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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

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to plastics and polymer engineering tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being 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

When studying plastics and polymer engineering tech, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Plastics and Polymer Engineering Tech Majors

Plastics and Polymer Engineering Tech majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

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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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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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

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

Find out what the typical degree level is for plastics and polymer engineering tech careers below.

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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 2019-2020, 36 schools offered a plastics and polymer engineering tech program of some type. 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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