Career Definition of a Plant Metallurgist
Plant metallurgists specialize in extracting and processing metals and alloys in different kinds of production plants. They are responsible for analyzing the strength and performance of metals like iron, aluminum, and copper and their alloys like steel. Following a thorough analysis, they use selected metals and alloys to manufacture products which are useful for their company or a potential buyer of products from the company.
The duties of plant metallurgists could vary across a range of metallurgical operations that are executed in production factories. Moreover, these professionals could be categorized, depending on the nature of their work, as chemical metallurgists, physical metallurgists, and process metallurgists.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Teamwork ethic to work as a part of a unit, business awareness, technical expertise, innovation, attention to detail, good communication and leadership skills|
|Median Salary (2019)**||$78,344 (plant metallurgists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)*||2% (materials engineers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
Plant metallurgists and materials engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree in materials science, metallurgy, physics, or engineering in a relevant field like chemical or mechanical engineering. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of their subjects which they then build upon by gaining practical experience in a relevant field. Some employers might seek professionals with hands-on experience in a role which is similar to that of a materials engineer or a plant metallurgist. High school courses in subjects like math and science might also help the candidature of a person looking for the position.
Plant metallurgists and materials engineers are involved in work which requires dexterity in technical ability and knowledge. The technical acumen can be gained by practice in a similar role; however, the professionals also require other non-technical and intuitive skills to make them suitable for the position. Since their work asks them to analyze, report, and process, they need to be adept in analytical and problem-solving skills. They should also be good team players to help the collective cause of the team. Other skills desired in plant metallurgists are business awareness, innovation, and leadership traits.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the overall employment for materials engineers, an occupation similar to plant metallurgists, will rise slower than average at a rate of 2% between 2016 and 2026. The website also predicts an addition of 400 more jobs in this field in the U.S. in the same time period. According to Payscale.com, the median salary for a plant metallurgist, as updated on 29th April 2019, is $78,344 in the U.S.
Plant metallurgists resemble a few other positions due to similarities in job profile, duties, and work. You can get information about some of them below.