Materials tester (m/f/d)

What do you do as a materials tester? 

Many people get a queasy feeling when they get on an aeroplane. However, aeroplanes are a safe means of transport, as every component is thoroughly tested for its load-bearing capacity. As a materials tester, this is exactly your job. You examine whether the materials used to make aeroplanes, wind turbines or bottle filling systems can withstand the enormous demands placed on them. To do this, you test the materials used, such as steel, aluminium, titanium or various types of plastic. You will test their properties, take samples, diagnose any material damage using state-of-the-art equipment and document the results. To do this, you first take a material sample. You then prepare the test procedure in the laboratory. The tests you carry out differ depending on whether the material is metal or plastic. For example, if you want to find out whether the wing of an aeroplane will withstand the forces that occur during flight, you expose the material sample to increasing pressure. You observe very closely how the material behaves and note the point at which it breaks. Compare your results with the specifications. If you discover any deviations, get to the bottom of the cause. Is there a material defect? Or was there a problem during further processing? Based on your results, you suggest suitable follow-up measures. This is how you ensure that machines function reliably and aeroplanes land safely every day.

Where are you needed?

Working in materials testing means bearing a lot of responsibility. But this is exactly what is needed in industries where materials are used that have to withstand great stress. This is the case in mechanical engineering, but also in vehicle construction or aviation technology, for example. This is because metals and plastics have to be able to withstand high speeds. Steel is also used in the construction industry, where it has to bear high loads and be correspondingly reliable. There are laboratories in each of these sectors where you can work. There you will work with chemicals and high-tech machines to determine density, hardness and other standard values. Of course, you will wear protective clothing, as safety is the top priority in the workplace.

What should you bring with you? 

As a materials tester, people rely on your work. That’s why your company wants you to be reliable above all else. Your work depends a lot on accuracy and good observation skills, otherwise you may miss an important detail. You should also not be afraid to get stuck in. This is because you will be working directly with the material both when taking material samples and in the laboratory. If none of this is a problem for you and you also have at least an intermediate school-leaving certificate, you are perfect for the dual training programme in materials testing.

Your apprenticeship at a glance

  • 3.5 years
  • Theory at the vocational college, practice at the training company
  • Training content ranging from testing and measuring methods to materials science, chemistry and maths.
  • After the apprenticeship, you can continue your training in various directions. One option is a master craftsman’s examination. If you pass it, the title of industrial foreman specialising in metal opens up the option of taking on management tasks. to take on management tasks. The same applies to further training to become a technician in the field of materials technology. If you would prefer to study, you can enrol on a degree programme in materials engineering or materials science, for example.

Training period:

3.5 years

Recommended school-leaving qualification:

High school

Average salary:

1st year: € 1,032 to € 1,154
2nd year: € 1,083 to € 1,187
3rd year: € 1,159 to € 1,261
4th year: € 1,238 to € 1,329

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