Plastics Engineers


Plastics Engineers


Plastics engineers engage in the manufacture, fabrication, and end use of existing materials, as well as in the development of new materials, processes, and equipment. The term, plastics engineering, encompasses a wide variety of applications and manufacturing processes. Depending on the processes involved, plastics engineers develop everything from the initial part design to the processes and automation required to produce and finish the production parts. The Department of Labor reports that there are 27,500 materials engineers, in...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



On-the-job training





Personality Traits

Hands On


Plastics engineers working in the U.S. in November 2020 earned an average salary of $64,249. Salaries ranged from $54,000 or less to $98,000 or more. The median annual salary for materials engineers (the category under which the U.S. Department of Labor classifies plastics engineers) was $93,360 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned $57,340 or less and the top 10 percent earned $148,960 or ...

Work Environment

Plastics engineers are constantly busy as they deal with people at all levels and phases of the manufacturing process. Dress codes may be formal because plastics engineers interact with customers frequently during the course of a day. Engineers may be required to work more than a standard eight-hour day and also some Saturdays when a specific project is on a deadline. Research or test laborator...


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) predicts that employment for materials engineers who work in plastics product manufacturing will grow by 2 percent, slower than the average, through 2029. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has impacted all industries worldwide, causing lockdowns, budget cuts, and staff reductions. Most openings for plastics engineers will result from the need to replace workers...

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