How to Become a Plastic Engineer

Are you interested in becoming a plastics engineer? Find out what it will take to join the ranks of these professionals.

Plastics engineers are responsible for all of the plastic products and materials we see around today. Through research, studies, and engineering skills, they develop new plastics to be used in any number of industries. From lightweight airplane parts to computer parts to food containers, plastics play a large role in our day to day lives.

If you want to become a plastics engineer, here are some suggested courses for you to take.

Plastics Engineer Education Requirements

General Education Courses

As in any bachelor’s degree course, students need to take up the first courses necessary for them to graduate. Materials engineering and plastics engineering programs require students to take courses in the liberal arts which are generally taken in the first two years of college. It may be taken together with introductory engineering courses. These general education courses may include English, speech and communications, history, philosophy, literature and psychology.

Math and Sciences Courses

Regardless of specialization, all engineering students are required to take up and have a comprehensive understanding of both math and science. Although some math and science subjects fall under general education, engineering students are required to take up advanced science and math coursework in areas such as physics, chemistry, trigonometry and calculus. Almost all engineering programs require multiple classes for calculus.

General Engineering Courses

There are general and advanced engineering courses that all engineering students are required to take up. These are usually taken up during the latter part of the student’s degree program. However, some schools let their students take these courses early on to give a chance for the students to assess if the engineering discipline is right for them. Included in these courses are introductory engineering, engineering mechanics, systems dynamics and engineering technologies.

Plastics Engineering Courses

These courses make up the final group of classes which are specialty plastics courses. These can share some courses with materials engineering as well. Courses in plastics engineering include plastics safety, introductory organic and polymer chemistry, polymeric materials, plastics processing, fluid flow, plastics mold engineering and polymer science.

Students may opt for mechanical or chemical engineering degrees as well, since employers often prefer to hire those with bachelor degrees in these programs. Engineering undergraduates have the chance to work with materials and machines that they will be using when they practice their profession in the industry after graduation.

Licensing Requirements for Plastics Engineers

Once a degree is earned, you may then take the first of two national licensing tests and look for entry-level openings. You can refer to online job search sites to help you look for these job openings that you can apply for. Usually, when you apply for a job as a plastics engineer, you will be given the job of starting as an assistant. In time, you will be given more and more responsibilities and you can become a junior engineer.

You are allowed to take the second licensing exam once you gain about four years of experience. Licensure is needed to make sure that workers understand the importance of adhering to national safety regulations and meeting the industry quality standards.