A materials specialist is generally responsible for evaluating materials and developing machinery and processes in order to manufacture those materials. Those in this position work in a variety of environments, from laboratories and factories to the military. The position generally requires a Bachelor’s degree, and even a Doctorate degree in some fields. Recommended degrees include: Materials Engineering, Textile Sciences and Engineering, and Ceramic Sciences and Engineering. A materials specialist typically keeps daytime “office hours;” however, different shifts or extended hours are not out of the ordinary.
A materials specialist does have a variety of responsibilities, primarily regarding the materials and performance within their field. Some of the job's duties include: researching and ordering materials; ensuring availability of said materials; monitoring material performance; analyzing product data; evaluating technical specifications of materials; conducting tests on raw materials as well as finished products; preparing proposals and budgets; directing testing of procedures; reviewing new products; making material selection recommendations dependent on design objectives; designing equipment; and guiding technical staff in developing materials.
This position does have a higher position within a company, though it is not always a supervisory one; however, this person should typically possess great leadership and communication skills. Critical thinking and decison-making skills are also of the utmost importance for the job. A materials specialist should maintain active listening skills, reading comprehension skills, and the ability to analyze products, as well. It is important that this person can manage their time wisely and pay great attention to quality control as well as customer service.
Materials Specialist Tasks
Develop and manage the flow of inbound and outbound materials.
Maintain inventory control and report anticipated material requests.
Monitor parts movement and manufacturer performance.