Summary Report for:
51-4061.00 - Model Makers, Metal and Plastic
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Catalytic Converter Special Build Prototype, Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist), Fabricator, Machinist, Metal Model Maker, Model Maker, Molding Technician, Prototype Special Build, Tool and Die Maker, Tool Maker
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
- Set up and operate machines such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws to fabricate prototypes or models.
- Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
- Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
- Lay out and mark reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.
- Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
- Grind, file, and sand parts to finished dimensions.
- Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.
- Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
- Align, fit, and join parts, using bolts and screws or by welding or gluing.
- Consult and confer with engineering personnel to discuss developmental problems and to recommend product modifications.
- Assemble mechanical, electrical, and electronic components into models or prototypes, using hand tools, power tools, and fabricating machines.
- Devise and construct tools, dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures, or modify existing tools and equipment.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Autocollimator — Visual autocollimators
- Boring machines — Jig bores
- Calibrated resistance measuring equipment — Wheatstone bridges
- Calipers — Digital calipers
- Capacitance meters — Capacitance checkers
- Comparators — Shadowgraph optical comparators
- Drill press or radial drill — Benchtop drill presses; Hydraulic punch presses
- Electrical frequency meters — Digital electrical frequency meters
- Engraving machines
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Gas powered brazing equipment
- Grease guns — Grease dispensing guns
- Grinding machines — Power grinding machines
- Hardness testers — Digital hardness testers
- Hoists — Chain hoists
- Hydraulic press brake — Power brakes
- Integrated circuit testers — Digital integrated circuit testers
- Metal band sawing machine — Bandsaws
- Micrometers — Electronic micrometers
- Milling machines — Manual mills
- Ohmmeters — Volt-ohm meters VOM
- Oscilloscopes — Digital oscilloscopes
- Power routers — Computer numerical control CNC routers
- Power saws
- Scribers — Scribing tools
- Signal generators
- Simple harmonic oscillator — Audio-oscillators
- Smooth cut file — Flat smooth cut files
- Soldering iron — Microsoldering equipment; Soldering irons
- Three dimensional printing machine — Fused deposition modeling FDM printers; Selective layered sintering SLS printers; Stereolithography SLA printers; Three-dimensional prototyping printers
- Tinners snips — Hand snips; Metal shears
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Jewelers lathes; Manual lathes
- Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
- Vertical machining center — Computer numerical control CNC vertical machine centers
- Wire cathode electrode discharge machine — Electrical discharge machines EDM
- Workshop cranes — Portable workshop cranes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — PTC Creo Parametric software
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — CNC Software Mastercam
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- 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.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- 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.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Record operational or production data.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Operate cutting equipment.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
- Assemble metal or plastic parts or products.
- Solder parts or workpieces.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Confer with others to resolve production problems or equipment malfunctions.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Build production molds.
- Repair parts or assemblies.
- Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.
- Assemble machine tools, parts, or fixtures.
- Design tools, fixtures, or other devices for production equipment.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 60% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Contact With Others — 35% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 34% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Telephone — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 58% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Important results.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 55% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 33% responded “Never.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|48||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: RIC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$22.11 hourly, $45,980 annual|
|Employment (2014)||6,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||1,100|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Metal and plastic machine workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.