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Materials Scientist

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What Do Materials Scientist Do?

Materials Scientist Definition 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

  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
  • Test metals to determine conformance to specifications of mechanical strength, strength-weight ratio, ductility, magnetic and electrical properties, and resistance to abrasion, corrosion, heat, and cold.
  • 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.
  • Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.
  • Conduct research on the structures and properties of materials, such as metals, alloys, polymers, and ceramics, to obtain information that could be used to develop new products or enhance existing ones.
  • 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.

Materials Scientist Required Skills

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.

  • Research Scientist
  • Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist)
  • Staff Research Scientist
  • Material Scientist
  • Polymer Specialist

Materials Scientist Job Outlook

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. The BLS estimates 800 yearly job openings in this field.

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.

Do Materials Scientists Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Materials Scientists is somewhere between $52,560 and $159,970.

Salary Ranges for Materials Scientists

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

How much do Materials Scientists make 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?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Materials Scientists:

  • 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?

Materials Scientist Degree Level

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

Materials Scientist Work Experience

Where Materials Scientists Work

Materials Scientist Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Materials Scientist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Materials Scientist may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Materials Scientist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

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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