Graduate jobs for materials and metals engineers

Materials and metals engineering graduate jobs

As a materials and metals engineering graduate, one of the first choices about your next career step is whether you would prefer to join a formal graduate scheme or get an entry-level/graduate job.

Some of the key differences between these two options are:

  • Formal graduate schemes are typically offered by large, often international, engineering companies. They may also advertise the occasional entry-level position, but these are most common with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • On a graduate scheme, you are likely to be one of several graduate hires. An entry-level job tends to be a single vacancy for just one engineer, although occasionally there may be a couple of positions available.
  • A graduate scheme lasts for around two years and, upon completion, graduates usually move into a permanent role. A graduate job is likely to be a permanent contract from day one. You may be given more work and responsibility, and your career may progress faster.
  • A graduate scheme typically involves a structured training programme, which you’ll attend with the other graduate recruits. You’ll still receive training if you join a graduate job, but it is likely to be less structured and therefore flexible to your individual interests and needs.

What industries can materials engineers work in?

Another decision you’ll need to make is which engineering industry you would like to work in. As a materials and metals engineering student, you have plenty of options. Engineers currently working in the following 14 fields told us that their industry needs materials and metals engineers:

To help you decide which of these engineering industries is the best fit for you, we asked all 14 engineers to put together an overview of their industry, including key trends and developments, what life is like as an engineer in this area and how a graduate can get a job in the industry. Just click on the industries in the list above that interest you.

Becoming professionally registered

Once you start working, your employer may encourage and support you to work towards professional registration as a chartered engineer (CEng) or incorporated engineer (IEng).

The first step to achieving this is to join one of the engineering professional institutions. The institution you become a member of will depend on the industry you work in. Materials engineers tend to join the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).

Head to our article on becoming a chartered or incorporated engineer after starting a graduate job to find out more.

Materials engineering salaries

A typical salary for a graduate engineer with a big employer is around the £23,000 to £30,000 mark. A few engineering companies pay more, typically the oil and gas giants. Salaries for graduate engineers with SMEs or regional employers may be slightly lower. The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the 2015/16 academic year, which surveyed graduates approximately six months after they graduated, found that technology, engineering and maths graduates earned between £18,000 and £30,000 on average. This figure covers both graduates in engineering and those who pursued careers in other fields.

To find out more about what you might earn as a graduate engineer – and as a chartered or incorporated engineer – take a look at our engineering salary round-up.

What other careers can I get into with a materials engineering degree?

If you’re considering going down a different route to engineering, a few of your options include:


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