Metallurgical Engineer

Use different metals to design innovative products.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$52,000 – $127,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Metallurgical Engineers do?

Were you the high school student who regularly stayed behind in metal shop, or got caught messing with your dad’s tool bench? Do you have a creative spirit, and a talent for molding metal into new designs? If so, metallurgical engineering might be right up your alley.

As a Metallurgical Engineer, you work with a variety of metals to design new products, refine the collection process, and create different blends of metal to suit specific needs. The process starts deep within the earth, where metals have settled over millions of years. If you specialize in mineral processing, you find new, more effective, more efficient, or more earth-friendly techniques for pulling those metals out of the earth.

Another area of specialty is called extraction. In this field, you start with metal ore—a combination of metal, water, and other materials. Your job is to design methods for separating metal from the rest of the components, with consideration for the environment. This process takes place in labs, refineries, and steel mills.

The third main category of metallurgical engineering is referred to as physical metallurgy. This is the field where you create new metals for specific products and construction.

Often, you are charged with creating metal alloys, which are a combination of a metal and another ingredient. For example, brass is a combination of copper and zinc. These alloys are then used for a variety of products, from hair barrettes to steel beams to car frames. If it’s metal, or can be, you’re the best person for the job.

Should I be a Metallurgical Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Automotive Sheet Metal Engineer

    How to become a Metallurgical Engineer

    Most Metallurgical Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9bj&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2885%25%29|master%27s+%282%25%29|doctorate+%2813%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,85
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