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Metal and Plastic Model Maker

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What Does it Take to Be a Metal and Plastic Model Maker?

Occupation Description Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects. Includes template makers.

Metal & Plastic Model Maker Responsibilities

  • Assemble mechanical, electrical, and electronic components into models or prototypes, using hand tools, power tools, and fabricating machines.
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) software or hardware to fabricate model parts.
  • Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
  • Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Program computer numerical control (CNC) machines to fabricate model parts.
  • Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.

Qualities of a Metal & Plastic Model Maker

Below is a list of the skills most Metal and Plastic Model Makers say are important on the job.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Prototyper
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)
  • Scale Model Maker
  • Injection Mold Tooling Technician
  • Molding Technician

Metal & Plastic Model Maker Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 6,300 jobs in the United States for Metal and Plastic Model Maker. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Model Maker. There will be an estimated 600 positions for Metal & Plastic Model Maker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Model Maker are Utah, Arizona, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Oregon, Kentucky, or Colorado. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Metal & Plastic Model Maker

The average yearly salary of a Metal & Plastic Model Maker ranges between $31,410 and $84,250.


Metal and Plastic Model Makers who work in Washington, Massachusetts, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

How much do Metal and Plastic Model Makers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $50,800
California $58,710
Colorado $62,240
Connecticut $65,590
Florida $55,720
Illinois $62,050
Indiana $46,360
Iowa $47,210
Kentucky $55,630
Massachusetts $65,900
Michigan $61,900
Minnesota $39,330
Missouri $60,370
New Jersey $57,260
New York $63,360
North Carolina $38,980
Ohio $52,400
Oklahoma $39,920
Pennsylvania $55,580
South Carolina $63,910
Tennessee $50,150
Texas $57,660
Utah $44,810
Virginia $52,290
Washington $70,040
Wisconsin $54,180

What Tools & Technology do Metal and Plastic Model Makers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Metal and Plastic Model Makers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • CNC Software Mastercam

How do I Become a Metal & Plastic Model Maker?

Learn what Metal and Plastic Model Maker education requirements there are.


What work experience do I need to become a Metal & Plastic Model Maker?


Metal and Plastic Model Makers Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Metal and Plastic Model Makers employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Metal and Plastic Model Maker may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Metal and Plastic Model Maker sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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