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What You Need to Know About Tool and Die Makers

Career Description 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.

Life As a Tool & Die Maker

  • Design jigs, fixtures, and templates for use as work aids in the fabrication of parts or products.
  • Measure, mark, and scribe metal or plastic stock to lay out machining, using instruments such as protractors, micrometers, scribes, or rulers.
  • Set up and operate drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly.
  • Develop and design new tools and dies, using computer-aided design software.
  • Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plates or worktables, using hoists, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.
  • Verify dimensions, alignments, and clearances of finished parts for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, gauge blocks, micrometers, or dial indicators.

Tool & Die Maker Needed Skills

Tool and Die Makers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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

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

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

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.

  • Tool Liaison
  • Die Trouble Shooter
  • Die Cutter
  • Gauge Maker Apprentice
  • Toolmaker

Tool & Die Maker Employment Estimates

There were about 72,500 jobs for Tool and Die Makers in 2016 (in the United States).

Tool and Die Maker jobs are decreasing by a rate of -7.2%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -5,200 jobs for Tool and Die Makers by 2026. The BLS estimates 6,000 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Tool and Die Makers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Tool and Die Makers are Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Watch out if you plan on working in Michigan, Ohio, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Tool & Die Maker Average Salary

Tool and Die Makers Make between $32,660 and $76,900 a year. A Tool and Die Maker median salary is $52,750.

Salary Ranges for Tool and Die Makers

How much do Tool and Die Makers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Connecticut

$63,660

Kansas

$62,240

Oregon

$61,890

Minnesota

$58,380

Oklahoma

$57,860

Nevada

$57,790

California

$57,190

Maryland

$56,770

Kentucky

$56,600

Maine

$56,360

New Jersey

$55,680

North Dakota

$55,680

West Virginia

$55,580

Utah

$55,510

Vermont

$54,840

Missouri

$54,420

Massachusetts

$54,360

New Hampshire

$54,160

Virginia

$53,770

Illinois

$53,730

New York

$53,290

Arizona

$53,270

Michigan

$53,220

Indiana

$52,740

South Carolina

$52,440

Alabama

$52,400

Rhode Island

$52,340

Ohio

$51,560

Nebraska

$51,250

Pennsylvania

$50,690

Georgia

$50,680

Texas

$50,340

Wisconsin

$50,050

North Carolina

$49,780

Iowa

$49,690

Colorado

$49,140

Florida

$49,030

Idaho

$48,360

Tennessee

$46,490

Mississippi

$46,480

Arkansas

$44,000

Louisiana

$42,970

South Dakota

$42,460

Tools & Technologies Used by Tool and Die Makers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Tool and Die Makers may use on a daily basis:

  • Kubotek USA KeyCreator
  • Microsoft Word
  • VX Corporation VX Mold & Die
  • MAKER CAD/CAM Services DIEMAKER
  • Vero International VISI-Mould
  • Microsoft Office
  • Striker Systems SS-Strip Design
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • SAP
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS

How do I Become a Tool & Die Maker?

Are there Tool and Die Maker education requirements?

Tool & Die Maker Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Tool & Die Maker Work Experience

Where do Tool and Die Makers Work?

Tool & Die Maker Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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