Major Overview

Plastics have been useful materials since they were developed. However, not all plastics are the same. If you know the difference between these materials and are interested in customizing them for specific industrial uses, Polymer and Plastics Engineering is your major.

As a Polymer and Plastics Engineering student, you will take classes in the plastics industry, chemistry, manufacturing, applied mathematics, polymer synthesis, and thermoforming. These classes will teach you the skills to customize plastics for specific uses, design and create new light-weight materials, and tailor material properties.

Required Skills

Students who excel in this career have a strong background in math and science. Polymer and Plastics Engineering deals a lot with the makeup of materials, requiring a strong understanding of chemistry. Students must also have problem solving and critical thinking skills to develop new materials and products and fix any issues that may come up during the testing phase. Strong teamwork and communication skills allow students to work well with other professionals when working on a project.

Most polymer and plastics engineers work full time in a laboratory or industrial setting. This allows professionals to work in research and development while keeping an eye on the results of their projects.

Practical experience is important in this field and employers often look for it on resumes when hiring. Students can gain this experience through internships or cooperative engineering programs. These programs allow students to earn college credit while working at a relevant location.

Although graduates will be able to find jobs with their bachelor's degree, if you would like to conduct research and development, you will have to obtain your master's degree. This advanced degree will also allow graduates to move into higher management positions.

Careers

Polymer and Plastics Engineering graduates have a variety of career options available to them. These materials are used in many different fields opening up careers in aeronautics, architecture, and electronic component manufacturing among others.

With this field growing and a little slower than average pace, graduates should not have too difficult a time finding a job after graduation. Since many fields are constantly looking for new and better materials, Polymer and Plastics Engineering graduates will constantly be in demand. Those who have previous experience in the field will have an easier time finding a job.

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Major at a Glance

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Yearly Graduations
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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Polymer & Plastics Engineering might open up.

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Materials Engineers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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