In the Air Force:
Physicist/Nuclear Engineer; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, ABM (if Prefix N); Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Airlift; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Bomber; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Fighter; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, General; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Helicopter or EWO; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, RPA; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Special Operations; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Tanker; Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, Trainer
In the Navy:
Naval Engineering Research Project Officer; Naval Sciences Research Coordinator/Administrator; Physicist, General; Undersea Warfare Research Officer (Antisubmarine); Undersea Warfare Research Officer (General)
Whether developing a new type of shatterproof glass for phone screens, or a heat-resistant compound to support Mars mission equipment, materials engineers and materials scientists have their fingerprints all over innovations in industry. While both develop new products and improve existing ones, materials scientists focus on the structure and properties of materials, while materials engineers apply that knowledge to develop products. Both usually specialize in a principal material, such as ceramics, glass, metal, or semiconductors. Materials scientists improve materials such as metallic alloys or superconducting materials, so that products can have features and functions that were not possible previously. They also develop new materials. Materials scientists conduct experiments and analyze their results. Materials engineers select materials for specific products and develop new ways to use existing materials, continuously designing improvements. They prepare proposals and budgets, analyze labor costs, and may supervise technologists and technicians. These professionals team up with other specialists, and generally work in offices, manufacturing facilities, or research and development labs. A bachelor’s degree in materials science, engineering or a related field… is needed for entry-level jobs. Materials scientists may also major in chemistry or physics, and may need a master’s degree or a Ph.D. and significant work experience to qualify for some jobs. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a college-level teacher or to do research and development.
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.
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.
Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials with special characteristics.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
computers and electronics
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
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
read and understand what is written
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Bruker AXS LEPTOS
IBM SPSS Statistics
bachelor's degree or doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.