Ever wondered why certain rocks or materials react differently to different elements? If so, then this is the job for you to satisfy that curiosity. A material scientist does everything from fundamental research on materials' chemical properties to developing new ones and modifying formulations for existing materials to suit new applications.

A materials scientist typically conducts research on the structures and properties of materials in order to help develop new products or enhance existing ones. They perform experiments and computer modeling to study the structure, nature, physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys, as well as responses to applied forces. They also determine ways to combine or strengthen materials or develop new ones to use in other applications and products. Educational requirements include a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related field. Although some materials scientists hold a degree in material science, most have one in physics, chemistry, engineering, etc. In order to progress further in the career, you will be required to earn a master's degree or a Ph.D.

If this is the job for you, then apply away. The average hourly salary for a materials scientist is $39.29. This equates to over $81,000 annually. The career is projected to grow 4% in the following years and create various job opportunities.

What Does a Materials Scientist Do

Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.

Learn more about what a Materials Scientist does

How To Become a Materials Scientist

Chemists and materials scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. However, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for many research jobs.

Learn More About How To Become a Materials Scientist

Materials Scientist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Materials Scientist

Materials Scientists in America make an average salary of $84,459 per year or $41 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $119,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $59,000 per year.
Average Materials Scientist Salary
$84,459 Yearly
$40.61 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Materials Scientist Education

Materials Scientist Majors

24.6 %

Materials Scientist Degrees


58.6 %


23.5 %


15.8 %

Top Colleges for Materials Scientists

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition

7. The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

10. University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Materials Scientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.1% of materials scientists listed polymer on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and organizational skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Materials Scientist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Materials Scientist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Materials Scientist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Materials Scientist Demographics

Materials Scientist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among materials scientists, 27.1% of them are women, while 72.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among materials scientists is White, which makes up 57.8% of all materials scientists.

  • The most common foreign language among materials scientists is Mandarin at 26.7%.

Online Courses For Materials Scientist That You May Like

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Introduction to High-Throughput Materials Development

This course is an introduction to high-throughput experimental methods that accelerate the discovery and development of new materials. It is well recognized that the discovery of new materials is the key to solving many technological problems faced by industry and society. These problems include energy production and utilization, carbon capture, tissue engineering, and sustainable materials production, among many others. This course will introduce the learner to a remarkable new approach to mate...

Technology of modern composite materials with carbon fillers

The course will help train specialists in the field of processing of hydrocarbon raw materials, creating effective chemical means for protecting agricultural plants and animals, new materials, including advanced alloys (superalloys), advanced polymers, advanced composite materials, advanced ceramic materials, metal powders and metal-powder compositions, and metamaterials. The purpose of the course is to provide students with knowledge about modern technologies and methods for using composite mat...

Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials
edX (Global)

How can we ensure the continuous supply of the increasingly scarce raw materials that are needed to make the products we use every day? In this course, we will look at the potential benefits of circular procurement and how recycling technologies and more efficient ways of collecting and recycling critical raw materials (CRMs) can make your business and production more resource resilient. A good number of the materials found in everyday products are now referred to as "critical". This means that...

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Best States For a Materials Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a materials scientist. The best states for people in this position are Nevada, California, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Materials scientists make the most in Nevada with an average salary of $109,501. Whereas in California and Connecticut, they would average $98,390 and $96,858, respectively. While materials scientists would only make an average of $96,485 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total Materials Scientist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Hampshire

Total Materials Scientist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Mexico

Total Materials Scientist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Materials Scientists

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Top Materials Scientist Employers

Most Common Employers For Materials Scientist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
2Boehringer Ingelheim$97,929$47.086
4General Electric$94,754$45.5537
5Oak Ridge National Laboratory$92,511$44.4818
6Brookhaven National Laboratory$91,870$44.1730
8Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory$87,221$41.9310
9Nanolab Technologies$86,232$41.4620

Materials Scientist Videos