Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 7,000 people employed as career profile - materials scientists in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $100,090. Entry level employees earn approximately $56,380 per year and senior employees earn approximately $162,950 per year.
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Supervise and monitor production processes to ensure efficient use of equipment, timely changes to specifications, and project completion within time frame and budget.
- Visit suppliers of materials or users of products to gather specific information.
- 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.
- Test individual parts and products to ensure that manufacturer and governmental quality and safety standards are met.
- Teach in colleges and universities.
- Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.
- 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.
- Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.
- 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.
- Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.
- Test material samples for tolerance under tension, compression, and shear to determine the cause of metal failures.
- 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.
- Write research papers for publication in scientific journals.
- Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.