Career Definition of 3D Printing Technicians
The process of 3D printing is a relatively new technology in manufacturing products. It involves utilizing computer-aided design (CAD) information to print products in layers. As a 3D printing technician, you will oversee the printing process and offer recommendations on what products a company can produce via a 3D printer. You will typically work in a manufacturing or production environment in this role.
One of your primary job duties as a 3D printing technician will be to create the daily schedules for the printers. You will evaluate customers' designs to ensure they are compatible with 3D printing. Other job duties may include providing input on ways to streamline the printing process, performing printer finishing tasks like sand blasting or polishing, and collaborating with production personnel to institute new work processes. As a 3D printing technician, you may assist with maintaining the overall production environment, such as cleaning or repairing the 3D printers. You may also work with the product management team on product development, including establishing design processes. In addition, you may be required to work in other production roles as needed due to personnel absences or staffing issues.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's Degree|
|Job Skills||High mechanical aptitude, strong attention to detail, effective communication skills, and strong organizational abilities|
|Median Hourly Wage (2018)*||$15.00|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||-10% (Printing Press Operators)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
As a 3D printing technician, you will typically need a bachelor's degree. Employers will look for degrees in fields like engineering, fine arts, or computer science. Relevant work experience in manufacturing or production will be beneficial to work as a 3D printing technician.
High mechanical aptitude is an essential skill if you are interested in working as a 3D printing technician. You will need to understand how all the components of this technology work, especially if the printer needs repaired. You should possess strong attention to detail in order to ensure finished products are correct. As a 3D printing technician, you should also possess effective communication skills, as most of your communication will be mediated. In addition, you will need strong organizational abilities in order to effectively manage all aspects of the printing process.
Career Outlook and Salary
The position of a 3D printing technician is not included in the list of careers covered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Instead, this position would fall under printing press operators, which has a 10% decline predicted for 2016-2016. PayScale.com reported a 2018 median hourly wage of $15.00 for 3D printing technicians.
A career as a 3D printing technician requires mechanical aptitude and the ability to learn new technologies. Check out three other careers that require these skills, such as an AutoCAD designer or a manufacturing production technician.