When you think about Detroit, you may well think first of shuttered factories and derelict housing, but you'd be missing out on the sort of opportunity which will drive the new economy.

While demand for talent in AM and 3D printing skills is yet to explode, it eventually will, and when it does, recruiting talent may become increasingly difficult. Where are those jobs now and where will they be in the future?


According to a report by WANTED Analytics, Detroit offers the highest demand for AM and 3D printing gurus, and the city and its industries face the most difficult recruiting conditions. If you're an armchair capitalist, you can surely follow the formula. High demand and low supply equal high price.

Today's engineering toolkit requires 3D printing and additive manufacturing skills.

If fact, those skills are the most sought after for anyone looking to employ engineers, and according to the report, those job postings represent 35% of the total ads posted over the past 30 days.

It appears engineering candidates aren't the only job seekers who would benefit from an understanding of the AM and 3D printing revolution. The report says help wanted ads for occupational categories from IT to management are calling for 3D printing and additive manufacturing skills as well.

Most In-Demand 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Jobs

  • Industrial Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Software Developers, Applications
  • Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • Marketing Managers

Perhaps the most interesting job category on this list is the marketing niche.

It's fully expected that designers, technologists, and engineers would require candidates to understand and create products with 3D printing, but as companies roll out cutting edge products made with AM, employers will increasingly need employees capable of communicating the benefits of the technology to customers.

Not surprisingly, it's the manufacturing sector which included the highest number of job listings for 3D printing and additive manufacturing skill sets, but manufacturing isn't the only job market hot to land the best candidates in AM and 3D printing.

Computer peripheral equipment makers, universities and technical schools, and aeronautical and nautical systems instruments manufacturers are in the hunt to find talent.

Since July 2014, WANTED says 3D printing and additive manufacturing scored a 44 on their Hiring Scale, but since that time, the score increased 16 points to 60. The Hiring Scale determines likely recruiting difficulty on a scale of 1 to 99, with 99 indicating hardest-to-recruit. WANTED says employers have been hiring for additive manufacturing skills and experience for the past couple years and that the demand spiked during June 2012. When compared to the previous year, job ad volume for additive manufacturing skills increased 52% in June 2013.

The vast majority of additive manufacturing job ads are found in architecture and engineering occupations, and the demand for Materials Engineers and Manufacturing Engineers has also increased more than 50%.