Process Metallurgist: Salary & Job Description

Process metallurgists give shape to metals and alloys by employing numerous metallurgical processes. The article contains information about the career, the job outlook, and median salary.

Career Definition of a Process Metallurgist

Process metallurgists are assigned a very specific set of tasks which are different from other types of metallurgists. Notably, there are three different kinds of metallurgists: chemical metallurgists, physical metallurgists, and process metallurgists. Process metallurgists are required to shape metal and alloy parts by using various methods like casting, welding, forging and soldering. They are responsible for the execution part of various metallurgical processes carried out in production plants.

Process metallurgists are also trusted to pick the best metal for a particular operation in a factory. They use their experience and technical knowledge to finalize the most suitable metal or alloy for a specific purpose. After the selection of the metal, they design metal components and prototypes as desired by the employer.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Technical & practical expertise in processes like forging, welding & casting; decision-making; analytical skills; knowledge of design drawing
Median Salary (2019)** $71,302 (process metallurgist)
Job Outlook, 2016-26* 2% (materials engineers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

Required Education

Process metallurgists, like materials engineers, need to have at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like materials science, metallurgy, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering. The work of a process metallurgist deals with intricate processes like forging, welding and soldering, which is why many employers could seek candidates who have perfected their job skills with prior experience or training. Additional courses in subjects like math, chemistry, and physics could also be beneficial for a person seeking this position.

Required Skills

A process metallurgist must be an expert in various metallurgical processes used to shape metals and alloys as required by the employer. The candidate should possess thorough technical knowledge and the practical experience to match it. Familiarity with design drawings is another skill which is valued highly in process metallurgists, as they often need to produce complex shapes or designs. Decision-making, analytical skills, and innovation are some other skills desired in a candidate suited to this role.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that the employment for materials engineers, such as process metallurgists, will grow by just 2% - slower than average - between 2016 and 2026. The recorded data shows that there were about 27000 materials engineers jobs in the US in 2016 and an employment change of 400 is predicted over that decade. The median salary for a process metallurgist, as reported by Payscale.com in April 2019, was $71,302.

Related Careers

There are a number of careers which are related to process metallurgists due to similarities in job profiles and the nature of work. Here are a few links that will lead you to some of those careers.


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