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Occupational Profile

Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are involved in the development, processing, application and evaluation of metals and materials.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

NOC & Interest Codes
The Materials Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Metallurgical and Materials Engineers
NOC code: 2142
INNOVATIVE

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

OBJECTIVE

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

DIRECTIVE

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

Duties
Updated Mar 08, 2016

In general, materials engineers:

  • study the properties and characteristics of metallic and non-metallic materials (for example, strengths conductivities, resistance to corrosion)
  • develop and review metallugical, materials and corrosion engineering plans, standards and specifications
  • develop, test and apply new materials that are tailored to meet specific requirements (for example, alloys, composites, plastics, ceramics)
  • use thermal and mechanical treatments to modify alloy properties
  • research, develop and monitor processes (for example, for extracting metals from ores or non-destructive testing)
  • determine appropriate methods for fabricating and joining materials
  • monitor material performance, use destructive or non-destructive methods to evaluate material deterioration and develop maintenance schedules
  • analyze material failures to find causes and develop solutions.

Materials engineers can be broadly grouped into three areas of practice:

  • Extractive metallurgical engineers obtain pure metals from ores through various extractive processes.
  • Physical metallurgical materials engineers study the nature, structure and physical properties of metals and their alloys, and their responses to applied forces.
  • Materials selection engineers evaluate technical and economic factors as they relate to how metals, plastics, ceramics or other available materials perform in particular applications and the causes of material failures.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Materials engineers may work in offices, plants, laboratories, field sites or a combination of these settings. Senior engineers may spend more time in an office environment performing managerial functions.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Materials engineers need the following characteristics:

  • a natural sense of scientific curiosity
  • the ability to analyze and solve problems
  • the ability to work independently or in a team environment
  • effective communication skills.

They should enjoy being innovative, doing work that requires precision and being an expert in their field.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

The minimum education requirement to work as a materials engineer is a bachelor's degree in materials engineering, metallurgical engineering or materials science. Research positions generally require graduate (master's, 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.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Engineer

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

Legislation

Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a professional engineer. You do not have to be registered 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.

Education

Registration as a Professional Engineer requires: (1) 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, (2) a minimum of 3 acceptable references and (3) 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, visit APEGA's website or contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered engineers in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process on AlbertaCanada.com.

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 4A2
Phone number: 780-426-3990
Toll-free phone number (within North America): 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877
Email: email@apega.ca
Website: www.apega.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

The main employers of materials engineers are:

  • inspection firms
  • materials testing laboratories
  • the automotive industry
  • the microelectronic industry
  • primary metal producers
  • large fabricators of metals
  • government and industrial research establishments
  • industries that manufacture aircraft parts, machinery and electrical equipment
  • engineering consulting firms specializing in corrosion, pipeline integrity and failure analysis.

In Alberta, materials engineers also are employed by:

  • petroleum production and refining industries (for example, oil sands companies)
  • pipe production and installation industries
  • coal and chemical industries
  • mineral processing plants.

Materials engineers who have production experience may move into sales or trouble shooting positions dealing with customer complaints. An increasing number of materials engineers work for consulting firms and in research and development, resolving problems ranging from the interaction of molten metal with brick furnace linings to the failure of thin-film circuit elements in microelectronic components. Experienced materials engineers may advance to management positions.

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

According to the 2013 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Metallurgical and Materials Engineers occupational group earned on average from $44.03 to $64.35 an hour. The overall average wage was $52.46 an hour. More recent data is not available. 

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
    • Primary Resources
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website: www.apega.ca

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) website: www.cim.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 11, 2014. 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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