5 Hot Niches in the Field of RP
1. Education. As the technology becomes more widespread, college and graduate level teachers - as well as corporate trainers - will be in high demand. According to the 2006 Occupational Employment Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary engineering teachers earn an average of US$82,080.
2. Software Development. Rapid prototyping systems are all computer numerically controlled. Computer software engineers for applications earn an average of US$82,000.
3. Mechanical and Electrical R&D. Responsible for the rapid prototyping system hardware. Mechanical engineers earn an average of US$72,580; electrical engineers earn an average of US$78,900.
4. CAD jockey. For creating new product CAD files, or modifying files to fix errors or ease rapid prototyping manufacturability. Mechanical drafters earn an average of US$45,960.
5. RP System Operator. At a small company, this position requires a versatile performer. Material maintenance. System setup and cleanup. Part finishing. System repair and maintenance. Salary levels aren't tracked but figure about US$40,000.