Materials scientists 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. 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. This includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.
Materials scientists lead in the discovery and development of stuff that makes everything work.
Materials scientists' job descriptions combine principles of engineering, physics and chemistry to solve problems associated with nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, energy, manufacturing and other disciplines. From shatterproof glass for mobile phones to heat resistant compounds to support Mars mission equipment, they focus on the structure and properties of the material and apply the knowledge to develop new products.
Material scientists have a master’s degree or a doctorate, with advanced knowledge of physics, chemistry, engineering, technology and mathematics, and can solve complex problems. Material scientist's skills required are working in offices, manufacturing facilities, or research and development laboratories. They may take up teaching jobs at colleges and universities, and even in museums, helping to analyse, preserve and restore artefacts and artwork.
A materials scientist's salary is commensurate with the nature of the job, depending on the organisation and position in the hierarchy. Higher earnings come with more experience, success and promotions.
A successful materials scientist works with diverse types of materials for a broad range of applications, employing modern processing and discovery principles.
Every career requires an element of study and academic qualification, and there can be several study routes and pathways you can take. In following any academic pathway you will study subjects that contribute to the specialised knowledge required to achieve your career goals. These qualifications provide a future employer with the evidence that you have the desired knowledge, understanding and experience of their industry, so it’s important to consider the various types of qualifications available to you and to understand how they can boost your career and create opportunities for you.
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