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Careers in 3D Printing

Tracy Albers is the president and chief technology officer at Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing or RP+M.  She wants young girls to understand that some of the brightest and smartest engineers she knows and works with are women.

RP+M is an additive manufacturing company. It refers to the process of creating a three-dimensional or 3D object, according to Wikipedia. So it’s basically 3D printing. Tracy thinks it’s a very exciting and new field because there’s so much opportunity to revolutionize the way things are made with 3D printing.

Since RP+M is a new company, Tracy spends a lot of time working with employees to make sure they have the best processes in place. And because 3D printing is such a new technology, she also spends a lot of time working on research and development.

Changing career course

Tracy started out as a physical therapist major in college.  She also started working on a degree in chemistry while she was there. Then she got an internship at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, where she really started getting interested more in science.  So when she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and chemistry, she decided to change her career course and go to school for her Ph.D in physical chemistry.  

Education Advice

Tracy says if you’re interested in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing field, you need to be interested in math and science. That pretty much goes for any career in technology or manufacturing.  She says when she’s looking to hire people in their company, she’s looking for people who have some technical skills and are really just willing to learn.

To learn more about RP+M visit: http://www.rpplusm.com/index.html

See what it’s like to work as a 3D printing technologist here.

Learn more about other manufacturing careers here.


Bachelor of Science, Chemistry & Exercise Physiology from Baldwin Wallace University

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Physical Chemistry from University of Pittsburgh.


According to SimplyHired.com, depending on your education and job title, salaries in the additive manufacturing industry can be as high as an average $66,000 a year.

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