On the Job
Materials Scientists study the chemical properties of materials like metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, and glass. They find ways to strengthen or combine materials. Sometimes they create new materials.
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.
- Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
- Monitor operational procedures in technical environments to ensure conformance to standards.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Confer with clients to exchange information.
- Test quality of materials or finished products.
- Develop new or advanced products or production methods.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Advise others on the development or use of new technologies.
Typical Working Conditions
- Using e-mail.
- Working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions.
- Freedom to make decisions without supervision.
- The freedom to determine tasks, priorities, and goals.
- The importance of being accurate or exact.
- Working with a group or team.
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
- Responsibility for others' health and safety.
- High levels of competition.
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.