Tool and die makers operate mechanically controlled equipment to produce metal parts, tools, and other fine pieces of equipment. This is one career within the wide umbrella of manufacturing. Tool and die makers use computer software programs to produce blueprints in manufacturing.
Many people who are tool and die makers obtain apprenticeships, or go to a community college or technical school to earn additional training. A high school diploma is required.
Why Become A Tool And Die Maker
Tool and die makers construct tools that are used to cut, shape and form metal and other materials. They create jigs, fixtures, dies and more. They create metal molds for die casting and for molding all kinds of composite materials. They read blueprints, sketches and CAD files in order to make tools and dies. They set up and operate a variety of machines. They file and adjust parts so that they are at specifications.
Tool and die makers use computer-aided design (CAD) software in order to develop parts. They enter these designs into computer programs. The programs produce blueprints for the tools and dies. Machines follow a set of instructions to produce the parts necessary. Tool and die makers both write these computer programs and are trained to operate the machines to create the parts.
This is a good job for somebody who enjoying working with their hands, working with machinery, and creating things. Manufacturing involves manual dexterity, observational skills, and being able to work with team members.
Tool And Die Maker should possess the following qualities and skills:
Tool And Die Maker Work Environment
Tool and die makers work in a manufacturing environment. They may work in a variety of industries, such as machinery manufacturing, motor vehicle industries, aerospace manufacturing, and more. They work with machines and tools used to produce a variety of equipment, depending on what industry they are in. They work with CAD systems in order to produce blueprints. They wear protective gear in order to prevent injury on the job.
These manufacturing centers are often loud and may have lots of chemicals or other hazards. Tool and die makers work alongside other manufacturers to get the job done; team work is important.
Despite the safety precautions, injuries are still common in this profession. Many manufacturing plants operate 24 hours a day and need workers to help in the plant, so night and weekend shifts are common. Many tool and die makers work more than 40 hours a week.
Tool And Die Maker Salary
The median annual salary for 2017 was $52,500 for tool and die makers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many variables when it comes to salary in this field. One thing to keep in mind is that the industry that you work in may affect the salary you receive. For example, those who worked in machinery manufacturing earned a respectable $49,000 annually in 2017. Those working in motor vehicle industries earned $57,000 in 2017, on average. And those who worked in aerospace manufacturing earned $74,000 annually in 2017, as a median income. It is important to think about what industry you want to work in.
As tool and die makers start out as apprentices, they will earn lower wages. Their pay increases as their experience and expertise increases.
Tool And Die Maker Career Outlook
Employment for tool and die makers is expected to decline during the period from 2016 to 2016. There are a few reasons for this. Automation will lead to the manufacturing of computer software that can perform many of these tasks that tool and die makers perform today. Business owners will cut back on hiring jobs in these fields in order to save money.
There will be some fields where tool and die makers are still needed. The more experience a person has, the more likely they are to be hired. Also, highly specialized industries such as aerospace manufacturing will be more likely to recruit tool and die makers.
Tool And Die Maker Degree
Some community colleges and technical schools offer programs to train students to become tool and die makers. These programs may be useful to gain more insight into the field and advance your knowledge. Otherwise, many employers will simply require a high school diploma and will train you on the job.
Courses in these programs typically involve math, blueprint reading, metal working, design, welding, drafting, and similar courses. It takes two years to complete such a program.
Sometimes apprenticeships are available through large manufacturing companies. This involves a period of paid training, under the supervision of more experienced professionals. Apprenticeships last several years and are given technical instruction to help them pursue this field.
Tool And Die Maker Coursework
Below we have listed some examples of classes you will take while in a community college or technical school course for tool and die making.
Industrial Math: This course covers mathematics in an applied arena. Students will learn about measurements, fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, equations, and more. They will be able to calculate area and volume.
Machine Tool Safety: Students will examine safe work practices. They will learn about safety standards in the industry, about protective equipment, chemical safety, and more.
Tool and Die Theory: Students will learn the basics of stamping, blanking, plastics, die casting, jigs, fixtures, and more. They will learn how to use the equipment for this industry.
Tool And Die Maker Career Path
Tool and die makers usually start out as apprentices, learning under the supervision of a more experienced machinist. As they progress, they learn more about the industry and are able to earn a higher salary.
Apprentices work under the direction of a senior machinist. They are an entry-level position in the industry of manufacturing. There are many companies and trade schools that offer apprenticeship programs.
Their responsibilities include doing basic stamping, blanking, die casting, creation of jig and fixtures, and more. They work closely under the supervision of a more advanced machinist. There is a certain number of hours an apprentice usually must fulfill to complete their apprenticeship.
A high school diploma or GED is required.
An apprenticeship is a great way to become introduced into the field of manufacturing. This entry level position can lead to higher positions in the future.
Related Tool And Die Maker Careers
Tool and die makers are just one of many careers in the manufacturing industries. If you are interested in this career, there are many others you may want to consider. Below we have listed some related careers.
Industrial Machinery Mechanics: Industrial machinery mechanics repair factory equipment and other pieces of machinery that are used in companies and in an industrial atmosphere. They make sure the equipment is well maintained.
Sheet Metal Workers: Sheet metal workers are experts at installing products made out of sheet metal, such as heating and air conditioning, heater and boiler construction, and more.
Welders: Welders use welding equipment to join together metal parts. This may include pipelines, bridges, factories, or any other number of places where welding is needed.