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3D printing technician

Alternative titles for this job include

3D printing technicians make different products, such as medical implants, car parts, aircraft parts or fashion accessories.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter

to

£38,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a 3D printing technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a subject like:

  • 3D design
  • product design
  • engineering
  • materials science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You could take a course in creative design, model making or engineering to help you to find a job.

Specific courses you could take to become a 3D printing technician include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Computer Aided Design
  • Level 3 Award in 3D Computer Aided Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technology
  • T Level in Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

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Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships you could take to become a 3D printing technician include:

  • Lean Manufacturing Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Digital Engineering Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Engineering Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You may be able to start as an assistant in a 3D printing workshop and train on the job to become a technician.

You'll find it helpful if you have some experience in manufacturing, model making, printing, technology or design.

More Information

Career tips

You could learn more about the basics of 3D printing. This might help you decide if you'd enjoy a career as a 3D printing technician.

Further information

You can find out more about 3D printing and design engineering from The Welding Institute.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a 3D printing technician you might:

  • make digital models and prototypes based on a customer's needs
  • operate 3D scanning and printing machines
  • clean, sand, polish or apply finishes to products
  • work out how much it will cost to create parts or products
  • inspect products to check quality and pack them for delivery
  • service and repair equipment

Working environment

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a factory or at a research facility.

Your working environment may be noisy.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • move into researching new 3D materials
  • train to develop new 3D printing software and hardware
  • specialise in a certain area of 3D printing, such as prosthetics or models
  • train others in 3D printing techniques and methods

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Mechanical Engineering Apprentice (Machinery Building)

  • Wage: £10,982.40 to £21,673.60 Annually
  • Location: PARK FARM IND EST, CHELTENHAM, GLOS

Lean manufacturing apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,520.00 Annually
  • Location: STAFFORD PARK 12, TELFORD

Courses In England

Award in 3D Computer Aided Design

  • Provider: CALDERDALE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 23 September 2024
  • Location: Halifax

3D Computer Aided Design Level 3 Award

  • Provider: NEW CITY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 19 September 2024
  • Location: Rainham

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