need to possess:

  • a natural sense of scientific curiosity
  • the ability to analyze and solve problems
  • the ability to work on their own or in a team environment
  • speaking, listening, and writing skills.

They should enjoy:

  • being innovative
  • doing work that requires precision
  • being an expert in their field.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The minimum requirement to work as a materials engineer is a bachelor’s degree. This should be in materials engineering, metallurgical engineering, welding engineering, or materials science. Research positions generally require graduate (master’s or doctoral) degrees.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grant MacEwan University

University of Lethbridge

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018


Professional engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes and structures.


Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf], you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering. You do not have to register if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a Professional Engineer or use the word “engineer” in your job title.

What You Need

Registration as a Professional Engineer in Alberta requires successful completion of:

  • A 4-year bachelor’s degree in a recognized engineering program and at least 4 years of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • A minimum of 3 acceptable references
  • Successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism

A new Provisional Member category has been introduced. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada are eligible for registration in Alberta if the 2 jurisdictions require similar responsibilities and competencies.

For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the APEGA website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Registration Process.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4A2

Call: 780-426-3990
Toll-free in North America: 1-800-661-7020

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Materials engineers work for:

  • inspection firms
  • materials testing labs
  • the automotive industry
  • the construction industry
  • the microelectronic industry
  • primary metal producers
  • large fabricators of metals
  • government and industrial research departments
  • industries that make aircraft parts, machinery, and electrical equipment
  • engineering firms that analyze pipeline integrity, corrosion, and failure.

In Alberta, materials engineers also work for:

  • petroleum production and refining industries (such as oil sands companies)
  • pipe production and installation industries
  • coal and chemical industries
  • mineral processing plants.

Materials engineers who have worked in production may move into sales. They may also move into positions that deal with customer complaints. More and more materials engineers work for consulting firms and in research and development. They resolve a wide range of problems. For instance, they may explore the way molten metal interacts with brick furnace linings. Or they may research the failure of thin-film circuit elements in microelectronic components. With time on the job, they may be promoted to work as managers.

Materials engineers are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2142: Metallurgical and materials engineers. In Alberta, 78% of people employed as materials and metallurgical engineers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the 2142: Metallurgical and materials engineers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website:

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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