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Online Material Engineering Degrees and Careers

Material engineering focuses on the development and testing of materials found in our everyday lives--from cars and sports equipment to toys and computer chips. This type of engineering encompasses working with and understanding a broad range of materials including: metals, glass, ceramics, polymers, even semi-conductors and bio-materials.

Education and Career Opportunities in Materials Engineering

Most entry-level engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree. If you would like to pursue a research or teaching jobs in materials engineering you typically need a graduate degree. Some colleges also offer two- or four-year degree programs in engineering technology, which specifically train students for practical design and production rather than research work. These types of programs, however, do not qualify you to register as a professional engineer as those with a bachelor's degree and may qualify you for more entry-level material engineering jobs.

Make sure that you check the college or university's accreditation program before applying and make sure it has the seal of approval by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This accreditation may be required in order for you to get a license to practice mechanical engineering. To qualify for a Professional Engineer (PE) license, you need to get a bachelor's degree from a ABET-accredited engineering program, pass the state-administered exam, and get four years of work experience under your belt.

Materials engineers made a median income of $83,190 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It is not a high growth field, but it is expected to grow moderately over the next decade by 9 percent. Most of the growth is expected to come from scientific, technical and professional industries.

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