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Summary Report for:
51-4111.00 - Tool and Die Makers

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Aircraft Tool Maker, Carbide Tool Die Maker, Die Maker, Jig and Fixture Builder, Jig and Fixture Repairer, Tool Repairer, Tool and Die Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Toolmaker, Trim Die Maker

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Verify dimensions, alignments, and clearances of finished parts for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, gauge blocks, micrometers, and dial indicators.
  • Study blueprints, sketches, models, or specifications to plan sequences of operations for fabricating tools, dies, or assemblies.
  • Set up and operate conventional or computer numerically controlled machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders to cut, bore, grind, or otherwise shape parts to prescribed dimensions and finishes.
  • Visualize and compute dimensions, sizes, shapes, and tolerances of assemblies, based on specifications.
  • Inspect finished dies for smoothness, contour conformity, and defects.
  • Fit and assemble parts to make, repair, or modify dies, jigs, gauges, and tools, using machine tools and hand tools.
  • Conduct test runs with completed tools or dies to ensure that parts meet specifications, making adjustments as necessary.
  • Select metals to be used from a range of metals and alloys, based on properties such as hardness and heat tolerance.
  • File, grind, shim, and adjust different parts to properly fit them together.
  • Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plates or worktables, using hoists, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Calipers — Dial calipers; Hermaphrodite calipers; Vernier calipers
Drill press or radial drill — Magnetic drill presses; Radial drill presses; Turret punch presses
Gage block set — 1-2-3 blocks; Angle gauge blocks; Gauge blocks; V blocks
Power grinders — Bench grinders; Die grinders; Disc grinders; Surface grinders
Squares — Combination squares; Die maker's squares; Layout squares

Technology used in this occupation:

Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Vero International VISI-Mold; VX Corporation VX Mold & Die
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — 1CadCam Unigraphics; CNC Mastercam; DP Technology ESPRIT; OPEN MIND Technologies hyperMILL
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — JobPack MES Scheduler
Project management software — Microsoft Project
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Skills

Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
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.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Abilities

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.
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.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
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).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Work Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
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.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Work Context

Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous equipment?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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Job Zone

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, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 20 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Die Finisher; Die Maker; Mold Maker, Die-Casting and Plastic Molding; Die Maker, Stamping; Die Maker, Trim; Die Making; Die Sinker; Plastic Tool Maker; Saw Maker; Tap-and-Die-Maker Technician; Tool Maker; Tool Making; Tool Maker, Bench; Tool-and-Die Maker; Hardener - Tool & Die; Tool & Die Making (Inspector Set Up & Layout); Die Maker; Die Maker, Bench, Stamping; Plastic-Fixture Builder; Die Maker, Wire Drawing

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
70   Some college, no degree
17   Associate's degree
11   High school diploma or equivalent

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
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.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

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.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

17-3029.09 Manufacturing Production Technicians Bright Outlook Green Occupation
51-4012.00 Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic Bright Outlook
51-4032.00 Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Green Occupation
51-4035.00 Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4041.00 Machinists   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
51-4061.00 Model Makers, Metal and Plastic
51-4062.00 Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
51-4192.00 Layout Workers, Metal and Plastic
51-7032.00 Patternmakers, Wood
51-9195.04 Glass Blowers, Molders, Benders, and Finishers

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $22.60 hourly, $47,000 annual
Employment (2012) 79,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 4,700
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Tool and Die Makers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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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.

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