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Materials Engineers and Technicians develop a knowledge of the project and specification to source, test and assess compliance of materials and offer guidance on best working practices.

Average salaries are in the region of £26,000.00 to £40,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Materials Engineers / Technicians research, design and develop materials to advance technologies and products as well as test the behaviour of these materials under different conditions.

What they do

Materials Engineers and Technicians work with existing materials like carbon fibres, plastics, ceramics and construction products and materials as well as newer ones like graphene and phosphorene. 

Their expertise lies in understanding the properties and behaviours of these different substances.

The results of the tests they carry out are used by companies to improve the performance of existing products, to eliminate faults with materials already in use, and to help with the development of new technologies.

This field can also be referred to as materials science or materials technology.

Typical tasks include:

  • Selecting the best combination of materials for specific purposes
  • Researching the properties of materials
  • Testing materials under different conditions and analysing test data
  • Testing materials to assess how resistant they are to heat, corrosion or chemical attack
  • Developing prototypes
  • Considering the implications for waste and other environmental pollution issues of any product or process
  • Working to solve problems arising during the manufacturing process or with the finished product
  • Supervising quality control throughout the construction and production process
  • Monitoring plant conditions and material reactions during use
  • Advising on inspection, maintenance and repair procedures
  • Considering the costs implications of materials used and alternatives, in terms of both time and money
  • Writing reports for project engineers and managers
  • Provide training for subordinates 

Hours & Salary

  • A newly trained materials engineer can earn in the region of £20,000 and £26,000 per year
  • A trained with experience materials engineer can earn in the region of £26,000 and £40,000
  • A senior, chartered or master materials engineer can earn in the region of £40,000 and £65,000 a year

Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.

Most full time positions are 40 to 50 hours a week. There may be times where you'll need to do overtime to meet deadlines, and you may have to work away from home, depending on the business needs.


You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Discover the wide range of construction roles available in the industry with our Career A-Z

Qualifications & Training

What qualifications or subjects do I need for this role?

A degree is usually required for entry into this profession.

Apart from a degree in materials engineering, technology or science, a number of other engineering and science-based subjects are acceptable.

These include:

  • Applied chemistry
  • Applied physics
  • Ceramics and glass
  • Chemical engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Metallurgy
  • Mining engineering
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Polymer science/technology
  • Structural engineering.

If your degree is in anything other than materials engineering, you may find that a postgraduate qualification will open up more opportunities.

It is also useful if your first degree or masters is accredited by a relevant professional body, such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, as it can help you to achieve the status of chartered engineer at a later date. 

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 



The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

3980 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 3980 engineers (which includes material technical engineers) to meet demand every year from 2017 - 2021 - according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI).

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