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Engineering | Plastics Engineer

Plastics Engineer

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Plastics Engineer designs and develops plastics materials and molds and products made with plastic. Researches and develops new plastics materials and production processes.

Job Outlook

There were 21 Plastics Engineer job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 656 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Materials Engineer industry, which includes the Plastics Engineer career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:

Salary

Many new Plastics Engineer jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $93,639.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $93,639.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Plastics Engineer postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $82,831.

Education and Experience

Posted Plastics Engineer jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree2.9%
Bachelor's Degree68.29%
Master's Degree13.87%
Doctoral Degree4.27%
Other3.51%

Posted Plastics Engineer jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years21.75%
3 to 5 years58.74%
6 to 8 years13.23%
9+ years6.28%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Plastics Engineer positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Troubleshooting (Problem Solving) (35.67%)
  • Problem Solving (31.86%)
  • Operations (28.96%)
  • Communication (26.37%)
  • Management (20.88%)
  • Leadership (19.21%)
  • Planning (17.84%)
  • Innovation (16.92%)
  • Research (14.33%)
  • Sales (12.2%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Process Engineering (29.18%)
  • Project Management (28.08%)
  • Injection Molding (42.43%)
  • Manufacturing Processes (29.34%)
  • Plastics Engineering (44.16%)
  • Molding (Manufacturing Process) (38.49%)
  • Lean Manufacturing (24.92%)
  • Mechanical Engineering (22.08%)
  • Extrusion (31.23%)
  • New Product Development (25.39%)
  • Tooling (43.69%)
  • Plastic Materials (47.63%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Milling (6.62%)
  • Tooling Design (13.41%)
  • Thermoplastics (18.3%)
  • Process Validation (4.89%)
  • Automotive Industry (1.26%)
  • AutoCAD (16.09%)
  • Computer-Aided Design (13.25%)
  • Six Sigma Methodology (19.56%)
  • Project Engineering (9.94%)
  • Medical Devices (8.04%)
  • Lathes (6.94%)
  • Automation (12.78%)
  • Fabrication (6.47%)
  • Data Analysis (6.15%)
  • Advanced Product Quality Planning (10.57%)
  • Welding (7.41%)
  • SolidWorks (CAD) (22.87%)
  • Casting (6.31%)
  • Grinding Machine (6.94%)
  • Engineering Management (6.78%)
  • Continuous Improvement Process (15.46%)
  • Debugging (12.15%)
  • Experimental Design (8.2%)
  • Design For Manufacturability (7.89%)
  • Development Environment (9.62%)
  • Intravenous Therapy (12.3%)
  • Machining (12.15%)
  • Milestones (Project Management) (6.31%)
  • Manufacturing Engineering (8.68%)
  • Plastics Extrusion (11.36%)
  • Product Design (10.25%)
  • Production Process (11.83%)
  • Statistical Methods (7.41%)
  • Risk Analysis (4.1%)
  • Process Improvement (14.2%)
  • Root Cause Analysis (8.52%)
  • Process Development (12.46%)
  • Polymer Engineering (8.68%)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (9.94%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed.

  • Plastics Engineering (100%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Plastics Engineer skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Plastics Process Engineer
  • Plastics Manufacturing Engineer
  • Assembly Process Engineer
  • Extrusion Engineer
  • Tool and Die Engineer
  • Extrusion Process Engineer
  • Principal Engineer
  • Engineering Co-Op/Intern
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Plastics Engineer jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Diedre Moire (73)
  • GPAC (43)
  • Ford (34)
  • Airborn (20)
  • Honda (17)
  • Baxter International (14)
  • University of Massachusetts (13)
  • Actalent (11)
  • Toyota Motors (7)
  • Tesla (7)

North Carolina

  • Diedre Moire (8)
  • Hayward Industries (5)
  • Herrmann Ultrasonics (2)
  • Newell Agency (2)
  • Trane Technologies (1)
  • Ford (1)
  • Newell Brands (1)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!