3D Printing Job Market Trends in 2021

Published on February 3, 2022 by Madeleine P.
3D Printing Job Market

The growing adoption of additive manufacturing is accompanied by more frequent and increased recruitment policies, as companies seek to strengthen their teams to go even further. But finding the right fit is not always easy, especially in a market that calls for knowledge and skills that have not always already been acquired by job-seekers. Most companies find that the lack of knowledge in 3D printing is a real barrier to its adoption. However, the sector is constantly looking for new profiles and our Job Board is the proof. In 2021, more than 430 job offers were published on our different sites (except Italian), which is 30% more than in 2020.

In order to take stock of the current job market in additive manufacturing, and to try to understand what the main trends are in the sector, we took a closer look at these job offers. It is clear that companies specializing in 3D printing (3D equipment manufacturers, distributors, services, etc.) continue to invest, especially in more technical profiles. Industrial groups are not left behind, proof that additive manufacturing is integrated into their manufacturing processes. Let’s take a look at the main recruitment opportunities in additive manufacturing in 2021!

Long-Term Contracts in Demand

Not surprisingly, the majority of companies are looking for long-term contracts. Looking to the long term, companies have posted nearly 350 such job openings on the 3Dnatives Job Board. By looking to the future, 3D printing players are demonstrating their confidence in the technology and its growth. And when you look at the market as a whole, these facts are confirmed. This year, like Desktop Metal which has multiplied its acquisitions, several companies have started or continued their expansion.

As for internships and work-study programs, they represent 19% of searches. Proof that more and more training courses dedicated to 3D printing are being created internationally. Marine Coré Baillais, founder of the Pâtisserie Numérique, talked about this phenomenon to us, noting, “There are very good training courses in 3D printing in France, and this is a strength for French companies. Many students have worked on metal additive manufacturing, and it is a school of rigor. Maybe it’s also up to us, employers in the sector, to create more opportunities!”

3D Printing Job Market

Photo Credits: 3Dnatives

The Importance of Technical Profiles

Once again, it is the technical profiles that are most in demand by companies in the sector. Like engineers, 3D technicians and design professionals, players are looking for technology specialists. Markus Seibold, vice president of additive manufacturing at Siemens Energy and Materials Solutions, told us, “To support the ramp-up of our volume production, we are looking for industry experts who understand the specifics of additive manufacturing while also having experience in areas such as Lean and process automation.” And this trend is continuing among smaller companies. Marine Coré Baillais explains, “We are looking for talent to work on the design and industrialization of our new food 3D printer. Mechanics, electronics, biochemistry, automation, human/machine interface, UX… The subjects are varied and call for multiple skills.”

But as the market generates more and more value, sales jobs have also gained in popularity. Business Developer, Sales Manager or Salesperson are professions that are now highly prized by industry players. In 2021, on the 3Dnatives Job Board, sales-related jobs accounted for 18.31% of the offers.

Photo Credits: 3Dnatives

The Adoption of Additive Manufacturing

As previously explained, the additive manufacturing industry is growing rapidly. As innovations follow one another and the benefits offered by the technology become more and more evident, such as lower production costs, reduced part weight and flexibility, many companies are adopting it. Logically, with 113 jobs published in 2021, 3D machine manufacturers are leading the way. Sara Romero, HR Director of the Spanish manufacturer BCN3D, confirms: “3D printing is booming all over the world, it is experiencing strong growth and the market is consolidating. There are more and more profiles in demand, and we are seeing the gap between supply and demand in the 3D printing sector narrow. A few years ago, there were fewer professionals specializing in our technology to fill the positions on offer, but that gap between demand and supply is narrowing considerably and that’s good news.” Behind them, industries and distributors come in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

When integrating 3D printing into a production process, it is also necessary to think about 3D software. Increasingly efficient and optimized, software is an essential part of the additive manufacturing process. That’s why companies specializing in 3D software development are also growing, and rightly so. Long-time users of the technology, the automotive and aerospace industries together make up 7.78% of the offerings.

SMEs at the Heart of the Market

While one might have thought that large firms were the most important recruiters in the job market, SMEs are also very active. With 33% of offers, companies with 11 to 50 employees are the most in demand in the industry.

But to think that large companies are inactive would be a mistake. Companies with 51 or more employees are a close second, with 31% of the offers. Finally, with 20%, groups with more than 5,000 employees are also looking for new talent. BCN3D concludes, “We are looking for very diverse profiles for our high technology, because we are a very complete company, and we even make software, which must also be very qualified profiles in their skills, in their professional and academic experience.”

Photo Credits: 3Dnatives

What do you think about the 3D printing job market in 2021? Let us know in a comment below or on our Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

Find the 3D Printing Job Market 2021 infographic HERE.

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