Industries & Professions /
Plastics Engineers and Technicians
The plastics industry has suffered from the effects of a slowing economy and higher production costs, but most industries are less likely to lay off plastics engineers than other types of workers. More industries are incorporating plastics into their product lines, which will create more opportunities for qualified plastics engineers. As more plastics products are substituted for glass, paper, and metal products and parts, plastics engineers will be needed to oversee design and production processes. Plastics engineers will increasingly be required to develop environmentally friendly products and processes, and play a role in developing easily recyclable products for certain industries. Many openings will come as a result of experienced engineers who advance to sales, management, or other related occupations within the plastics industry. Those with the most advanced skills and experience, as always, will enjoy the best future career outlook. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) predicts job growth for materials engineers, which includes plastics engineers, to be about as fast as the average through 2018.