Materials Engineer Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Materials Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Materials Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Materials Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How to Become a materials engineer

If you're considering starting your Materials Engineer career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Materials Engineer and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Materials Engineer career.


Earn a Degree

To begin your Materials Engineer career path, a Bachelor's Degree in engineering or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Materials Engineer internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Materials Engineer?

85% of people working as a Materials Engineer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Materials Engineer?

  • Surface Chemistry
  • LEED
  • Written Communication
  • Pipeline
  • GOOD Communication
  • Interface
  • Powerpoint
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Materials Engineer in the United States.


Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Materials Engineer, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Materials Engineer field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Materials Engineer specialty.


Get an Entry-Level Position as a Materials Engineer

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in engineering or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Materials Engineer. In general, you can become a Materials Engineer after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Materials Engineer role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified b corporation.


Advance in Your Materials Engineer Career

Following entry-level, there are several Materials Engineer career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Materials Engineer to progress to the senior materials engineer position. Each advanced Materials Engineer position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Materials Engineer career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Materials Engineer career path.


Continued Education for Your Materials Engineer Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Materials Engineer career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in engineering can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $142,595 compared to $65,739 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels


Materials Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$103,424 /yrTotal Pay
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24% advanced to


Senior Materials Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$115,729 /yrTotal Pay
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Lead Materials Engineer

No Years of Experience Reports
$106,699 /yrTotal Pay
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Total Pay Trajectory

Materials Engineer Career Path

Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Materials Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common Materials Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.