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Oswego Career Ladders - Polymer Engineers

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Polymer Engineers

Industry: Energy
Area: Fuel Cell

Work Settings

Most work in this field is done in university research centers.


The most direct path to a job in the fuel cell industry exists with a science major. Studies include various types of engineering, chemistry or physical areas of science. In New York State the following colleges offer programs in fuel cell research and development: Cornell University Columbia University, Hofstra University, Rochester nstitute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic nstitute and SUNY College of Environment Science and Forestry.

Job Outlook

Increasing the amount of New York's electricity produced with renewable energy could create 43,000 new jobs in manufacturing and energy related industries and through increased economic activity. The report focuses on those technologies with the greatest potential for growth in New York: solar, wind, biomass, and fuel cells.


Salaries for research scientists range widely but the American Chemical Society reports the median salary of its members in 2004 was $62,000; for those with a master's degree, it was $72,300; and for those with a Ph.D., it was $91,600. The median salary was highest for those working in private industry and lowest for those in academia. Inexperienced chemistry graduates with a bachelor's degree earned a median starting salary of $32,500, those with a master's degree earned a median salary of $43,600; and those with a Ph.D. had median earnings of $65,000. Among bachelor's degree graduates, those who had completed internships or had other work experience while in school commanded the highest starting salaries.

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