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Materials Scientists - 19-2032.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Materials Scientist
  • Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist)
  • Polymer Materials Consultant
  • Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist)
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • 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.
  • Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.
  • 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.
  • Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.
  • 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.
  • Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials with special characteristics.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
  • Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.
  • Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.
  • Supervise and monitor production processes to ensure efficient use of equipment, timely changes to specifications, and project completion within time frame and budget.
  • Teach in colleges and universities.
  • Test individual parts and products to ensure that manufacturer and governmental quality and safety standards are met.
  • 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.
  • Visit suppliers of materials or users of products to gather specific information.
  • Write research papers for publication in scientific journals.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Advise others on the development or use of new technologies.
  • Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.
  • Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
  • Confer with clients to exchange information.
  • Design research studies to obtain scientific information.
  • Develop new or advanced products or production methods.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
  • Devise research or testing protocols.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Monitor operational procedures in technical environments to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Test quality of materials or finished products.
  • Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.

Military Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Materials Scientist