Materials tester

  Picture Metallography Copyright: © IWM  

If you have ever wondered what material a wind turbine or hip prosthesis is made of, or how the materials are structured internally and why they withstand the stresses and strains, then the first foundations have already been laid for an interest in materials research.

If manual work and teamwork also suit you, then you have come to the right place and should definitely read on!


Jan Xhonneux © Copyright: IWM


Jan Xhonneux

Group Manager Labs


+49 241 80 90615



The RWTH, as the largest employer in the region, and the IWM

The name of RWTH Aachen University is well known for its studies, but what few people know is that RWTH Aachen University also offers a great range of training opportunities, such as training as a materials tester specializing in metal technology at the Institute for Material Applications in Mechanical Engineering (IWM).


Training at the IWM

One task of the IWM is to test and (further) develop new materials in the field of metals and ceramics through research and development in order to solve tomorrow's tasks. For this purpose, the IWM has, among other things, a test hall where, for example, tensile, compression, bending or fatigue tests are carried out to determine material properties. In order to understand why one material behaves differently or withstands the load for longer than another, we use different microscopes, for example, and look at how the material is constructed in the laboratory.

The training as a materials tester at the IWM takes place precisely in these two areas. There is a very pleasant collegial atmosphere in the team, everyone is welcome and supports each other in case of questions or problems.

Here is a small list of tasks that await you:

  • prepare, carry out and evaluate physical-technical investigations and test series for testing materials and semi-finished products for their properties, composition and defects
  • Record orders and inspection tasks and define inspection samples and individual inspection procedures
  • Take and prepare samples and analyse them microscopically
  • Check, calibrate and maintain test equipment, measuring and auxiliary devices
  • Clamping samples; setting up machines, equipment, microscopes and other equipment
  • Determine hardness according to different methods
  • Determine strength and deformation characteristics by tensile tests
  • Perform notched bar impact tests
  • precisely determine different metallic materials with all physical characteristics that make up the respective material
  • Investigate faulty components and determine their causes, develop measures to avoid faults Determine aftertreatment measures

Quality and future prospects

During your time at the institute, you will have access to internal research samples for examination, but also to external samples from companies, which alone, due to the variety of materials, will not make working here boring. Furthermore, you will be well prepared for the future.

Every large company that manufactures metallic semi-finished products or components needs material testers in different areas, such as research and development, production, quality management or complaints. This promises a lot of freedom and good job opportunities for the future or could be the step before studying or other further education measures and subsequent independence - definitely many doors will be open to you after a successful apprenticeship.


Financial design

The monthly training allowance is structured as follows:

1st year of training: 1,036.82 Euro

2nd year of training: 1,090.96 Euro

3rd year of training: 1,140,61 Euro

4th year of training: 1,209.51 Euro

With additional services in the form of:

Capital-forming benefits: 13,29 Euro

Job ticket: from 1 January 2018 21 Euro per month

Christmas bonus: 95 percent of the November salary

Vacation days: 30 days per year