Tool and Die Makers helps professionals in tool or die maker careers find better opportunities across all specialties and locations.

Also known as:  Jig Bore Tool Maker, Metal Die Finisher, Metal Gauge Maker, Plastic Die Maker Apprentice, Tool Maker, Toolmaker


If it weren't for tool and die makers, there would be no manufactured goods. That's because there'd be no one to make the molds that shape the plastic, or the tools that make other tools, or the dies used to stamp out parts.

Tool and die makers decide on the best way to shape a piece of meta ...
l to the specifications of an engineer's blueprint. They operate many different machines to cut, bore, mill, grind, and polish the finished piece to a precision 40 times smaller than a human hair.

Typically, one worker creates a single device, from start to finish. That requires the ability to work without close supervision. It also requires a broader knowledge of mathematics and metals than most machinists need.

Increasingly, it also requires skill with "computer-aided design" software and the "computer numerically controlled" machines that automate many processes. But whether they're using a state-of-the-art computer or a fifty-year-old metal lathe, tool and die makers have the satisfaction of creating something that would never exist were it not for their skills. And those skills will always be in demand.
Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists' hand tools.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
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Select metals to be used from a range of metals and alloys, based on properties such as hardness and heat tolerance.
Conduct test runs with completed tools or dies to ensure that parts meet specifications, making adjustments as necessary.
Design jigs, fixtures, and templates for use as work aids in the fabrication of parts or products.
Smooth and polish flat and contoured surfaces of parts or tools, using scrapers, abrasive stones, files, emery cloths, or power grinders.
Cut, shape, and trim blanks or blocks to specified lengths or shapes, using power saws, power shears, rules, and hand tools.
Inspect finished dies for smoothness, contour conformity, and defects.
Study blueprints, sketches, models, or specifications to plan sequences of operations for fabricating tools, dies, or assemblies.
Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plates or worktables, using hoists, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.
Measure, mark, and scribe metal or plastic stock to lay out machining, using instruments such as protractors, micrometers, scribes, and rulers.
Set up and operate drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly.
Fit and assemble parts to make, repair, or modify dies, jigs, gauges, and tools, using machine tools and hand tools.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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