I want that job! Want to help build faster planes and sturdier bridges? Consider a job as a metallurgist
WHAT’S A METALLURGIST?
Metallurgists study the properties of metals. They figure out how to make everything from doorknobs to skyscrapers as good as they can be.
WHAT SORT OF WORK DO METALLURGISTS DO?
Metallurgists work on all parts of a metal’s life cycle, from when ores are first mined until metal objects are recycled into new materials. A big part of a metallurgist’s job is finding ways to protect metal from corroding and developing mixtures of metals called alloys (see Name That Element!, p. 12).
WHERE DO METALLURGISTS WORK?
Industries that mine and process metals employ metallur gists. Metallurgists also work for companies that make everyday products out of metal. For example, metallurgists work with car manufacturers to create alloys that are used to build more crash-resistant and economical cars.
HOW DO YOU TRAIN TO BECOME A METALLURGIST?
This career requires plenty of physics, chemistry, and math. With a two-year degree, you can become a metallurgical technician, testing metals in a lab. Higher degrees in materials science and engineering will focus on working with metals, as well as plastics and ceramics.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO METALLURGISTS EARN?
Metallurgist technicians earn from $25,000 to $30,000. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll start out making about $50,000, while those with a Ph.D. make roughly $80,000.
Interested in becoming a metallurgist? Find out more about this career at: www.scholastic.com/scienceworld and click “In This Issue.”
MAN OF STEEL
The steel used to build the Empire State Building and Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured in Frank Goodwin’s hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That inspired Goodwin to take an engineering course in metallurgy during high school. By the time he was 14, Goodwin was set on making the subject his career, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in materials science, “Finding something you love early on motivates you to learn all you can,” says Goodwin.
Goodwin now uses his knowledge of metals to figure out which ones can safely contain radioactive waste and be used to build speedier bullet trains, He even invented an aluminum alloy that is stronger than steel yet weighs less than it. That has helped to make lighter planes that can go farther than ever before. “Long-range jets can now fly halfway around the world on one tank of fuel,” he says.
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