Careers in Materials Science

Why choose a career in materials science?

A career in Materials Science and Engineering can take many forms, and can take you into whatever area you want, in whatever part of the world you want to work.

Growing demand
  • 182,000 people, with engineering skills, will be needed by 2022
  • Engineering companies will need to recruit around 56,000 engineering technicians per year between 2012 and 2022

Engineering Report 2016

Starting salary
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) professionals earn a higher mean salary compared to all employees
  • The average salary for engineering and technology graduates is £27,079

Engineering Report 2016

Industry investment

The materials industry has an annual turnover of £200bn, contributing at least 15% of the UK’s GDP

Materials Education and Skills

Take control of your career

Your achievements and experiences, as well as your course, help discover more about yourself as well as prepare you for a successful career anywhere in the world. 

Studying for a degree in materials science gives you a strong set of transferrable skills, including:

  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • time management, planning and organisation
  • research and report writing
  • team working and communication skills
  • numerical skills

There is a vast array of opportunities available to you here at Sheffield, and not just in the lecture theatre or laboratory:

Career support


If you're an international student, the Careers Service offers a variety of support and resources to help in your career planning whether it be in the UK or internationally.

Interested in working in the UK after you graduate?

Graduate jobs in the UK

Are you interested in working outside the UK after you graduate?

Graduate jobs outside the UK

Keep up to date with news, and key vacancies

International student blog

Where are our graduates now?

Upon completing your degree, you'll be equipped with skills to succeed in a variety of jobs in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas
  • Aerospace
  • Nuclear industry
  • Armed forces
  • Teaching and research
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Development of sustainable materials

While most graduates from Sheffield go to jobs where they use their Materials Science and Engineering knowledge and skills, some do use the degree to follow a career path in other directions such as in the financial and legal sector, where the transferable skills are also valued.

See where our alumni are now working

Graduate destinations

  • Atkins
  • Airbus
  • Ametek
  • Marconi
  • British Gas
  • British Telecom
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Pirelli
  • Corus
  • ICL
  • Philips
  • Composites Revolution
  • TWI
  • Barclays Bank

Holly HumphriesHolly Humphries - Assistant Engineer, Atkins

MEng Materials Science and Engineering graduate 2012

Working through the Atkins graduate scheme, you get to experience a huge variety of work; graduates tend to spend around 3 to 12 months on a particular project before changing to another. Working for a very large company means there are always a lot of opportunities to move around the UK, increase your personal and technical development, and meet lots of people.

Richard SeniorRichard Senior - Patent Attorney, Withers and Rogers

MEng Biomaterial Science and Tissue Engineering graduate 2009
*forerunner of MEng Materials Science and Engineering (Biomaterials)

Start researching and planning your career whilst still at university to avoid stress, and be better equipped to achieve your goals. Make the most of the opportunities outside university that complement your academic CV. Work and industrial placements can make a huge difference to your employability.