Online Material Engineering Degree Programs

Engineers who specialize in materials science focus on the research, design, and creation of metals, glass, polymers, crystals, ceramics, and other composite products used in manufacturing and technology. They develop more efficient, more environmentally friendly, sturdier, or cheaper materials for use in everything from airplane wings to computer parts.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of material engineering, you can expect your education to touch on a broad range of scientific disciplines. Degree programs in the field typically encompass electricity, thermodynamics, physics, nanotechnology, metallurgy, and applied chemistry. In addition, you might be expected to focus on manufacturing and production-related fields because many material engineers eventually gravitate toward these specialties. Safety, regulations, and supply chain economics are just a few of the areas your degree program might cover.

Different Types of Degrees in Material Engineering

As with most engineering degrees, a bachelor's degree is usually the minimum that employers accept. For research, teaching, or job advancement, however, you might consider completing a master's degree or higher. Doing so can improve your qualifications and open more opportunities up to you. More education can also make it easier for you to pass the respective local, state, or federal certification tests required of engineers who want to work on public projects.

Online Degrees in Material Engineering

Much of material engineering is highly theoretical, meaning that engineers rely on computer representations to study polymers far too small for the naked eye to see. As such, you might consider pursuing online career training in the field. Doing so can better prepare you for in the IT-related aspects of material engineering, while offering you greater freedom and flexibility with class scheduling and commuting.

Career Options with Material Engineering Degrees

The bulk of material engineering degrees are in manufacturing-related industries (from research and development to production). As nanotechnology and biotechnology continue to develop greater overlap, however, there could be additional openings in more mainstream science and medicine disciplines as well. In fact, if you have an opportunity to focus on nano- and biomaterials during your study, make sure you do so. Material engineering, one of the slowest growing of the engineering subcategories, is projected to grow only 4 percent between 2006 and 2016 with the bulk of future demand in the emerging fields of nano- and bio-material.

Salary Potential in Material Engineering

More encouraging than the career outlook is the salary potential. In 2006, the median salary for material engineers was $74,000, with the highest 10 percent making approximately $112,000. In addition, these predictions only hold true with our current understanding of materials and polymers. Just as few could have predicted the boom that came along after plastics and nylon were engineered, who can really say what newer materials await? With another polymer revolution, material engineers could again enjoy unprecedented demand worldwide.

Pursue your Material Engineering major today…

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