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Polymer & Plastics Engineering Major

Polymer and plastics engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 0 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in polymer engineering, 8 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 10 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 9 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Polymer Engineering Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 200 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in polymer and plastics engineering in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 74.5% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of polymer engineering majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 10.3%
  • Black or African American: 0.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 3.6%
  • White: 75.2%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 4.8%
  • Other Races: 5.5%
Polymer & Plastics Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in polymer engineering. About 4.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending polymer engineering majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Polymer & Plastics Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to polymer engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Polymer Engineering Majors

A major in polymer engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Polymer & Plastics Engineering Majors

Skills for Polymer Engineering Majors

A major in polymer engineering prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Polymer & Plastics Engineering Majors

Abilities for Polymer Engineering Majors

As a polymer engineering major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for polymer engineering Majors

What Can You Do With a Polymer Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with polymer engineering:

Careers Related to Polymer & Plastics Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Materials Engineers



Architectural and Engineering Managers



Engineering Professors



Polymer & Plastics Engineering Major Salary

Polymer engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $97,000 to $149,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Polymer Engineering Major  ( 97000 to 149000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Polymer & Plastics Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with polymer engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for polymer engineering careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Polymer & Plastics Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Polymer & Plastics Engineering Programs

There are 8 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in polymer and plastics engineering, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Polymer & Plastics Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for a polymer engineering grad is $114,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 192% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,495,600 after 20 years!

polymer and plastics engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Cjp24 via License

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