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Engineering: Materials Engineering Focus

Katie Schenk - January 09, 2020

Materials engineering degrees

How much do materials engineers earn in the US?

According to EngineerSalary.com, the starting salary for a materials engineering with a bachelor’s degree in the US is $55,640. Those starting with a master’s can expect to start at $61,170 – depending on work experience prior to graduate study.

But, the median salary within the field according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS) is $92,390, with those in the 90th percentile earning a salary of $148,840. 

The industries with the highest salaries employing materials are:

  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences: $107,840 

  • Transportation equipment manufacturing: $100,030 

  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing: $94,020 

  • Engineering services: $90,630 

  • Primary metal manufacturing: $81,170

Where do materials engineers work in the US?

In case you’re wondering as you browse the employers that recruit MS and ME materials engineers on university campuses, the states employing the highest numbers of materials engineers are:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan

You may want to consider pursuing your education in these or neighbouring states. But, remember that recruiters are looking for top talent across the country.

Top materials engineering masters programmes in the US

Ready to start looking at universities? 

Considering where the highest numbers of materials engineers are employed, you may want to focus your programme search in the western and midwestern states. However, as you’ll see from recruiters, they’re happy to receive applications from Master of Science and Master of Engineering graduates from any of the top universities.

Why not start your employment search alongside your university search for the best shot at your future. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - School of Engineering

Cambridge (Boston), Massachusetts | Northeast

Northwestern University - Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering

Evanston (Chicago), Illinois| Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 20
  • USNWR materials department rank: 22
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $83,098
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science and Engineering

Stanford University - Stanford School of Engineering

Stanford (San Francisco), California | West


University of Illinois Urbana-​Champaign - College of Engineering

Urbana, Illinois | Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 10
  • USNWR materials department rank: 3
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $50,134
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMatSE)
  • Occasionally offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Illinois graduates.

University of California Berkeley - School of Engineering

Berkeley (San Francisco), California | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 3
  • USNWR materials department rank: 6
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $60,932
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Berkeley graduates.

Georgia Institute of Technology - College of Engineering

Atlanta, Georgia | South

California Institute of Technology - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Pasadena (Los Angeles), California | West

University of Michigan Ann Arbor - College of Engineering

Ann Arbor, Michigan | Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 5
  • USNWR materials department rank: 8
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $72,724
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Offers spring admissions.

Cornell University - College of Engineering

Ithaca, New York| Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 14
  • USNWR materials department rank: 8
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $86,876
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE)
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering (MEngMSE)
  • Offers spring admissions.

Pennsylvania State University University Park - College of Engineering

University Park, Pennsylvania | Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 35
  • USNWR materials department rank: 11
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $54,000
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMatSE)
    • Additive Manufacturing and Design (M.S. and M.Eng)
  • Offers spring admissions.

Carnegie Mellon University - College of Engineering

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 4
  • USNWR materials department rank: 12
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $73,861
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Science in Materials Science 

University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 17
  • USNWR materials department rank: 13
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $80,206
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Engineering Degree (M.S.M.S.E.)

Ohio State University - College of Engineering

Columbus, Ohio | Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 27
  • USNWR materials department rank: 14
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $55,152
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Science in Welding Engineering
  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Ohio State graduates.

Purdue University - College of Engineering

West Lafayette, Indiana| Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 8
  • USNWR materials department rank: 16
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $44,908
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Engineering

Johns Hopkins University - Whiting School of Engineering

Baltimore, Maryland | Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 17
  • USNWR materials department rank: 16
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $74,642
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Offers spring admissions.

University of Florida - Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Gainesville, Florida | South

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 45
  • USNWR materials department rank: 16
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $48,234
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering

University of Texas ​Austin - Cockrell School of Engineering

Austin, Texas| West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 11
  • USNWR materials department rank: 20
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $39,476
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in  Engineering in Materials Engineering
  • Occasionally offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Cockrell graduates.

North Carolina State University - College of Engineering

Raleigh, North Carolina| South

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 24
  • USNWR materials department rank: 20
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $47,473
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Nanoengineering
  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting NC State graduates.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - School of Engineering

Troy, New York | Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 41
  • USNWR materials department rank: 22
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $74,306
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Occasionally offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Rensselaer graduates.

Columbia University - The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

New York, New York | Northeast

University of California Los Angeles - Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

Los Angeles, California | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 16
  • USNWR materials department rank: 26
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $73,861
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science & Engineering
  • Take a look at UCLA Career Center partners.

Rice University - George R. Brown School of Engineering

Houston, Texas | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 27
  • USNWR materials department rank: 29
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $67,714
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Materials Science and Nanoengineering (M.M.S.N.E.)
  • Offers spring admissions.

University of California ​Davis - College of Engineering

Davis (Sacramento), California | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 31
  • USNWR materials department rank: 26
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $53,082
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering

Virginia Tech - College of Engineering

Blacksburg, Virginia | South

University of California ​San Diego - Jacobs School of Engineering

San Diego, California | West

Texas A&M University - Dwight Look College of Engineering

College Station, Texas | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 15
  • USNWR materials department rank: 30
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $40,672
  • Degrees available
    • M.S. Civil Engineering: Materials Engineering Specialty

    • M.E. Civil Engineering: Materials Engineering Specialty

  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Texas A&M graduates.

University of Maryland ​College Park - A. James Clark School of Engineering

College Park (Washington DC), Maryland | Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 22
  • USNWR materials department rank: 30
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $43,132
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Maryland graduates.

University of Washington - College of Engineering

Seattle, Washington | West

University of Virginia - School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Charlottesville, Virginia | South

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 41
  • USNWR materials department rank: 30
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $50,532
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
    • Master of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)

Case Western Reserve University - Case School of Engineering

Cleveland, Ohio | Midwest

Duke University - Pratt School of Engineering

Durham, North Carolina | South

Iowa State University - College of Engineering

Ames, Iowa | Midwest

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 41
  • USNWR materials department rank: 37
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $44,902
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
    • Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering

Brown University - School of Engineering

Providence, Rhode Island| Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 47
  • USNWR materials department rank: 37
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $96,328
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science (Sc.M.) Materials Science and Engineering

University of California ​Irvine - Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Irvine (Los Angeles), California | West

Arizona State University - Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Tempe, Arizona | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 44
  • USNWR materials department rank: 41
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $48,555
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials science and engineering

  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting ASU graduates.

University of Southern California - Viterbi School of Engineering

Los Angeles, California | West

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 9
  • USNWR materials department rank: 46
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $84,307
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Science in Materials Science

    • Master of Science in Materials Engineering

  • Offers spring admissions.
  • Take a look at companies recruiting Viterbi graduates.

Northeastern University - College of Engineering

Boston, Massachusetts | Northeast

University of Delaware - College of Engineering

Newark, Delaware| Northeast

  • USNWR engineering programme rank: 46
  • USNWR materials department rank: 8
  • Estimated annual cost of attendance: $53,792
  • Degrees available
    • Master of Materials Science and Engineering (MMSE)

Found the materials engineering programme you want to attend?

Once you've gotten in, we'd love to help you out. 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on January 8, 2020. Originally published on November 16, 2017.


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