News stories continue to surface about how industries, companies, and researchers are harnessing the power of 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing, for innovative ideas and products. Princeton University recently created a functional ear that can actually hear. eBay just announced their iPhone app, eBay Exact, that allows customers to purchase customized products from 3 partner 3D printing companies. Is this trend catching on? Are employers hiring for this emerging skill set? WANTED has been watching demand for these skills and while they haven't spotted job ads that refer to 3D printing, there is an increasing number of ads refer to additive manufacturing.
Employers have actually been hiring for additive manufacturing skills and experience for the past couple years. Demand had been low until June 2012, when it started to rise. When comparing June 2013 to the same time period last year, job ad volume for additive manufacturing increased 52%.
Job Volume for Additive Manufacturing
Most additive manufacturing job ads commonly advertise for architecture and engineering occupations. Demand in this particular field is down compared to last year. However, demand for Materials Engineers and Manufacturing Engineers specifically, increased more than 50%. These positions were most sought after by colleges, universities, and professional schools and engineering services. Detroit is leading the nation in demand. Job ads for these skills require candidates to operate equipment, build strategies, and optimize models for additive manufacturing and design. Companies are looking for employees to research, solve complex issues in manufacturing, and identify additive manufacturing software parameters to optimize performance.
Considering that this is a young skill set and it is beginning to emerge, you would expect it to be difficult to recruit. The Hiring Scale actually shows additive manufacturing experience scores a 44, on a scale of 1 – 99 with 99 representing hard-to-fill. A 44 indicates that it's moderately hard-to-fill. Recruiting conditions may be only fairly difficult because demand hasn't inflated yet; it has only begun to rise. If demand continues to increase throughout the country, recruiting may become increasingly more difficult. Currently, Washington (DC) has the most favorable conditions, scoring a 5 on the Hiring Scale. Detroit (MI), which had the most demand, has the most difficult conditions, scoring a 52.
Hiring Scale for Additive Manufacturing Skills in Washington, DC