Career and Education Opportunities for Materials Engineers in Rapid City, South Dakota
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for materials engineers in the Rapid City, South Dakota area. The national trend for materials engineers sees this job pool growing by about 9.3% over the next eight years. In general, materials engineers evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications.
The average wage in the general category of Engineering jobs is $30 per hour or $63,319 per year in South Dakota, and an average of $40 per hour or $83,221 per year nationwide. Materials engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: smelting engineer, corrosion engineer, and material analyst.
The Rapid City area is home to six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Rapid City where you can get a degree as a materials engineer. Given that the most common education level for materials engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a materials engineer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Materials Engineer
In general, materials engineers evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. They also develop new uses for known materials.
Materials engineers monitor material performance and evaluate material deterioration. They also analyze product failure data and laboratory test results to establish causes of problems and design solutions. Equally important, materials engineers have to supervise the work of technologists as well as other engineers and scientists. They are often called upon to formulate and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and corporate executives as needed. Finally, materials engineers evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to process or product layout objectives.
Every day, materials engineers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.
It is important for materials engineers to conduct or supervise tests on raw materials or finished products to insure their quality. They are often called upon to perform managerial functions, such as preparing proposals and budgets, analyzing labor costs, and writing reports. They also layout and direct the testing or control of processing procedures. They are sometimes expected to solve problems in variety of engineering fields, such as mechanical and aerospace. Somewhat less frequently, materials engineers are also expected to supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations.
Materials engineers sometimes are asked to write for technical magazines and trade association publications. They also have to be able to supervise production and testing processes in industrial settings, such as metal refining facilities, smelting or foundry operations, or nonmetallic materials production operations and modify properties of metal alloys, using thermal and mechanical treatments. And finally, they sometimes have to layout and direct the testing or control of processing procedures.
Like many other jobs, materials engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Rapid City include:
- Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
- Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
- Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
- Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
- Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
- Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
- Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
- Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
- Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
- Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
- Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
- Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
- Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Materials Engineer Training
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology - Rapid City, SD
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 501 E Saint Joseph St, Rapid City, SD 57701-3995. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is a small school located in Rapid City, South Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,061 students and an admission rate of 83%. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has 2 areas of study related to Materials Engineer. They are:
- Materials Engineering, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated nine and zero students respectively in 2008.
- Metallurgical Engineering, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.
For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.
API 571 Supplemental Inspection Certification : API 571 Supplemental Inspection Certification program tests Inspectors' knowledge and expertise in the field of Corrosion and Materials.
For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute website.
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.
For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.
Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.
For more information, see the NACE International website.
Highway Materials: This certification program is for highway engineering technicians involved in laboratory and field testing of highway materials such as aggregates, asphalts, concrete, soils, paints, and metals.
For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.
Licensing agency: SOUTH DAKOTA BOARD OF TECHNICAL PROFESSIONS
Address: 2040 W MAIN ST, STE 304, RAPID CITY, SD 57702-2447
Phone: (605) 394-2510
Website: SOUTH DAKOTA BOARD OF TECHNICAL PROFESSIONS
LOCATION INFORMATION: Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City is situated in Pennington County, South Dakota. It has a population of over 65,491, which has grown by 9.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Rapid City, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rapid City are priced at $147,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-eight new homes were constructed in Rapid City, down from two hundred fifty-three the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Rapid City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 26.7% of Rapid City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Rapid City is 5.7%, which is greater than South Dakota's average of 4.5%.
The percentage of Rapid City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.
Rapid City is home to the Lazy J RV Park and Campground and the Pioneer Museum as well as College Park and Dinosaur Park. Shopping malls in the area include Haines Station Shopping Center, Baken Park Shopping Center and Baken Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Rapid City can choose from Lazy U Motel, Stardust Motel and Motel Town House for temporary stays in the area.