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Additive Manufacturing salaries decrease as market matures

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For three years in a row (2016 to 2018), the additive manufacturing industry has seen year-on-year increases in average salaries, above inflation level. That is no longer the case, as we see salaries decreasing as a result of the AM industry maturing.

The fourth edition of Alexander Daniels Global’s Additive Manufacturing Salary Survey is now available. The study is the most comprehensive remuneration study in the additive manufacturing industry and provides in-depth insights into salaries, hiring intentions, talent motivations and hiring trends worldwide.

For the first time in four years, the report points out that the average salaries in additive manufacturing are decreasing. One example of this is in Europe, where the average salaries, across levels of seniority and across disciplines, have gone down by 7.7% compared to in 2018. Similarly, salaries in North America and APAC have decreased by 2.3% and 6.8%, respectively.

Alexander Daniels Global AM salaries

This decrease in salaries does not mean that employees in the AM industry have taken a pay-cut, but it is an indicator of the industry maturing as the workforce is widening and more people enter the industry.

“Actually, what we see is that the expansion of the workforce means that there is an increasing number of professionals entering the industry at a lower level, in more junior roles. These professionals then progress through into more experienced level roles, which brings down the average overall”, states Nick Pearce, Founder and Director of Alexander Daniels Global, in his executive summary of the report.

Career Progression is the most important motivator for AM professionals

Besides salary benchmarks, the report has done a deep dive into what is important for the additive manufacturing professionals, when it comes to jobs; what benefits they value most, what their key motivations to change jobs are, and how they perceive the competitiveness of the salaries in the industry. The focus on this aspect is our attempt to help guide the AM employers and help them understand how they can attract talent to their job offers. Because of the scarcity of talent, the AM professionals often juggle several job offers, and it is no longer enough to offer a higher salary as a means to win over the talent.

This year’s survey has shown that career progression is the most important motivator for talent for either leaving their current job, or taking on a new role; namely 77% of the AM professionals list career progression as a main motivator. This is followed by salary, where 72% of the AM professionals deem it a main motivator. It is the first time, in the four editions of this survey, that salary is not the main motivator. This is something employers should take seriously. To make this even more clear, the report has a dedicated section on career progression and the importance thereof.

Alexander Daniels Global AM salaries

An attempt to answer the burning questions of the industry

With the talent shortage in the additive manufacturing industry, an effective talent acquisition strategy could not be more critical. The survey is made with the industry in mind and it seeks to answer some of the burning questions from both AM professionals and employers.

For employers, it helps to assist their talent acquisition strategy by answering burning questions like:

  • What does the talent want?
  • Is the remuneration package offered by my company aligned with the AM industry standards?
  • What is the package that we should offer to 3D printing professionals of different disciplines to attract them to our organization?
  • What is the staff budget that we need in order to expand our business to another country?
  • How do we ensure our employees’ job satisfaction? What levers should we pull?

For talent, it helps to answer the following:

  • What is the salary that professionals are receiving in my field in different regions?
  • What skills should I develop to advance my career?
  • How will my salary increase with more experience in AM?
  • Am I currently paid according to my market value?

The Additive Manufacturing Salary Survey is freely available for download here.


This article was published in partnership with Alexander Daniels Global.

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Signe Damgaard

Signe Damgaard Jensen is a marketing professional specialized in Digital Marketing and Content Creation. Signe drives brand awareness for industry 4.0 companies through integrated marketing campaigns. Signe currently works for Alexander Daniels Global as the Marketing Manager.

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