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Oswego Career Ladders - Materials Engineer

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Materials Engineer

Industry: Energy
Area: Nuclear

Materials Engineers analyze the properties of the materials out of which the nuclear power plant and its equipment are constructed to ensure their integrity during under the dynamic loads produced by the plant in operation. Materials engineers conduct nondestructive examination, part failure analysis, and testing to ensure that the plant equipment will withstand the temperatures, pressures, and neutron flux of the operating plant. They also assist other engineering groups with materials specifications by conducting periodic nondestructive examination and testing.

Work Settings

A nuclear power plant is not all that different from coal, oil, or gas fired plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), part of our government, licenses the use of nuclear material and inspects users to make sure they follow the rules for safety.


A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level materials engineering jobs.

Job Outlook

Chemical engineers are expected to have employment growth about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014.


The average salary for Materials Engineers is $70,000 and the median salary is $64,000. Wages for experienced materials engineers are $80,000.

Work Schedule

Many engineers work a standard 40-hour week. At times, deadlines or design standards may bring extra pressure to a job, requiring engineers to work longer hours.

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