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Materials Scientists

Also called: Materials Scientist, Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist), Research Scientist, Senior Materials Scientist

What 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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
  • 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.

Knowledge

Math and Science
  • physics
  • chemistry
Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development
  • computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products

Skills

Basic Skills
  • using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • use rules to solve problems
Math
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Initiative
  • Innovation
  • Persistence

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • Bruker AXS LEPTOS
  • PANalytical X'Pert Epitaxy
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Electronic mail software
  • Email software

Education

Education: (rated 5 of 5)
bachelor's degree or
doctoral degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$88,660
per year, on average
Green
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about materials scientists.