Employment of materials engineers is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 2024. Materials engineers will be needed to design uses for new materials both in traditional industries, such as aerospace manufacturing, and in industries focused on new medical or scientific products. However, most materials engineers work in manufacturing industries, which are expected to experience employment declines.
Demand for materials engineers is expected to come from growing fields, such as biomedical engineering. Material engineers' expertise is crucial in helping biomedical engineers develop new materials for medical implants. Research and development firms will continue to employ materials engineers as they explore new uses for materials technology in consumer products, industrial processes, and medicine.
Prospects should be best for applicants who gain experience by participating in internships or co-op programs while in college.
Computer modeling and simulations, rather than extensive and costly laboratory testing, are increasingly being used to predict the performance of new materials. Thus, those with a background in computer modeling should have better employment opportunities.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program