Metallurgical engineering is the study of metals. Combining theory and practice, degree programs cover the mining, extraction, design and processing of metals, as well as how metals react to environmental changes or stress. Students also gain an understanding of fundamental engineering principles.
Inside Metallurgical Engineering
Metallurgical engineers deal with all aspects of the production and application of metals and their alloys. This means that they must learn about each stage of the metal-making process, from mining and extraction, through alloy formation and the use of metals in finished products. The Princeton Review notes that most metallurgical engineering programs have relationships with industry that allow students to participate in cooperative learning experiences. Students are trained for work as mining or materials engineers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a graduate degree is not necessary for the majority of entry-level engineering jobs. However, a master's or doctoral degree is generally required in order to teach engineering and may help broaden one's employment options (www.bls.gov). In addition to a classroom-based education, aspiring materials engineers who want to offer services to the general public must go through a licensure process.
To become licensed, one must first pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam proctored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Aspiring licensure candidates are also expected to gain four years of professional experience. A candidate can then take the specific version of the Principals and Practice of Engineering exam for materials and metallurgical engineering, also proctored by the NCEES in conjunction with the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed materials engineers was expected to increase by nine percent from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). The number of employed mining and geological engineers was projected to grow by 15% during the same period. As of May 2010, the annual average salary for materials engineers was $85,860. During that time, the average annual salary for mining and geological engineers was $87,350, as reported by the BLS.
Learn More About Metallurgical Engineering
In the mining and manufacturing industries, materials engineers apply their knowledge of metals to solve complex problems. If you'd like to find out how to get the knowledge to succeed in this field, here are a few links from Education-Portal.com to get you started.
If you're planning on a career in metallurgical engineering or materials science, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree. Here are several links explaining your educational choices, including distance learning options.
Students who receive training in metallurgical engineering may end up working in a wide range of occupations. You can learn more about these positions by reading the articles listed here.
- Materials Scientist
- Metallurgical Laboratory Technician
- Mining Engineer
- Polymer Engineer
- Materials Engineer
Where to Study
Choosing the right school is an important step towards educational and vocational success. Education-Portal.com has a wealth of information to help make that decision easier.
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