Plastics Offers Engineering Opportunities Worldwide

“The really cool thing about plastic is that it is everywhere, in almost every field. If one is interested in the health field, automotive, construction, fashion, cosmetics, sports, or electronics, they can get involved through plastics.”

This statement comes from a young American with a Bachelor of Science degree in Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology, who is now pursing a master’s degree in polymer engineering at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Worldwide, there are opportunities for career advancement in the field of plastics engineering. Those with the greatest advancement potential are those who earn degrees from accredited programs in this specialized field.

In the United States, where plastics is the third largest manufacturing industry, five colleges offer plastics degree programs that are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Graduates of these programs, who are in high demand, have opportunities to design, develop and manufacture products in diverse areas including computers, electronics, vehicles, sports, and recreation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for all engineers was $90,270 in 2010. The top 10 percent earned more than $138,610. Still, the field of plastics is often overlooked when students begin considering careers related to engineering.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) seeks to connect students, educators, and industry members to support the future of the plastics industry. SPE has a 20,000-member worldwide network of leading engineers, scientists, and other professionals that come together to share ideas, issues, and technology advancements. Through its foundation, SPE also provides scholarships and grants that provide students of all ages with the means to explore the science and technology of plastics and polymers. More information is available online at www.4spe.org.