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Plastics & Polymer Engineering Major

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Plastics & Polymer Engineering

75 Associates's Degrees Annually
84 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#142 in Popularity (Associate's)
$65,720 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Plastics & Polymer Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many plastics and polymer engineering technology/technician graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 152
Bachelor’s Degree 89
Associate Degree 71
Undergraduate Certificate 54

What Plastics & Polymer Engineering Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, plastics and polymer engineering tech majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Plastics and Polymer Engineering Tech Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills for Plastics and Polymer Engineering Tech Majors

A major in plastics and polymer engineering tech prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities for Plastics and Polymer Engineering Tech Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a plastics and polymer engineering tech student include the following:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Plastics & Polymer Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with plastics and polymer engineering tech:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Manufacturing Engineering Technologists 5.2% $63,200

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Plastics & Polymer Engineering?

71 Associate's Degrees Annually
15% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 85% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of plastics and polymer engineering tech majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3
Black or African American 0
Hispanic or Latino 4
White 63
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 1

How Much Do Plastics & Polymer Engineering Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to plastics and polymer engineering tech is $65,720. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Plastics & Polymer Engineering Major  65,720
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with plastics and polymer engineering tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to plastics and polymer engineering tech have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 9.1%
Some College Courses 4.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 40.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.4%
Master’s Degree 4.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.6%

Online Plastics & Polymer Engineering Programs

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 36 schools offered some type of plastics and polymer engineering technology/technician program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 15 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 15 1
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 2 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Plastics & Polymer Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a plastics and polymer engineering tech grad is $65,720 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 65% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $516,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to plastics and polymer engineering tech.

Major Number of Grads
Manufacturing Engineering Technology 5,052
Industrial Technology 4,673
Other Industrial Production Technologies 2,103
Welding Engineering Technology 274
Composite Materials Technology 88
Metallurgical Technology 74
Chemical Engineering Technology 26
Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology 1

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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