What Do Tool and Die Makers Do?
In production, the tool and die makers are responsible for creating the parts that other workers need on a daily basis. They select metal pieces, operate appropriate machinery, and shape different parts to their specifications. Tool and die makers also do assembly and repairs to maintain the existing tools and dies. In addition to hand tools and dies, makers also create jigs, fixtures, and gauges.
Tool and Die Makers Skills and Abilities
The skills that tool and die makers must possess are split into two primary categories. First, a thorough knowledge of mechanics, technology, and production is vital. Professionals of this kind will be using complicated machinery to create tools that have to be very specifically shaped to properly do their job. The slightest imperfection or mistake can waste many resources and a lot of time. Secondly, tool and die makers should have a mastery of design, mathematics, and engineering. They need the forethought to understand what problems may arise, and the ability to solve them far in advance. Designing a product by simply envisioning it takes extreme critical thinking.
Tool and Die Makers Duties
Tool and die makers’ duties include the following:
- Visualize and compute dimensions, as well as shape, sizes, and tolerances of assemblies
- Study blueprints, sketches, and models
- Operate computer numerically controlled machine tools
- File, grind, adjust, and shim different parts to fit them together properly
- Select metals to be used
- Smooth and polish surfaces
- Test completed tools and dies to ensure that specifications are met
The tool makers’ ability to do these tasks accurately and quickly determines other workers’ efficiency.
Tool and Die Makers Tools and Technology
There are many tools that tool makers need to use. These are:
- Boring machines
- Calipers, such as dial calipers, hermaphrodite calipers, and vernier calipers
- Magnetic and radial drill presses
- 1-2-3 gauge blocks, angle gauge blocks, and V-blocks
- Power grinders, including bench grinders, disc grinders, die grinders, and grinding wheels
Additionally, tool and die makers may utilize logistics and supply chain software, manufacturing and design software, and computer numerically controlled machine tools.
Education and Training for Tool and Die Makers
The level of education necessary for tool and die makers is not very high. However, long term training is usually provided before work begins. The majority of people who are currently working as tool and die makers do not hold a college degree. This includes about 35% with college experience, but no degree, and 40% without college experience. Less than 6% do not have a high school diploma, so you should anticipate needing at least that. Together, this makes up 83% of those currently working as tool makers. The other 17% hold an Associate’s degree or higher.
Tool and Die Makers Salary
It is typical for tool and die makers to earn about $50,000 annually. The bottom 10% has a salary of about $30,000, but it is possible to earn as much as $70,000 each year. It is possible to earn more than this in certain states, such as Vermont or Connecticut, but the upper bound does not extend much higher than $70,000 annually.
Tool and Die Makers Jobs by Geography
The employment rates for tool and die makers is not very high. Most states are expected to see an increase in the number of jobs in the coming years, but about one fifth of states are predicting the rates to decrease. Most states are expecting an increase by 10% or less. However, Nevada and Arizona are projecting an increase more than 20%. Other states, such as Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, or Oregon have rates that will increase by 15% to 20%. This makes up a small handful of states.