Additive manufacturing (AM) is being promoted as the beginning of a revolution in manufacturing. The revolution is to make manufacturing digital where everything is connected through a digital thread. Because AM can be connected to the cloud and other forms of “digitalness,” it is being viewed as a natural evolution of manufacturing. Thus, much effort and research is going on to turn what once was a prototyping tool into a production tool. One example, Airbus plans to produce 30 tons of 3D printed parts per month this year.

As companies move down this digital manufacturing path, they seek engineering talent, but from a limited talent pool. This challenge for companies is good news for engineers with skills in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

According to a 2017 Wohlers Associate report, 97 companies produced and sold 3D printing systems, up from 62 companies in 2015.

According to a 2017 Worldwide Additive Manufacturing Salary Survey conducted by Alexander Daniels Global, the AM industry has an unemployment rate close to zero. The expected growth of AM will be higher than the number of professionals entering the field for a number of years.

Thus, additive manufacturing is a good field for engineers and aspiring engineers.

According to the Alexander Daniels Global report, North America had the largest share of the market in 2016 (40%), followed by Europe (36%) and Asia Pacific (16%). Noted the report, the experience levels break out like this: 27% of professionals have 2 years or less; 42% of professionals have 2 to 5 years, and 18% have 5 to 10 years.

The study notes that AM companies across the globe will have a high demand for sales, R&D, materials science, production and service professionals.

So what can you expect as far as salary ranges? The report breaks it down like this:

For **service engineers** in the U.S. (depending on location):

–With 0 to 2 years experience in AM, the minimum salary is about $45,000. The maximum salary is about $63,000. The average is $55,000.

–With 2 to 5 years experience, the minimum salary is $60,000; the maximum is $90,000, with $68,000 being the average.

–With 5 to 10 years experience, the minimum salary is $70,000; the maximum is $100,000, with $87,000 average.

–With 10 to 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $100,000; the maximum is $140,000, and $126,000 is the average.

–More than 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $140,000; the maximum is $180,000, and $170,000 is the average.

For **additive manufacturing salespeople**:

–With 0 to 2 years experience, the minimum salary is $45,000; the maximum is $67,000, with the average being $58,000.

–With 2 to 5 years experience, the minimum salary is $70,000; the maximum is $130,000, with the average being $85,000.

–With 5 to 10 years experience, the minimum salary is $90,000; the maximum is $165,000, with an average of $135,000.

–With 10 to 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $140,000; the maximum is $220,000, with an average of $192,000.

–More than 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $200,000; the maximum is more than $250,000, with an average of $245,000.

For **R&D and engineering** professionals:

–With 0 to 2 years experience in AM, you can expect a minimum salary of $52,000, a maximum of $73,000, and an average of $62,000.

–With 2 to 5 years experience, the minimum salary is about $75,000; the maximum is $130,000, and the average is $100,000.

–With 5 to 10 years experience, the minimum salary is about $88,000; the maximum is $170,000, and the average is $132,000.

–With 10 to 15 years experience, the minimum salary is about $170,000; the maximum is $220,000, and the average is $190,000.

–More than 15 years experience, the minimum salary is about $180,000; the maximum is more than $250,000 max, and the average is $210,000.

For **application and consulting** engineers:

–With 0 to 2 years experience, the minimum salary is about $50,000, the maximum is $68,000, and the average is $61,000.

–With 2 to 5 years experience, the minimum salary is $70,000; the maximum is $115,000, and the average is $90,000.

–With 5 to 10 years experience, the minimum salary is $100,000; the maximum is $145,000, and the average is $130,000.

–With 10 to 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $140,000; the maximum is $210,000, and the average is $172,000.

–More than 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $200,000; the maximum is more than $250,000, and the average is $216,000.

For AM **software engineers**,

–With 0 to 2 years experience, the minimum salary is $48,000; the maximum is $75,000, with an average of $60,000.

–With 2 to 5 years experience, the minimum salary is $67,000 min; the maximum is $120,000, and an average of $88,000.

–With 5 to 10 years experience, the minimum salary is $85,000; the maximum is $160,000, and an average of $122,000.

–With 10 to 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $140,000; the maximum is $200,000, and an average of $170,000.

–More than 15 years experience, the minimum salary is $200,000, the maximum is $250,000, and the average is $220,000.

You can obtain a free copy of the report here.

**Leslie Langnau**

llangnau@wtwhmedia.com

Douglas Greenwood says

Wow! I started in AM in 1990 when it was RP and SLA was the only game in town. Time to start looking around.