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Materials Engineer

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Materials engineers investigate the properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, plastics and other materials, and develop and assess their commercial and engineering applications.

Materials engineers may specialise in metals, ceramics, polymers, plastics or composites.

They often work closely with other professionals, pooling expertise on particular projects.

They may work in production plants, offices and outdoors when involved in construction projects.


    Materials engineers may perform the following tasks:

  • study the structure and properties of metals and other materials
  • develop methods for processing minerals through to manufactured materials
  • investigate methods for shaping and fabricating materials, joining materials, improving existing materials and evaluating new ones
  • participate in the design of products using advanced materials
  • investigate material failures
  • study ways to extend the life of materials
  • establish procedures and methods to protect materials against deterioration and assess their durability
  • study possible improvements to production methods, report on the nature and uses of materials, and advise on manufacturing techniques and quality control systems


  • enjoy science, technical and engineering activities
  • able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • able to work as part of a team
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • a capacity for creative thinking

Interest Area

Scientific Technical/Engineering Figures/Computational


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a materials engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering at university with a major in materials engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in engineering with a major in materials engineering.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    Graduates may be eligible to join Engineers Australia and Materials Australia. Visit their websites for more details.


Materials engineers find employment in industrial or government research organisations and in government agencies such as those associated with power generation, communication, defence, construction and transport. A wide range of manufacturing industries also employ materials engineers, including those concerned with the processing of minerals, plastics, rubbers, ceramics, paper, electronic devices and packaging.

There are also opportunities for experienced materials engineers to become self-employed consultants.

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More Information - External Links

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