Materials Scientists

What do they do?

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.

Also known as:

Accelerator Systems Director, Materials Scientist, Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist), Polymer Materials Consultant, Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist), Research Scientist, Senior Materials Scientist, Staff Research Scientist, Staff Scientist, Technology Officer, Vice President Research

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Materials Scientists in United States

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Materials Scientists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 5.9%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #16 in job growth rate
  • 30

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #8 in net job growth

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Materials Scientists:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (20.9%)
  • Master's degree (20.8%)
  • Bachelor's degree (53%)
  • Associate's degree (0.7%)
  • Some college, no degree (2.5%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (1.6%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.5%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
  • Develop new or advanced products or production methods.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Confer with clients to exchange information.
  • Advise others on the development or use of new technologies.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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