Want to be a Professional Inventor? Here’s a Plan

The computer age is spawning new interest in original thinking. Unlike any other time in history, creative people are becoming independent inventors, programmers, and thought leaders. Anyone with a high-speed internet connection, a few graphics apps, and a 3-D printer can develop products to change the world. How can you join their ranks and possibly become the Thomas Edison of the 21st Century?

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for achieving the career status of professional inventor. Still, many people follow a course that includes earning a suitable college degree, building an invention portfolio, getting a day job to pay the bills, applying for patents, and more. If you want to fast-track your career toward becoming a top-notch inventor, consider the following steps below.

Get a Relevant Degree

It’s possible to become an inventor without a college degree but earning a diploma will give you the knowledge and credentials you need to move forward quickly and begin making money from your creations as soon as possible. What areas of study are most fruitful? Think about mathematics, electrical or mechanical engineering, computer sciences like programming and AI (artificial intelligence), and robotics. You also might find that you sleep better at night knowing that you have tangible credibility to support your professional dreams.

Finance College Before Attending

Degrees aren’t free, and you’ll need to invent a payment strategy as your first test on the road to becoming a professional creator. Fortunately, you can cover all the costly expenses, or as many of them as you choose, by taking out a student loan through a private lender. Even if they’re already working a full-time job, few prospective students have enough in savings to pay for schooling. That’s where competitive rates and real-world loan terms come in handy. Private lenders specialize in unique situations and are much more flexible than other lending sources.

Build a Portfolio

Inventors are artists, and as such, they need to start building a portfolio of their creations from day one. Be careful to include everything, from sketches and plans to actual patent submissions, photos of completed projects, consultation agreements, and a formal, written resume. Don’t worry if your portfolio looks skimpy at first. Everyone has to start somewhere. The idea is to create the document in virtual and hard copy format and then gradually add items to it as you complete specific tasks, gigs, volunteer jobs, and other engagements.

Apply for a Patent

Consider inventing a small, non-complex gadget that is unique and doesn’t cost a fortune to develop. Think about paying for a single prototype and using a 3-D printer to make it. Then, go through the formal process of a patent application. You’ll learn a lot as you navigate the several steps of sending in a completed patent application. Having at least one patent application or award in your work history folder speaks volumes about your understanding as an inventor and your potential to develop new projects. Companies that hire freelance inventors prefer candidates who are familiar with patent applications.

Keep Your Day Job

Until you have enough income from inventions, keep a relevant day job to pay the bills. Preferably, your regular work will augment inventing-related skills. That’s why it’s wise to get a college degree in engineering, science, math, or computer programming. Set aside a few hours each day to invent.