Re: Is there a job out there for inventors?
I have explored many job search sites to no avail, seeking out "Inventors wanted." I love to invent different consumer products, but don't know how to make money off of doing so. Are there companies that hire inventors with salary pay?
The job you're looking for is usually going to be called either designer, developer or engineer. It depends on your skill set and what you're inventing.
In general, companies are going to want your creative energies to be at least a little bit channeled, e. g. if you work for a toy company, they want you inventing toys, not new types of brake linings or whatever.
My father is an inventor with several patents but he is also an engineer. Hence his focus has always been electrical engineering and electronics design. He has been inventing since I was a kid and probably earlier (and I'm in my mid-40s so that should give you an idea of how long he made this a career for himself; he's retired now). For him, the best jobs have been in places that were like think tanks or at least that he could make to be like think tanks. I don't think he went to too many meetings in his career. He was more likely to be found either working in the lab with someone (and, as he got older, mentoring the younger crowd) or just sitting in his office, thinking.
If you do not have formal training, I suggest at least a little training in mechanics, simply to see how things work -- and why they don't. It will also get you to be taken more seriously in the corporate world and that can't hurt.
As for who owns the patents, Dad only owns one or two of them because he got them after he retired and he was technically no longer working for a company. But the others were all purchased by the various companies he worked for. The sum? Believe it or not, one dollar apiece. But that's how it works -- you're paid quite well for your inventions, and also for a lot of sitting around and thinking -- but in your salary, not in direct patent payment. If you work independently, you can be paid directly for your inventions, but you'd need to develop and market them. Going with a company means that they take care of all that as included in your working arrangement with them.
One thing to be aware of, though, is that a lot of companies that hire inventors want you to sign a covenant not to compete. This is to assure that they have your exclusive services and that you don't go jump ship and work for a competitor until, say, a year after you leave, if you leave them voluntarily. These covenants are legal but they have to be limited, usually by time or geography or both so, if you worked in Houston and signed a covenant, and then got a job in Philadelphia, the covenant might or might not reach there. You'd have to check, preferably with an employment attorney.
Inventing is exciting and I wish you good luck. I hope some day that one of the walls of your house is as full of patent certifications as one of the walls in my folks' house is.
Welcome to A2K.