Job type

Materials technician

£15k - £30k

Typical salary

37 – 43

Hours per week

Materials technicians test the behaviour of materials to help develop new products and improve existing ones.

More info

  • Work with materials, testing and studying their properties for use in industry
  • You'll need excellent practical, analytical and problem solving skills
  • With further training and study progress to become a senior technician or a materials engineer

As a materials technician, you'll be in a hands-on role testing new materials, updating them to find new products and update existing ones.


  • Testing a material's strength and flexibility under different conditions
  • Testing materials' characteristics
  • Assessing the cost, reliability, safety and environmental impact of materials
  • Researching new ways to use materials in the development of products
  • Analysing test results and writing reports


You could work in a laboratory, and you may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need knowledge of maths, physics, engineering science and technology; the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning; knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals; analytical thinking skills; thoroughness and attention to detail; and manufacturing knowledge.

You can start out as a lab assistant or trainee technician in a testing facility and complete training while you work to qualify. Employers will expect you to have 4 or 5 GCSEs, including maths, English, and science (preferably physics or chemistry). Some may want you to have A levels, or equivalent qualifications like applied science.

You could do a college course to learn skills needed for this role, including a Level 3 Certificate in Laboratory Technical Skills, Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science, or A level Science. You can also do a T level in Design, Surveying and Planning.

You could get into this job through a non-destructive tester intermediate or advanced apprenticeship, or a composites technician advanced apprenticeship.


With experience, you could become a senior technician and register with the Engineering Council to gain EngTech status. With further training, you could qualify as a materials engineer. You could also move into purchasing, sales and management.