Projected Growth: Slower than average
Projected Job Openings
Extensive Preparation Needed
Your job is to 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.
Common job titles of Materials Scientists include:
Experience and Education
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
35.42% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.
33.33% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.
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.
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.
Teach in colleges and universities.
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.
Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.
Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials with special characteristics.
Supervise and monitor production processes to ensure efficient use of equipment, timely changes to specifications, and project completion within time frame and budget.
Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
Test material samples for tolerance under tension, compression, and shear to determine the cause of metal failures.
Test individual parts and products to ensure that manufacturer and governmental quality and safety standards are met.
Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.
Visit suppliers of materials or users of products to gather specific information.
Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.
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.
Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.
X ray generators
X ray diffractometers
Vibrating sample magnetometers
UV exposure chambers
Ultrasonic analyzersAll Tools
Ultra high temperature furnaces
Transmission electron microscopes TEM
Thermal spray torches
Thermal gravimetric analyzers
Sputter deposition systems
Sonic modulus testers
Slurry abrasion testers
Shaker ball mills
Servohydraulic test machines
Secondary ion mass spectrometers SIMS
Screw injection molding machines
Scanning tunneling microscopes STM
Scanning probe microscopes SPM
Scanning Kelvin probes
Scanning electron microscopes SEM
Salt spray chambers
Reactive ion etchers RIE
Raman scattering spectroscopes
Quartz crystal thickness monitors
Quartz crystal microbalances
Programmable logic controllers PLC
Plasma arc melting furnaces
Peltier cooled solid-state detectors
Optical compound microscopes
Nanoscope atomic force microscopes
Mobile mass spectrometers
Microscope digital cameras
Metal evaporation chambers
Linear variable differential transformers LVDT
Laboratory water purification systems
Laboratory analytical balances
Injection molding machines
Industrial computed tomography CT scanners
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers ICP-MS
Hot mounting presses
Hot isostatic presses
Horizontal tube furnaces
High-speed cutoff saws
High vacuum evaporation systems
Glove box systems
Gas chromatograph mass spectrometers GC-MS
Gamma ray spectrometers
Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
Field emission scanning electron microscopes
Electrolytic etching machines
Dynamic mechanical analyzers DMA
Dynamic light scattering equipment
Double push rod dilatometers
Differential thermal analyzers
Differential scanning calorimeters
Diamond wafering saws
Creep testing equipment
Contact angle goniometers
Computerized numerical control CNC machining centers
Cold isostatic presses
Charge-coupled device CCD cameras
Auger electron spectrometers
Atomic force microscopes
Atomic absorption AA spectroscopes
IBM SPSS Statistics
National Instruments LabVIEW
The MathWorks MATLAB
Accelrys Materials Studio
Advanced Chemistry Development Analytical Laboratory
ANSYS LS-DYNAAll Technologies
Bruker AXS EVA
Bruker AXS LEPTOS
Bruker AXS TOPAS
Chempute Software HSC Chemistry
Dassault Systemes Abaqus
ESM Software CrystalMaker
General Structural Analysis System GSAS
International Centre for Diffraction Data ICDD DDView
Materials Data Incorporated Jade
Multichannel microelectrode analyzer MMA software
Olympus Image Analysis
PANalytical X’Pert Data Collector
PANalytical X’Pert Epitaxy
Stewart Computational Chemistry MOPAC
Wolfram Research Mathematica
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Teaching others how to do something.
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension
Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression
Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension
Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity
Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning
Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression
Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning
Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility
Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality
Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning
Identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Cognitive Abilities › Perceptual Abilities › Flexibility of Closure