Materials process engineer

Occupation overview

This occupation is found in a wide variety of Thermal Process related fields including Casting, Forging, Machining, Coating, Heat treatment and Surface Finishing processes. These specialist areas are also found in a wide range of industries where materials and their processes are fundamental to the technology. Industries as diverse as Medical, Defence, Energy, Oil and Gas, Aerospace and Nuclear all incorporate the skills of Materials Process Engineers. The broad purpose of the occupation is to perform a role which is unique to the materials/manufacturing community, controlling and managing the complex manufacturing processes and support services that are applied to products for the automotive, aerospace, medical, energy and construction sectors. They do this by collecting and organising all the information needed to understand the whole problem, exploring it from all angles, and then finding the most appropriate solution for integration into a sustainable product life cycle. A Materials Process Engineer might typically work in either the problem definition or solution provider environments, making critical decisions in the process and utilities to produce high-quality, cost-effective parts and systems, then testing and accepting the designed solutions. They provide essential support to their associated businesses providing guidance and leadership in improving company metrics of quality, delivery, new product introduction and support key financial and business decisions.. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with all departments within the companies they work for and at a range of levels within the departments depending on the project in which they are engaged. Their main focus will be with the Engineering team and they will also have strong links in support of the Operations team. However to fulfil many of the projects, links to finance, supply chain and customer support will be a day to day occurrence and as the activities broaden there will be strong communication to the wider external customer base both in a sales support activity and during technical project discussions. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for implementing new products and processes and for many cost reduction and process improvement initiatives. They have direct responsibility for defining the methods of manufacture of complex engineering systems and the asset base and services which are used to produce high value manufactured products. In many cases weekly and monthly reports will be required at both team level and to senior members of the company.


  • Work within a team environment. This may include acting as a team leader with people management skills. They undertake risk analysis and problem solving on behalf of the team.
  • Communicate and present information appropriately and effectively taking account of target audience
  • Apply appropriate programme management tools. Typically this would include a RACI chart, Project Plans, Load and Capacity analysis and cost analysis.
  • Actively listen and explain clearly and appropriately to target audience
  • Mentor and support others using coaching skills and actively support continuous professional development.
  • Use Process Failure Mode Effect Analysis tool kit appropriately
  • Operate and control process equipment using continuous improvement methodologies
  • Apply process control procedures correctly and effectively
  • Apply appropriate negotiation techniques effectively
  • Make appropriate use of statistical tools eg Minitab, excel, DMAIC
  • Make appropriate use of problem-solving tools eg 8D, 5 whys
  • Apply change control tools and practices
  • Apply risk management tools and techniques
  • Demonstrate the correct application of Value Stream Mapping tools
  • Apply production control methods eg planning and project management
  • Correct use of specialist equipment and process knowledge
  • Correct use of product life cycle concepts


  • Theories of team working
  • Principles of programme management
  • Understanding the importance of conflict management
  • Risk management theories and practice
  • Principles of Quality Management Systems and implementation in factory environments
  • New product introduction and technology management - theory
  • Importance of design for manufacture and assembly
  • Principles and practices of engineering standards
  • Principles of process risk management including Process Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
  • Principles of Stakeholder management
  • Importance of working within a regulatory framework
  • Importance of Intellectual Property, Patents and Export Control
  • The function of Quality Techniques Systems and Standards
  • The principles of statistical process control and application techniques (e.g PFMEA)
  • Change management principles
  • Principles and practices of knowledge-based systems
  • Principles of Lean Manufacturing
  • Cost based engineering (including estimating, cost control, cost forecasting, investment appraisal and risk analysis)
  • Principles of Operations Management
  • Principles of Leadership in Operations Management
  • Principles of Supply Chain Management
  • Principles of Asset Management
  • The principles of effective presentations (including planning, structuring, how and when to engage with the audience, using visual aids, presenting data)
  • Art of technical report writing
  • Principles of mentoring people
  • Fundamentals of the casting process and technology
  • Fundamentals of the product life cycle
  • Fundamentals of coating processes and technology
  • Fundamentals of welding processes and technology
  • Fundamentals of brazing processes and technology
  • Fundamentals of heat treatment processes and technology
  • Fundamentals of surface treatment processes and technology


  • Working collaboratively - is comfortable in working in teams and being a team leader to agreed goals
  • Professional Commitment - Commitment to corporate values and behaviours through the demonstrating a personal, ethical and professional commitment to society, their profession and the environment, adopting a set of values and behaviours that will maintain and enhance the reputation of the profession as well as their organisation
  • Commitment to leadership - Taking personal responsibility for their actions, managing projects including resource management within their remit and able to mentor and instruct others in associated standards and best practice
  • Commitment to the profession Contributing proactively to the continuing development of engineering within their domain
  • Curiosity and Innovation Utilising own and others creativity to Improve the industry through embracing new technology and the digital world
  • System Thinking Seeing whole systems and parts and how they connect recognising interdependencies and integration

Entry Requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Mandatory qualification 1: Manufacturing Technology and Management MSc

Level of qualification: 7 (non-integrated degree)

Basis for mandatory qualification: Eligible Type 2 qualification that does not meet any of the above three criteria (i.e. only select if any of the above three criteria do not apply)

Type of qualification

Type 2 off-the-job qualification


Duration (months): 24

Professional Qualifications/Recognition

Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining / C.Eng

Institution of Mechanical Engineers / C Eng

Chartered Society of Designers / Chartered Designer

Institute of Metal Finishing / Chartered and Incorporated Engineers

Institute of Cast Metal Engineers / Chartered and Incorporated Engineers


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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