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 and Die Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Tool Repairer, Toolmaker, Trim Die 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
- 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.
- Smooth and polish flat and contoured surfaces of parts or tools, using scrapers, abrasive stones, files, emery cloths, or power grinders.
- 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, and rulers.
- Set up and operate drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly.
- Set pyrometer controls of heat-treating furnaces and feed or place parts, tools, or assemblies into furnaces to harden.
- Cut, shape, and trim blanks or blocks to specified lengths or shapes, using power saws, power shears, rules, and hand tools.
- Develop and design new tools and dies, using computer-aided design software.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable angle plate — Angle plates
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Air compressors
- Bandsaw wheel — Vertical bandsaws
- Bench vises — Workshop bench vises
- Blow torch — Acetylene torches
- Boring machines — Boring bars; Horizontal boring mills; Jig bores
- Bridge cranes
- Calipers — Dial calipers; Hermaphrodite calipers; Vernier calipers
- Chucks — Chuck keys
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Cold chisels
- Column and knee milling machine — Knee mills
- Comparators — Optical comparators; Surface finish comparators
- Compasses — Dividers
- Coordinate measuring machines CMM
- Countersink tool or counterbore tool — Counterbores
- Deburring tool — Deburring machines; Deburring tools
- Depth gauges
- Desktop computers
- Dial indicator or dial gauge — Dial indicators
- Direct current DC arc welder — Portable welders
- Drill gauge — Drill point gauges
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses; Magnetic drill presses; Radial drill presses; Turret punch presses
- Dust collectors
- Ear plugs
- Engraving machines
- Facial shields — Protective face shields
- Feeler gauges
- Foundry ladles — Furnace ladles
- Gage block set — 1-2-3 blocks; Angle gauge blocks; Gauge blocks; V blocks
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Oxyacetylene welding equipment
- Go or no go gauge — Plug gauges
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Grease guns
- Grinding machines — Profile grinders; Rotary surface grinders
- Grinding wheel dressers — Diamond dressers; Grinding wheel dressing sticks
- Grit blast machines — Grit blasting cabinets
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Hand clamps
- Hand reamer — Hand reamers
- Handheld refractometers or polarimeters — Handheld refractometers
- Hardness testers — Hardness testing devices
- Height gauges — Vernier height gauges
- Hex keys — Allen wrenches
- Hoists — Hoisting equipment
- Hole gauge — Bore gauges
- Honing machine — Honing machines
- Hydraulic press brake — Power press brakes
- Hydraulic press frames — Hydraulic pressing equipment
- Induction heaters — Heat treatment furnaces
- Jacks — Hand jacks
- Knurling tool — Knurling tools
- Laser cutting machine — Laser cutters
- Laser measuring systems — Laser scanner coordinate capturing equipment
- Levels — Precision levels
- Magnifiers — Magnifying glasses
- Manual press brake — Arbor presses
- Masks or accessories — Dust masks
- Metal band sawing machine — Band saws
- Metal broaching machines — Broachers
- Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welders
- Metal stamps — Metal markers
- Micrometers — Digital micrometers; Height micrometers
- Monocular microscopes — Toolmaker's microscopes
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Oil can — Oil dispensing cans
- Open die forging press — Die spotting presses
- Optical flats
- Plasma arc welding machine — Plasma arc welding equipment
- Plotter printers — Digital plotters
- Pneumatic grinders — Air grinders
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Air-powered sandblasters
- Power drills — Portable drills
- Power grinders — Bench grinders; Die grinders; Disc grinders; Grinding wheels
- Power sanders — Vertical belt sanders
- Power saws — Abrasive cutoff saws; Cutoff saws
- Precision file — Precision files
- Protractors — Vernier protractors
- Pullers — Bearing pullers
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Punch sets
- Radius gauge — Radius gauges
- Rivet tools — Riveting tools
- Rulers — Precision rulers; Steel rules
- Safety glasses
- Screwdrivers — Flat blade screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers
- Scribers — Metal scribers
- Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Honing stones
- Shears — Power shears
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools; Stick welders
- Sine bar — Compound sine bars
- Spot welding machine — Welders
- Squares — Combination squares; Die maker's squares; Layout squares
- Stamping dies or punches — Stamping presses
- Surface gauge — Surface gauges
- Surface grinding machine — Surface grinding machines
- T handle tap wrenches — T-style tap wrenches
- Tap extractors
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes; Telescoping measuring rods
- Taper pin reamer — Precision tapered reamers
- Telescoping gauge — Telescoping gauges
- Tension testers — Tensile testers
- Tensioners — Turning tools
- Thread counters or gauges — Thread gauges
- Thread pitch gauge — Thread ring gauges
- Threading taps — Tap sets
- Tinners snips — Tin snips
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Gap lathes; Gear lathes
- Tube bending machine — Tube benders
- Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
- Turning machines — Computerized numerical control CNC turning centers
- Turret lathe — Turret lathes
- Ultrasonic examination equipment — Ultrasonic testing equipment
- Universal milling machine — Combination milling machines
- Vertical machining center — Vertical milling machines
- Vibratory or barrel finishing machine — Vibratory tumblers
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment
- Wire brushes
- Wire cathode electrode discharge machine — Electrical Discharge Machining EDM machines; Wire electrical discharge machines
- Workshop cranes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation ; Vero International VISI-Mold; VX Corporation VX Mold & Die (see all 16 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — 1CadCam Unigraphics; CNC Mastercam; OPEN MIND Technologies hyperMILL; Virtual Gibbs CADD/CAM (see all 5 examples)
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — JobPack MES Scheduler
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft Project
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- 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.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Detailed Work Activities
- Select production input materials.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Measure materials to mark reference points, cutting lines, or other indicators.
- Calculate dimensions of workpieces, products, or equipment.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
- Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
- Lift materials or workpieces using cranes or other lifting equipment.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Conduct test runs of production equipment.
- 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 — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 93% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 86% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Standing — 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Very important results.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “40 hours.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 28% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
- Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 33% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 28% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|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|
|11||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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$24.18 hourly, $50,290 annual|
|Employment (2014)||78,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||3,800|
|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.
- Machinists and tool and die makers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.