Textile engineers apply the principles of engineering to the design and manufacture of fiber, textiles, apparel and associated processes and products. It is a multidisciplinary role requiring sound knowledge of chemical, industrial and mechanical engineering. Chemical companies that produce polymers and fibers employ textile engineers to develop and improve their manufacturing processes. Firms that use biomedical materials, composites and sports textiles use these engineers to research and develop high-performance fabrics. Some textile engineers spend their entire careers in the lab conducting research into complex materials.
Education and Training
As with any engineering job, textile engineers require at least a bachelor's degree in a related degree. ABET certifies many engineering programs available through colleges and universities. Though not required, many employers prefer hiring graduates from an accredited program. In addition, obtaining a license as a professional engineer usually requires graduating from an ABET-accredited program. Some institutions, like North Carolina State University, offer a major in textile engineering where students benefit from a diverse interdisciplinary program geared specifically toward textiles and manufacturing. Bachelor's programs typically take four years to complete, though additional time may be required if pursuing a co-operative program. Graduates find that the experience gained from this type of program makes it easier to obtain employment.