Hiring a Tool and Die Maker
A tool and die maker is a precision metal worker who crafts metal forms and tools for forging and stamping operations. They interpret the design schematics, assemble parts, cut and shape dies, and test completed products for use in manufacturing facilities. These professionals maintain tools and fixtures in compliance with safety regulations and production standards. Tool and die makers generally operate in manufacturing and industrial environments, such as tool rooms, machine shops, and factories. Working individually as well as with a team of engineers and machinists, these workers typically report to their supervisors and shift managers. The median annual wage earned by tool and die makers is $53,900 annually. They receive full benefits packages from employers that cover health, vision, dental, and life insurance. Most companies also provide paid sick leaves, holidays, and vacation leave. Some companies may give employees bonuses as an additional perk. Overall, employment opportunities for tool and die makers are expected to grow by 3% over the next decade.
Employment purpose and functions
Tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of mechanical and computer-controlled machine tools to produce metal parts, instruments, and tools. These professionals perform a variety of essential duties, including reading blueprints, sketches, and CAD specifications, assembling and operating machines and tools, and computing the dimensions of tools and dies. The makers are in charge of inspecting the finished dies and tools for defects, irregularities, and contour deformities. They also measure, examine, and conduct test runs with the completed product, ensuring that the final product follows the latest quality standards. Workers are also required to meet specifications by selecting appropriate metals and materials for the project. Even though most work full time during regular business hours, some are expected to work overtime and during weekends on a need basis. For safety reasons, tool and die makers must keep their work area well-organized and clean at all times.
Although these workers are required to have a high school diploma, employers generally prefer candidates who have completed vocational courses beyond high school. Applicants who have undergone training or apprenticeship programs from technical colleges receive preference. Most of these tradesmen get additional on-the-job training. In order to be successful in this job, the workers should have good technical and analytical skills and experience in using computer applications. They should have a keen eye for detail, an in-depth understanding of metalwork and engineering, the faculty to operate different types of machines, and the ability to visualize structural components. A top-class maker should have advanced troubleshooting skills and be able to translate concepts into expertly engineered metal forms ready for the manufacturing process. Apart from this, these professionals must be physically fit and have manual dexterity so that they can complete the assigned job on time.