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Materials Scientist

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What Does it Take to Be a Materials Scientist?

Position 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.

Life As a Materials Scientist

  • Visit suppliers of materials or users of products to gather specific information.
  • Perform experiments and computer modeling to study the nature, structure, and physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys, and their responses to applied forces.
  • 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.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
  • Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.
  • Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.

Skills Needed to be a Materials Scientist

When polled, Materials Scientists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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 Jobs

  • Materials Scientist
  • Vice President Research
  • Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist)
  • Staff Research Scientist
  • Staff Scientist

Job Demand for Materials Scientists

In the United States, there were 7,900 jobs for Materials Scientist in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 800 job openings in this field each year.

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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.

Do Materials Scientists Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Materials Scientist ranges between $52,560 and $159,970.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Materials Scientists

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 to Become a Materials Scientist

Are there Materials Scientists education requirements?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Materials Scientist?

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Who Employs Materials Scientists?

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Materials Scientists work in the following industries:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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

Career changers with experience as a Materials Scientist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

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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