What does a Lead Materials Engineer do?

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials that create products ranging from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs or biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, or nanometals to create new materials that meet specific mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. Materials engineers develop new ways to use existing materials, and they evaluate new projects and consult with other engineers and managers on projects as necessary.

Materials engineers prepare proposals and budgets, analyze labor costs, and write reports. They perform other managerial tasks including supervising technicians, technologists, and other engineers and scientists. They design and direct the testing of processing procedures, monitor how materials perform, and evaluate how materials deteriorate. Materials engineers determine the cause of product failure, and they develop ways to overcome future failures. Materials engineers need a bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering or a related engineering field.

What responsibilities are common for Lead Materials Engineer jobs?
  • Assist with business development, project delivery and will manage projects from start to completion.
  • Supervise and participate in laying out composite materials for molding and filament winding.
  • Prepare and analyze status reports of materials, equipment, and parts.
  • Ensure project team understands the results expected and their role, train, direct and review their work and give feedback as appropriate.
  • Run and analyze experiments to test materials and processes.
  • Schedule, coordinate and delegate project work including purchase of needed materials and/or services from outside vendors.
  • Provide technical assistance on materials and related process issues when requested.
  • Create test procedures, quality plans, and transferrable documents associated with new materials and processes for successful implementation.
  • Create and implement tools to audit efficiency and identify cost reduction opportunities across the factory and the warehouse.
  • Manage technical, budgetary and schedule performance to achieve client satisfaction and repeat business.
  • Keep the project on schedule, ensure project remains within budget, ensure accurate and timely billing and follow up on bill payments.
  • Provide senior engineering expertise, quality assurance and will lead the expansion of our materials and geotechnical business lines.
  • The position is designed to fit with the alternating school and work semester schedules established by many engineering colleges.
  • Assist in the development of alternative materials for water heaters and water treatment systems.
  • Responsible for identifying new technologies for our products and distributing throughout the business unit.
  • Develop and maintain relationships of interest both internally and externally.
  • Support and maintain a functioning lab with necessary test capability and expert consultation.
  • Implement and comply with industry and regulatory standards and advise the business of pending changes or areas of interest.
  • Investigate techniques like cemented carbides, Clad materials, induction hardening, laser hardening, laser welding, resistive welding, layered sintering, additive manufacturing, self-sharpening (chipping/wear) and other newly available opportunities.
  • Embrace the necessity for change and commitment to continual growth and progress.
  • Develop reports detailing research conclusions and measurement results for delivery to sponsors.
  • Ensure quality product by using necessary measuring equipment including calipers, micrometers and pi tapes.
  • Develop and plan projects by defining the scope through analysis and evaluation of alternate solutions to the client's problem, writes proposals and obtains approval to move ahead with the project.
What are the typical qualifications for Lead Materials Engineer jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in computer science, engineering, mechanical engineering or optical engineering or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with SCADA, SAP 54, C, and CAD Software and systems.
  • Demonstrated leadership and problem solving skills.
  • Fluency in enterprise resource planning, project design, and report writing.
  • Six Sigma training.
  • Is a critical thinker dedicated to continuous improvement.
  • Solid critical thinking skills.
  • Experience with Modbus and R Language.
  • Expertly skilled in calibration,
EducationGraduate Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

How much does a Lead Materials Engineer make near United States?

$127,755 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Lead Materials Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Lead Materials Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Lead Materials Engineer
Principal Materials Engineer
Lead Materials Engineer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Lead Materials Engineer Insights

Read what Lead Materials Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Innovation Engineer
Nov 23, 2023

“Low pay and very competitive industry in a downturn which can be felt in budgets etc.”

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock DivisionNaval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Materials Engineer
May 23, 2022

“My stress and blood pressure was so high that quitting probably added years back to my life.”

ZF GroupZF Group
Senior Materials Engineer III
Jul 13, 2022

“everyone is expected to follow same steps when use shared instruments although one step is not useful.”

Stemrobo TechnologiesStemrobo Technologies
Senior Innovation Engineer
Jul 17, 2022

“Good Salary hikes are good”

Materials Engineer
Apr 4, 2023

“Good work and life balance”

Samsung Electro-MechanicsSamsung Electro-Mechanics
Innovation Engineer
Oct 13, 2021

“Work and life balance is not practiced”

Materials Support
Aug 10, 2021

“Being a part of helping people to hear was a very fulfilling part of the job.”

Parker HannifinParker Hannifin
Plastics Engineer
Mar 25, 2023

“Good place to learn and grow.”

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Lead Materials Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of materials engineers

Materials engineers spend their workday processing, testing, and developing materials used in a variety of different industries and products such as aircraft wings, computer chips, and even sports and safety equipment. Materials engineers study the properties and structures of certain materials to create new ones that meet mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.

Becoming a materials engineer can be the start of a rewarding career for those with good problem-solving skills who enjoy a challenge and can work collaboratively on a team. Materials engineers typically have regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. working hours. They often work in an office or lab setting and may need safety equipment or personal protective gear.

Successful materials engineers get paid well. The average base pay for a materials engineer in the United States is $127,755. The salary can vary depending on years of experience, level of education, demand for work, and individual company needs or specific job responsibilities.

Working as a materials engineer can be demanding at times, as it requires a high level of mathematical and analytical skills. Materials engineers need to think critically, solve problems effectively, and communicate efficiently with several people. Advanced communication and interpersonal skills are critical to be able to navigate the work environment.

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