The initial stages of embarking on a career in academia can be daunting to the candidate (like any career path choice), and at times may seem opaque. This presentation will address some of the common stages that occur in becoming a faculty member in a materials engineering program, and compare and contrast positions within an MSE program, and when a materials researcher is joining a unit which does not offer an MSE (or related) degree. Common points in application materials for faculty positions for a range of departments, schools, and universities will be noted; in particular the presentation will highlight the need to demonstrate independent thought and ownership of research activities, maturity and dedication to education at the appropriate level of the institution, and articulating a vision of career success at both short and long term time scales. Discussion will be prompted on topics which often arise during phone and in-person interviews, ranging from student advising vision, balancing teamwork versus independence within a unit, to identifying audiences in the hiring process. Finally, some details of perceived pitfalls in the process will be presented.