4 In-Demand Jobs You Can Get with a Master’s in Raw Materials

4 In-Demand Jobs You Can Get with a Master’s in Raw Materials

Stephanie Lukins

Updated February 21, 2023 Updated February 21

Sponsored by EIT RawMaterials

With a growing world population and the role of raw materials in green energy transition and circular economy, the need for sustainable solutions is becoming increasingly in-demand. Many organizations worldwide are taking on the challenge and making strides in developing cutting-edge technologies and breakthroughs that offer alternative solutions to critical raw materials and unsustainable processes alike – cue, the introduction of the circular economy.

One organization in particular, EIT RawMaterials Innovation Community aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of the raw materials sector by offering a number of Master’s and PhD programs focused on areas including sustainable materials, resources engineering and innovative recycling.

We spoke to them to find out more about the developments and opportunities emerging in this growing field.

What could I earn?

A career in the raw materials sector can be highly rewarding financially. However, as always, earning potential can depend greatly on your level of experience, academic qualifications and the area you work in.

According to Indeed, the average starting salary in the raw materials sector is US$39,582 (~€34,908) with the potential to rise to US$93,810 (~€82,733) in more managerial and senior roles.

Is a career in raw materials right for me?

According to a report published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in September 2018, the International Labor Organization (ILO) predicts that 18 million green jobs will be created by 2030.

From positions in research and development, to local and national government policy, production, and even finance and venture capital, there’ll be plenty of career opportunities up for grabs should you decide to venture into the raw materials sector.

So, if you consider yourself as having an analytical mindset, innovative outlook and technical acumen, any of these four in-demand raw materials jobs could be yours…

Materials engineer

Push the limits of engineering and be at the forefront of world-changing sustainable solutions to help transform the way the world uses, re-uses and recycles raw materials.

You’ll be an expert in understanding the ins and outs of the raw materials you work with, while being responsible for several stages of technological development, from research and design all the way through to the finalized product.

You’ll also have knowledge and skills on sustainability assessment, supporting your organization to reduce adverse environmental impact by assessing processes, identifying “hotspots” and proposing solutions which are environmentally-sound and economically viable. This is where your problem-solving skills will come into play.

As a research and development engineer, you should have a passion for sustainability and science, be able to use your initiative, have an exceptional grasp of technology development, and possess excellent math, IT and science skills. You will have the knowledge and skills to work in a leading mineral processing industry, as well as in research and development with equipment manufacturers – for example in the automobile and electronics sectors.

Although material engineers are in high demand, it’s still a competitive industry to break into. Therefore, a Master’s in Sustainable Materials or Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability can give you the solid grounding necessary to pursue a career in this area.

Mining engineer

If the idea of a hands-on, multidisciplinary job role appeals to you, you may want to consider a career in mining engineering. Mining engineers are expected to assess the feasibility of a project, demonstrate an ability to overcome complex issues, all while ensuring the extraction of materials is done in a more socio-economically and environmentally sustainable manner. You will also play an important role in the transition of a society which emits fewer carbon emissions with raw materials being the essential building blocks of green technologies and a circular economy.

This is both a challenging and rewarding role, where in some instances you’ll get the opportunity to travel abroad and work on a diverse range of large-scale transformation projects, so you should be comfortable with being away from home for extended periods of time.

EIT RawMaterials Academy offers the European Mining Course master’s program which trains students to become well adapted, entrepreneurial and innovative engineers.

Project manager

Do you thrive under pressure? Do you enjoy leading a team? How about delivering top quality work at all times? If this sounds like you, a career as project manager may be an ideal pursuit.

It’s important you’re able to understand how to bring a new product, service or process to the market and how to use your entrepreneurial skills effectively to help launch it, all while managing a team and sticking to a strict budget, timeline and client brief.

Project managers are needed in industries and organizations across the raw materials value chain and the sectors into which raw materials flow, such as automobile, aerospace, renewable energy, electronics and infrastructure. Although project managers can work across a variety of sectors, those who go into engineering will need specific area knowledge and industry experience. A relevant master’s degree such as a Master’s in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management can help you foster and develop the skills and expertise you need to pursue a rewarding career in this area.

Environmental consultant

By pursuing a rewarding career in environmental consulting, you’ll be able to combine your interest in business with your passion for looking after the environment and living sustainably.

Use your skills to unpick complex issues, advise on and assess environmental impacts, and consider the sustainability of new developments, helping to create a viable circular economy for your client.

Why is this important? Because with the planet’s natural resources and carbon budget becoming increasingly stretched, there’s an increasing demand from governments and companies for raw materials professionals who’re able to advise them on how to improve their environmental performance through science-based assessment, such as Life Cycle Assessment Material Flow Analysis.

Environmental impact and waste management are two of the most in-demand areas of environmental consulting, which means the potential for high salaries is likely. However, you’ll need a relevant postgraduate degree to get there.

Sounds good to me, where do I start?

EIT RawMaterials Academy offers a range of EIT-labelled master’s programs taught in English, with diverse international study and work opportunities.

For careers that require international experience, all students on an EIT RawMaterials Academy labelled master’s program study for their degree in at least two different European countries. This provides them with the international outlook necessary to build their confidence, technical acumen and interpersonal skills to work globally and across borders.

This is something which Denis, a Master in Sustainable Materials student did. He said of his experience: “What I most appreciated about the program was the chance to do a six-month internship in another country. The fact the company where I undertook my internship subsequently offered me a position really showed me the value of that.”

Careers information sourced from Prospects and TARGETJobs.

This article was originally published in February 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020

Written by

As the sponsored content writer for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com , Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics. 

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