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Materials Scientist

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What is a Materials Scientist?

Materials Scientist Job Description Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.

Materials Scientist Responsibilities

  • Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.
  • Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.
  • Teach in colleges and universities.
  • Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials with special characteristics.
  • Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.
  • Supervise and monitor production processes to ensure efficient use of equipment, timely changes to specifications, and project completion within time frame and budget.

What Every Materials Scientist Should Know

Materials Scientists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Materials Scientist

  • Plastics Scientist
  • Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist)
  • Vice President Research
  • Accelerator Systems Director
  • Staff Scientist

Job Demand for Materials Scientists

There were about 7,900 jobs for Materials Scientist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Materials Scientist by 2026. There will be an estimated 800 positions for Materials Scientist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Materials Scientists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Materials Scientist are Utah, Idaho, and Missouri. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Washington, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Materials Scientist Make?

Materials Scientists make between $52,560 and $159,970 a year.

Salary Ranges for Materials Scientists

Materials Scientists who work in New Mexico, Connecticut, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Materials Scientists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $66,170
Arizona $91,870
California $102,860
Colorado $111,890
Connecticut $123,590
Delaware $88,630
Florida $104,710
Georgia $84,940
Illinois $94,920
Indiana $125,320
Iowa $87,010
Louisiana $110,820
Maine $66,990
Maryland $105,180
Massachusetts $97,240
Michigan $84,700
Minnesota $98,690
Missouri $91,530
Nevada $121,420
New Hampshire $105,330
New Jersey $104,530
New Mexico $136,130
New York $101,310
North Carolina $114,900
Ohio $100,360
Oregon $102,140
Pennsylvania $100,950
South Carolina $79,260
Tennessee $82,660
Texas $120,320
Utah $91,390
Virginia $101,950

What Tools & Technology do Materials Scientists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Materials Scientists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • R
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • ANSYS Multiphysics
  • Dassault Systemes Abaqus
  • ANSYS LS-DYNA

How do I Become a Materials Scientist?

Individuals working as a Materials Scientist have obtained the following education levels:

Materials Scientist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Materials Scientist?

Materials Scientist Work Experience

Where do Materials Scientists Work?

Materials Scientist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Materials Scientists employed by various industries.

Materials Scientist Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Materials Scientist might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Materials Scientist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Per Henning via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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