Category: 

How Do I Become a Plastics Engineer?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A fortune cookie company was investigated for providing the winning lottery numbers on a fortune cookie message.  more...

November 28 ,  1943 :  The key leaders of the Allied forces during World War II met for the first time in Tehran, Iran.  more...

Plastics engineers research and develop new plastics that can be used in any number of industries. Experts create lightweight airplane parts, sturdy computers, and safe food containers, among hundreds of other plastic items. A person who wants to become a plastics engineer usually needs to obtain a bachelor's degree in an engineering specialty, gain supervised experience in the field, and pass a series of licensing examinations. With the appropriate credentials, a professional can become a plastics engineer at a manufacturing plant or private research and development firm.

A high school student interested in plastics engineering can prepare for a career by taking advanced courses in physics, chemistry, biology, and math. Such classes are important to provide a fundamental understanding of scientific principles and research methods. Language and computer science courses are also important to help an individual develop the communication skills he or she will need in an engineering position. A student can begin applying to accredited four-year universities and colleges with strong engineering programs in the final year of high school.

Ad

An individual who wants to become a plastics engineer can major in any science or engineering specialty, though employers often prefer to hire mechanical and chemical engineering degree-holders. As an engineering undergraduate, a student often has the chance to work firsthand with the materials and machines commonly used in the industry. In addition, he or she receives detailed instruction in math, physics, organic chemistry, and computer-aided design. Some schools offer internship opportunities to provide students with practical experience in the field.

After earning a degree, an individual can take the first of two national licensing tests and begin looking for entry-level openings. Online job search sites can be very helpful in identifying potential leads. A person given the chance to become a plastics engineer typically starts as an assistant. He or she gains formal, on-the-job training from experienced workers to learn about specific policies and techniques. In time, a new worker can become a junior engineer and take on more responsibilities.

In most countries, a professional needs to gain about four years of experience before he or she can take the second licensing exam to become a plastics engineer. Licensure is necessary to make sure a worker understands the importance of following national safety regulations and meeting industry quality standards. A newly licensed plastics engineer can begin conducting independent research and leading teams of junior workers on important projects.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email