Tool and Die Maker Job Description

tool and die maker

Tool and Die Maker is a skilled crafter who specializes in the design, construction, and maintenance of precision tools, dies, and fixtures. The tradesperson plays a crucial role in manufacturing processes by producing a wide range of products from small components to large-scale industrial machinery. Primary, these individuals create and repair tools/dies that are used in the manufacturing of components or parts. These tools are made from materials like aluminum, steel, or carbide and are given specific shapes or configurations. They play a critical role in ensuring the efficient and accurate production of components. Adopting this profession needs certain qualifications and experiences. In this article, read various aspects of Tool and Die Maker’s career in detail.

Post Highlights:

  • Educational Qualifications
  • Course Types
  • Certification/License
  • Work Experience
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Abilities/Skills
  • Work Environment
  • Physical Requirements
  • Top Industries
  • Job Types
  • Salary Information
  • Benefits/Perks

Educational Qualifications

Typical education includes-

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Vocational or Technical School

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Course Types

Some common course types-

  • Tool and Die-Making Programs
  • Machining and CNC Courses
  • CAD/CAM Courses
  • Blueprint Reading and GD&T
  • Metallurgy and Materials Science
  • Quality Control and Inspection Courses
  • Specialized Workshops and Short Courses

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Some common certification types include-

1. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certifications

  • CNC Milling
  • CNC Turning
  • Die Making Skills
  • Grinding Skills
  • Job Planning, Benchwork, and Layout
  • Measurement, Materials, and Safety
  • Mold Making Skills
  • Stamping Skills

2. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Certification

  • Certified Tool and Die Maker

3. Tool and Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Certification

  • Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT)

4. State-Level Certifications

  • Certified Journeyworker
  • State Licensed Tool and Die Maker

5. Manufacturer-Specific Certifications

  • CNC Machine Manufacturer Certifications
  • EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) Equipment Certifications
  • Specialized Tooling System Certifications

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Work Experience

Some common work experiences include-

  • Apprenticeships – Provide a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction
  • Maintenance/Repair Settings – Ensure tooling remains in optimal condition
  • Manufacturing Companies – Exposure to specific demands and requirements in the industry
  • Tool and Die Shops – Offer exposure to diverse tooling needs
  • Tooling and Machining Consulting – Allow them to work on a wide variety of projects
  • Tooling Departments of OEMs – Work on tooling projects


Some common responsibilities include-

  • Assemble/fit tooling components together to create functional dies, tools, fixtures, or jigs
  • Collaborate with machinists, designers, engineers, and production personnel to exchange information and provide feedback
  • Conduct quality control inspections and ensure tooling components meet the required specifications
  • Maintain accurate documentation of tooling modifications, maintenance activities, designs, and repair records
  • Participate in the design and development of jigs, dies, tools, and fixtures
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks to keep tools and dies in working condition
  • Read/interpret engineering blueprints, drawings, and specifications to understand tooling component requirements
  • Select appropriate materials for tooling components based on their intended durability, use, and compatibility
  • Diagnose/troubleshoot problems when they arise
  • Use a variety of machine tools such as milling machines, lathes, grinders, and EDM (electrical discharge machining) machines, to form tooling components


Some key abilities include-

  • Blueprint Reading/Interpretation Skills
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Proficiency
  • Effective Collaboration and Communication Skills
  • Knowledge of Tool Materials and Heat Treatment
  • Measurement and Inspection Skills
  • Precision Machining Skills
  • Precision and Attention to Detail
  • Troubleshooting and Problem-Solving Skills
  • Technical Aptitude
  • Time Management and Organization Skills
  • Tooling Design and Construction Proficiency

Work Environment

Some common work conditions include-

  • Follow proper safety protocols and guidelines to minimize risks
  • Involve the use of hazardous materials (lubricants, cutting fluids, or solvents)
  • May be required to work overtime to meet deadlines
  • May need to work under time constraints and prioritize tasks
  • May work in shifts (evenings, nights, weekends, holidays)
  • Need to use personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Often work in noisy environments (machinery and equipment)

Physical Requirements

Typical physical requirements include-

  • Require stooping, squatting, kneeling, and climbing
  • Lift and move heavy tools or materials
  • Operate heavy machinery
  • Perform repetitive tasks
  • Reach above shoulder level with hands and arms
  • Require specific vision abilities
  • Stand for long periods

Top Industries

Some common job areas include-

  • Aerospace Industry
  • Automotive Industry
  • Custom Fabrication/Prototyping Set-Ups
  • Electronics Industry
  • Maintenance/Repair Departments
  • Manufacturing Industries
  • Medical Device Industry
  • Plastics Industry
  • Research/Development Departments
  • Tool and Die Shops

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Job Types

Some common job types include-

  • CNC Machinist/Programmer
  • Tool and Die CAD/CAM Specialist
  • Tool and Die Consultant
  • Tool and Die Designer
  • Tool and Die Engineer
  • Tool and Die Maintenance Technician
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Tool and Die Project Manager
  • Tool and Die Quality Inspector
  • Tool and Die Trainer/Instructor

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Salary Information

The salary trends for Tool and Die Maker can vary from place to place. Factors like education, work experience, location, certification, skills, and company size play a decisive role. On average, a Tool and Die Maker earns $27.99 hourly in the United States. The highest hourly paying cities for Tool and Die Maker are Franklin Park ($33.78), Portland ($33.73), Milwaukee ($32.34), and Detroit ($31.70). Generally, salary ranges can differ across regions and countries. However, some of the approximate salary ranges for Tool and Die Maker include.

Hourly Salary-

  • Entry-level Tool and Die Maker – $15 to $25
  • Experienced Tool and Die Maker – $25 to $35

Monthly Salary-

  • Entry-level Tool and Die Maker – $2,500 to $4,000
  • Experienced Tool and Die Maker: $4,000 to $6,000

Yearly Salary-

  • Entry-level Tool and Die Maker – $30,000 to $50,000
  • Experienced Tool and Die Maker – $50,000 to $80,000

The above figures are just approximate estimates. Additionally, aerospace or automotive manufacturing may provide higher salaries. Individuals with advanced skills and expertise may have higher salaries, especially in senior or leadership roles.


The most common benefits include-

401(k) Health Savings Account
401(k) Matching Life Insurance
Dental Insurance Paid Time Off
Disability Insurance Relocation Assistance
Employee Assistance Program Retirement Plan
Flexible Spending Account Tuition Reimbursement
Health Insurance Vision Insurance


Being skilled persons, Tool and Die Makers play a vital role in various industries. They design, construct, and maintain jigs, tools, dies, and fixtures. These individuals require a combination of hands-on experience, technical skills, and precision to meet specific manufacturing requirements. They typically require a formal education program, such as a vocational or technical school. Overall, the position offers a challenging and rewarding career path. Thus, the information on the profession of a Tool and Die Maker is important for aspiring candidates or experienced tradespersons working in the industry.

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