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Career options for aspiring materials science engineers Just as the potential for advancement in materials science is limitless, so to are the career opportunities for students who pursue materials science and engineering degree programs. Not only will students have the opportunity to work in every facet of engineering, but they will also find their knowledge and skills in demand in most other industries as well.


Materials Production Research. A materials scientist working in materials production research generally prefers researching and testing materials as opposed to focusing on practical applications of materials. Essentially, a materials scientist in this line of work continually thinks of new ways to test, manipulate, and control the behaviors and components of different materials.

Materials production research aims to create new materials. Materials scientists who perform this research generally work in laboratories funded by the government or private companies. This work involves a great deal of trial and error, so success in materials production research requires perseverance, dedication, and patience.

Metallurgical Engineer. A metallurgical engineer has a strong background in materials science and is interested in using information gathered from studying metals to design, improve, and alter products. This type of engineering professional is valuable to most industries; metallurgical engineers find employment in many fields, depending on an individual's interest and expertise. Often, metallurgical engineers work in teams, so communication skills and the ability to work with others is a key to enjoying and succeeding in this career.

An educational background and usually a Bachelor of Science degree in materials science and engineering are necessities for securing employment as a metallurgical engineering professional. Additionally, experienced metallurgical engineers generally find M.S. degrees necessary to qualify for more advanced, higher paying employment.

Materials Consultant. When a company or engineering firm is working on a new experiment, a materials scientist or a materials engineer may be consulted. Materials consultants are typically experts in one area of materials and familiar with past experiments and theories in the hiring firm's proposed project.

Materials consultants should be able to offer guidance; suggestions, feedback, and anything else that may assist a firm's project succeed. In addition to possessing sophisticated knowledge of a particular field, successful materials scientists are strong communicators. They are able to articulate ideas in a way that clients understand and find useful.

Manufacturing Engineer. A manufacturing engineer is involved with all components of the manufacturing process. His job is to develop methods and procedures that will improve, streamline, and modify such processes. This involves designing new machines and production methods, so a background in materials science is especially useful for innovative approaches to manufacturing. This field of engineering is a popular place of employment for materials scientists and engineers.

Manufacturing engineers constantly use new materials and combinations of existing materials to find practical applications for the manufacturing industry. Engineering professionals in this field have strong technical skills and educational background. Additionally, manufacturing engineers have the ability to focus on the larger picture of a project in its entirety as well as the individual tasks required to complete the project.

Most manufacturing engineers begin careers with a Bachelor of Science degree and many choose to return to school to earn an advanced degree. In addition to a strong command of manufacturing and engineering knowledge, communication skills are also a necessity for becoming a successful manufacturing engineer.
Patent Attorney. Many patent attorneys find an educational background in materials science and engineering helpful. Proper understanding of the advancement of technology and the ability to maintain a level of understanding that is on the cutting-edge of science and engineering is crucial for success a patent attorney. Patent attorneys assist in securing the patent rights to any materials, theories, methods, or ideas a scientist or engineering firm might develop.

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