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Career and Education Opportunities for Materials Engineers in Houston, Texas

Materials engineers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Houston, Texas area. About 2,360 people are currently employed as materials engineers in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to 2,830 people employed. This is better than the national trend for materials engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.3% over the next eight years. Materials engineers generally evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications.

A person working as a materials engineer can expect to earn about $42 hourly or $88,800 per year on average in Texas and about $39 hourly or $81,820 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for materials engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. Materials engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: welding engineer, supplier quality engineer , and manufacturing engineer.

The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a materials engineer. Materials engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a materials engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Materials Engineer

Materials Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Houston include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • 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.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • 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.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • 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.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • 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.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • 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

Rice University - Houston, TX

Rice University, 6100 S Main, Houston, TX 77005-1827. Rice University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,337 students and an admission rate of 23%. Rice University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Materials Engineering which graduated one, zero, and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Materials Engineering which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.