Metallurgical Engineering Schools Colleges & Universities

Earth sciences met engineering and begat metallurgical engineering. Metallurgical engineering schools prepare engineering students to work with metals and minerals at their most fundamental form and figure out how to mold them into our everyday products.

Degrees in Metallurgical Engineering Can Be Literal Earth Movers: Often times, we don't think of how our everyday products are made. Little thought is given to how the components of a cell phone--the metals and plastics--are rendered. A metallurgical engineer is one who specializes in taking various types of metal and making fit into a cell phone or watch. It is a profession that is very concerned with how to make metals and form them. Typically, metallurgical engineering schools are involved with other engineering programs--usually materials engineering and even chemistry--as they are all interrelated.

Metallurgical Engineering Schools: Degrees in metallurgical engineering will prepare you for several different yet related career paths. Often found in materials engineering schools, metallurgical engineering colleges will start you on a career path in mines or processing plants or even work as a consultant. The Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, or SME, list 24 mineral schools in the US, nine in Canada, and 38 more worldwide. Undergraduate degrees in metallurgical engineering typically charges students with the ability to lead in problem solving and heavy subjects knowledge. For example, the Colorado School of Mines Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering emphasizes:

  • • Significant knowledge of materials
  • • Application of materials concepts
  • • Communication and teamwork skills
  • • Promoting continuing education and independent learning
  • • The ability to use all of their skills and knowledge to solve problems and create a reasonable solution

These are the skills deemed necessary from the demands of the real-world job. Classes have a wide range of subjects--including core liberal arts classes--plus high math, chemistry, thermodynamics, and alloy development and application. Typically, graduates are job-ready, however, many seek further education. Of 42 graduates from the School of Mines, 17 entered grad school in the 2007-2008 school year.

Professional Associations Involved with Metallurgical Engineering Colleges: There are two main organizations affiliated with metallurgy and metallurgic engineering colleges. The parent organization is the SME. They have an education wing called the Mineral Information Institute that helps educators in K-12 education and post-secondary schools, including metallurgical engineering colleges. The SME also has student chapters at various metallurgic engineering schools.

Careers for Graduates of Metallurgical Engineering Schools: On the job, a metallurgical engineer could be responsible for evaluating and developing a number of things, but typically your job breaks down into three categories:

  • Mineral processing: Collect ore from mines, or mining
  • Extractive metallurgy: Separate minerals from raw ore
  • Physical metallurgy: Develop metals for a particular process or product

You could be in an open-pit mine, a lab, or a smelting or processing plant. Typically, you would combine the use of your education in minerals, chemistry, math and engineering to finish your tasks. This is usually a hardhat occupation that involves a great deal of large and powerful machinery.

In 2008, 22,510 metallurgical engineers made a mean annual wage of $85,660, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. During the 2008-2018 decade, the BLS predicts job growth of seven to 13 percent, at about average with all other occupations.

According to the School of Mines, upon graduation from the 2007-2008 school year, those with bachelor's degrees in metallurgical engineering that didn't continue on to grad school had an average starting salary of $56,317. For those graduating with their master's degrees in metallurgical engineering, the average starting salary was $64,500.

The writer Matt Riddle is a freelance writer based out of Reno, Nev. A journalism graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, Riddle was a newspaper reporter and then an account coordinator for a political consultant in Reno where he worked for several successful campaigns. His interests are many, but CrossFit, rock climbing, reading and writing, skiing, snowboarding, fatherhood and acting round up the list.

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