Getting a Job with Rhino

I’ve been using Rhino for about five years now, and was wondering just how one finds employment as a Rhino user(!) I see almost no opportunities in the help wanted ads near my very large west coast southern California city. I DO see many ads seeking AutoCAD users, or SolidWorks users. I can’t help wondering, am I banking on the wrong 3D-CAD software? I just don’t see how one can afford to be a pro at all the major CAD packages. I’d have to sell my house in order to purchase all these programs! Are there users on this Forum who might share a success story in regards to their professional Rhino careers to give me a ray of hope that I too might one day find a paycheck at the end of my Rhino studies?


unfortunately not far from the truth. even plain learning a software in a payed course is sometimes more expensive than the software itself… its a pricy metier. one thing you can do is to try to convince them that there can be a workflow between the software, but that also failed me once on an interview applying where Autocad was required. i do know Autocad, at least enough to make some drawings, its not very different from Rhino though, but having a bit experience in any of the required systems is never wrong.

but you should ask generally, getting a job with any CAD solution you work with… you just have to be versatile enough. there are companies which work with rhino but its a dynamic process and you cant just wait till you find that needle in the hay stack.

Did you look here:


Do you have a current portfolio of the work you’ve done? Photos and videos of your work can demonstrate your modeling and design skills. I’ve used a variety of software packages including Rhino to design and model for manufacturing. To date I haven’t experienced a manufacturer or client that wasn’t happy getting their CAD in a fairly common format like IGES or STEP.

At the end of the day there is work out there (at the very least contracted) for those that can design and model efficiently and effectively while taking the limitations of their current toolset into consideration.

Yes. But I don’t think I’m quite ready to relocate to Germany or New York!

I think that’s the problem - most Rhino work I see appears to be contract work. I just don’t see much in the way of a full time position in a stable company.

I’m not an industrial designer, but I think most ID guys do contract work or have their own studios. There certainly are large design firms that employ multiple designers, (like Harley Davidson, Apple, etc.), but we don’t get job listings from them very often.

John is sort of right, but there are also design consulting firm/studios that hire both freelance and fulltime. I have worked in all capacities of design firm employee, freelancer, own studio solo, own studio with employees & freelances, corporate studio… and I can tell you that we don’t look too hard at which software people use, but mostly what skills they have.

If you show good modeling/rendering/presentation/documentation skills then an employer can decide if they train you to transfer your skills to their software of choice and/or let you use Rhino.

Also keep in mind that most fulltime jobs start as contract jobs. This give both employee and employer a good chance to test if they are a good fit for each other. Best thing to do is have work to show and send it to people who might need your help. In my experience most of the work is solicited by aspiring candidates, never advertised. So you shoudl plan on being more proactive. I hope this helps.


Hello HAL9000,

I’m not sure the business climate at this point is compatible with full time positions at stable companies. Do you have an aversion to contract work? I’ve enjoyed it, it’s a great way to expand your store of knowledge and you could have the opportunity to work on some really unique projects. On the other hand it does have a different sort of stress associated with it and you need to work a great deal improving your skills so you can continue to be marketable, it’s not for everyone.

There are plenty of small manufacturers that will pay well to have their products revised and improved on a contract basis. Many of them simply can’t afford the overhead of additional employees, but will jump at the chance to contract out the work so they can shift the design cost to the project cost column.

You bring up a good point. This actually worked for me, where a company (a small furniture design and manufacture company) advertised for a SketchUp artist. I replied I didn’t know SketchUp, but I can do what they need with Rhino on my laptop. They hired me once they saw my portfolio. Sadly they went out of business a year and a half later.

I’m learning SketchUp now, so I don’t let another opportunity go by! But also because it’s an affordable $695 (Sketchup Pro).

Not really an aversion. I suspect if I had enough steady clients, I would be contracting now. I was just doing an overall comparison of companies hiring Rhino guys vs. SolidWork guys, AutoCAD guys, or whatever, and Rhino seems to come up in limited demand in these situations. I don’t really understand why, as it’s a fairly kickass program, if I may use a colloquialism. One of my cottage home jobs is to design and make aftermarket resin accessories for model aircraft kits, and it’s ideally suited for such things, as well as the furniture design I did for my last job.

My biggest concern is the fork in the road, and worrying which road (CAD program) to take, knowing that my marketable years are fading (I’m 53 now) and I can’t get the lost time back. I think it’s a common concern in the current job climate.

This is exactly what’s been on my mind for the last years. I’m now learning an autodesk app to add value to my service, but it’s daunting to find the small contract jobs that can lead to more work. I spent several years with Sketchup, but I never liked dealing with it. When Rhino was written for Mac, I didn’t think twice.

I think solidworks goes better for large hardware manufacturing companies that utilize the same CAD for design and production. Or a small factory that runs machinary with them.
Features like product trees, history, editing by parts are one of major differences I feel. No need to go back couple of days back and redo the work but just change a small part in a product tree somewhere and back in track kinda software.
Rhino is more for fast concepting design work one person working on one model up to rendering.
But for one company to need that speed of design work to be able to utilze the designer full time maybe
difficult, unless the company is constantly making new product out to market.
But as rhino is a fast tool I’m sure there’s many smaller oppotunities and though perhaps not as enough income in the beginning, if you’re able to finish up a model per day it’ll probably be not so bad.
Not to mention you’ll constantly be creating real life portfolios.
I’m not a fast user yet so I’m not able to do this…and I haven’t been able to go into grasshopper
yet… but my goal is quickly estimate time to model and offer a reasonable price and deliver on time.


If you have any practical experience in manufacturing as an engineering tech, some sort of tech, or maintenance person making tools, or parts for production equipment and have any cad experience you should be able to sell your skills regardless of what cad program you are good at. People who can take an idea, make something of it that works and is useful really is a rare thing, It doesn’t matter if that idea is yours or some one else’s.

As an Engineering manager I have access to Catia, SOLIDWORKS, Inventor, UG as well as Rhino. These are all programs that are in use were I work and there are many seats of these. But I use Rhino almost exclusively and a seat of SOLIDWORKS which I rarely use.

Were I’m employed its common for someone using one the above programs to also have Rhino as well, and in my experience in the Mid West, its also common for more then one cad program to be used in a company

My advice is if you can do the job apply for it. In the interview show your work and demonstrated your abilities even if that means you bring in your laptop to the interview and create something, and probably most importantly be confident. Most employers will invest the time to train some in another program if that person is proficient in something different then what they use, or they may be open to bringing new software. Perhaps even making Rhino the preferred design tool

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