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Oswego Career Ladders - Materials Scientist

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Materials Scientist

Industry: Energy
Area: Solar Power

Materials Scientists research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and manmade materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. They 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. .

Work Settings

Materials scientists usually work regular hours in offices and laboratories. R&D chemists and materials scientists spend much time in laboratories but also work in offices when they do theoretical research or plan, record, and report on their lab research.


Materials scientists hold a degree in materials science, a bachelor's degree in chemistry, physics, or electrical engineering also is accepted. Many R&D jobs require a Ph.D. in materials science or a related science.

Job Outlook

Employment of materials scientists is expected to grow more slowly than the average rate for all occupations through 2014.


Median annual earnings of chemists in May 2004 were $56,060. The middle 50 percent earned between $41,900 and $76,080.

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