Metallurgical Engineering

Overview of Metallurgical Engineering

In a Metallurgical Engineering college program, you will learn about the different processes and ways to transform metals and mineral resources into practical products that enhance our everyday lives.  Metallurgical Engineering in the science of processing resources to remove, refine, and recycle metals.  There are three sectors of Metallurgical Engineering: Physical Metallurgy, Extractive Metallurgy, and Mineral Processing.  Physical Metallurgy is where metal alloys are developed that will be used in manufacturing.  Extractive Metallurgy deals with extracting and recovering one metal from another.  Lastly, Mineral Processing has to do with collecting minerals from the Earth’s crust.

In a Metallurgical Engineering college program, you will gain a basis of these three metallurgical fields, in addition to a fundamental knowledge of engineering and how the two work together. Education programs in Metallurgical Engineering are available at Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Doctorate degree levels. 

Curriculum for Metallurgical Engineering

In a Metallurgical Engineering program, many courses will focus on mathematics, science, and engineering.  Here are some courses you can expect to see in a Metallurgical Engineering college program:

  • Energy Sources in a Sustainable World
  • Introduction to Extractive Metallurgy
  • Introduction to Physical Metallurgy
  • Global Influence of Metals
  • Statistical Methods in Earth Sciences and Engineering
  • Material and Energy Balances
  • Experimental Techniques is Metallurgy
  • Powder Metallurgy
  • Magnetic Materials and Devices
  • Mechanical Metallurgy
  • Corrosion Fundamentals and Minimization
  • Mineral Processing
  • Hydrometallurgy
  • Electrometallurgy
  • Process Control
  • Engineering Design
  • Chemical Metallurgy

For students who wish to continue their studies in Metallurgical Engineering, you should expect a heavy course load in mathematics, science, biology, physics, and engineering.  For those who are ready to invest their time toward higher education, there are several Master’s and Doctoral programs available around the country to fit your needs.

How to Enroll in Metallurgical Engineering

There are many colleges and universities around the country that offer Bachelor’s degrees in Metallurgical Engineering.  These programs can be very demanding, and if you are thinking of enrolling in this program, you will want to be equipped with the necessary tools.  With mathematics and science courses being prominent, you will want to have an advanced calculator, and access to a computer and the Internet.  It’s also a good idea to keep in touch with an academic advisor throughout your journey, as well as seek assistance from tutors and professors. 

Benefits and Rewards of Metallurgical Engineering

There are many different sectors within an Engineering program, Metallurgical Engineering being only one of the countless options.  In a Metallurgical Engineering degree program, you will spend a lot of time learning about how different types of metals bring function and purpose in our society.  You will discover the design, production, and the development of different every day items that use metals and minerals.

Metal contributes to buildings, vehicles, machines, and home appliances, and a metallurgical engineer would be able to understand the importance and the process in which minerals and metals become these large structures, and products that we use in our daily lives.  The knowledge that comes from a background in engineering is a very strong one, and you will be able to take it with you throughout your career.  A Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering will prepare you for further research and education in a Master’s program.

Job Opportunities in Metallurgical Engineering

If enrolled in a Metallurgical Engineering college program, an ideal career path would be to be a metallurgical engineer.  As a metallurgical engineer you could work in Steel Manufacturing, where your career would be to produce the steel that is used daily.  There is an expected 13% decline in Steel Manufacturing between 2008-18 due to foreign competition and consolidation; however, job prospects are expected to be good, for all engineers including metallurgical.  Companies are looking for highly skilled engineers, so with the right knowledge and training, there should be no problem finding a job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineers held about 1.6 million jobs in 2008.  Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers only held 7,100 of that 1.6 million.  For the 2008-18 decade, mining and geological engineer employment is expected to rise 15%.  Lastly, for mining and geological engineers, salaries vary – the average worker would make $75,960 a year, while a worker in the highest 10% could make up to $122,750.

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