Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR. 28, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Become a Ceramic Engineer

ceramic engineer

Ceramic engineers are individuals who are materials engineers specialised in ceramics. These are inorganic materials processed at elevated temperatures. Ceramics examples are porcelain, glass, cement, and bricks.

What do Ceramic Engineers do?

Ceramic engineers’ tasks involve:

  • Developing new products made of ceramic
  • Developing equipment to process ceramic materials
  • Working with lots of products from electronic components and glassware to jet engine and blast furnace linings to nuclear reactors.

There are different types of places in which a ceramic engineer might work. In brief, these are:

  • glass, stone, and clay industries
  • industries such as iron & steel, chemical, and aerospace
  • academic institutes
  • research centers and government agencies

Many ceramic engineers specialise in a specific kind of work:

  • Research & development ceramic engineers develop new materials from the minerals found within the earth or synthetically.
  • Advance technology of the existing ceramics, like improving fire and heat resistance.
  • Explore new and different uses for the ceramic products, like the use of ceramics in replacements for human teeth and bones.
  • Take part in production, directing synthetic and raw material processing for making ceramics, along with designing equipment such as kilns. They also direct crews which operate kilns and build plants.

Ceramic engineers also work in a variety of product fields in an industry. Some examples are:

  • Refractories:  working with heat and fire heat resist materials
  • Dielectrical engineers specialise in ceramic materials for electrical use.  They’re concerned with producing nuclear, electrical, and thermal current containments associated with power generation.
  • Other engineers specialise in whitewares and glass, including electric insulators and china dishes
  • Some other product fields include cements, abrasives, superconducting materials, and nuclear fuels that are nonmetallic.

 

  •  Many engineers specialise in glass and whitewares, which is a broad field that includes china dishes and electric insulators. Other special product fields include abrasives, cements, structural ceramics, superconducting materials, and nonmetallic nuclear fuels.

Pay

Industry

Average Salary

Federal government,

$109,810

Aerospace product & parts manufacturing

97,160

Scientific research & development services

86,250

Semiconductor & other electronic components manufacturing

84,090

Architectural, engineering, & related services

80,080

 

The figures presented above are based on 2012 statistics from BLS.gov

 

Job Requirements

One thing that is important for a ceramics engineer to do is to know about the uses and properties of plastics and metals. Other things that someone who goes into this field need to have is:

  • knowledge of other types of engineering fields
  • an understanding of underground and open pit methods of mining
  • the ability to work with others on a team.
  • a bachelor’s degree
  • problem solving ability
  • skill in math and science

Although a bachelor’s degree is all that is required, many ceramic engineers go on to get their masters and doctoral degrees.  They’re also often encouraged by their employers to continue on and continue their learning so that they’re able to contribute more to their job.

When a ceramic engineer works with the public or their work affects property, life, or health, a state license is required.  This requires getting a degree from an approved college, four years of experience, and passing the state examination.

Advancement & Job Outlook

Ceramic engineers will often begin as assistants before advancing to a higher position. They then become production or sales junior members. With more experience and education, it’s possible to become a department head or project supervisor.

Interestingly, the job is expected to grow averagely through 2014. Meanwhile, nanomaterials are the best place to find growth in the field.

 

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