Materials Scientists

General Information

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.

Business Breakdown

People in this career work in these sectors.

  1. Private, for profit80.61%
  2. State and local government6.39%
  3. Federal government5.76%
  4. Private, not for profit4.82%
  5. Self-employed2.33%

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises

Job Outlook

Overall employment of chemists and materials scientists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of chemists is projected to grow 6 percent as they continue to be needed in scientific research and development (R&D) and to monitor the quality of products and processes. In pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, chemists will be increasingly needed to develop nanotechnology for medicinal uses. And in basic chemical manufacturing, employers will call upon chemists to use knowledge of green chemistry to improve environmental safety in the workplace and community. Employment of materials scientists is projected to grow 7 percent as demand holds steady for cheaper, safer, and better quality materials for a variety of purposes, such as electronics, energy, and transportation. Environmental research will offer many new opportunities for chemists and materials scientists. For example, chemical manufacturing industries will continue to develop technologies and processes that reduce pollution. Materials scientists work to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing facilities. Chemists also will continue to be needed to monitor pollution levels at manufacturing facilities and to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal environmental regulations.

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$139,790

State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$144,360
$65,950
No Information for this section

Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 35%
  • Doctoral degree 33%
  • Master's degree 18%
  • Post-doctoral training 8%
  • Some college 2%
  • Associate's degree 2%
  • High school 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Related College Majors

Select major to see colleges that offer it

Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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