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Tool And Die Maker

Analytical skills
Highly technical understanding
Machinists and tool and die makers must understand highly technical blueprints, models, and specifications so that they can craft precision tools and metal parts.
Manual dexterity
All about precision
The work of machinists and tool and die makers must be highly accurate. For example, machining parts may demand accuracy to within .0001 of an inch, a level of accuracy that requires workers’ concentration and dexterity.
Mechanical skills
Putting it all together
Machinists and tool and die makers must operate milling machines, lathes, grinders, laser and water cutting machines, wire electrical discharge machines, and other machine tools. They may also use a variety of hand tools and power tools.

Job Description

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

Tool and die makers typically do the following:

  • Read specs for making tools and dies
  • Compute and verify workpiece dimensions
  • Set up and operate CNC machine tools
  • File, grind and adjust parts
  • Test completed tools and dies
  • Smooth and polish the surfaces of tools and dies

Toolmakers craft precision tools that are used to cut, shape, and form metal and other materials. They also produce jigs and fixtures—devices that hold metal while it is bored, stamped, or drilled—and gauges and other measuring devices.

Die makers construct metal forms, called dies, that are used to shape metal in stamping and forging operations. They also make metal molds for die casting and for molding plastics, ceramics, and composite materials.

Many tool and die makers use CAD to develop products and parts. Designs are entered into computer programs that produce blueprints for the required tools and dies. Computer numeric control programmers, found in the metal and plastic machine workers profile, convert CAD designs into CAM programs that contain instructions for a sequence of cutting tool operations. Once these programs are developed, CNC machines follow the set of instructions contained in the program to produce the part. Machinists normally operate CNC machines, but tool and die makers often are trained to both operate CNC machines and write CNC programs and thus may do either task.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $42,110
2 Year Associate’s Degree
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
0
Make $52,434
0
Make $57,464
The industries that hired the most were:

Fabricated metal product manufacturing

31%

Machinery manufacturing

20%

Transportation equipment manufacturing

14%

EDUCATION & TRAINING

TCAT

TN College of Applied Technology - Athens

THE PROGRAM

  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Scholarship/TN Promise Eligible – Yes
  • Average Pay – $42,110 / yr
  • Cost – $7,795

Advanced manufacturing facilities rely heavily on the skilled craftsmanship of machinists. Manufacturers employee machinists who have a wide range of skills and are capable of performing modern production techniques. Machinists set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically-controlled machine tools to produce precision parts.

Train and learn on state-of-the-art Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) equipment, lathes, mills, and other machines to create products used in the manufacturing environment. Instruction is given in related mathematics, blueprint reading, precision measuring, basic metallurgy, and heat-treating of metals. Incorporating the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) standards, students learn cutting-edge techniques based on recognized fundamentals.

Set up and operate manual, and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools

THE PROGRAM

  • Program Length – 9 months (certificate)
  • Average Earnings – $36,570 / yr
  • Cost – $4,876

This fall, Cleveland State will offer a certificate degree for our new Welding program. Welding is a much sought after skill set that offers a salary that is far above the average starting pay for this area, and the great news is that it only takes 9 months to get a certificate.

If you think you want to be a welder, or you need to brush up or acquire new skills, Cleveland State offers a variety of non-credit welding classes to assist you in achieving those goals.

Cleveland State Community College is now offering a Welding Technician Certificate* in conjunction with completion of these 3 Welding Courses & additional Technology Coursework.  The majority of these classes are embedded in the Electro-Mechanical Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S).

All participants have the opportunity to earn:

  • NCCER Wallet Card
  • NCCER National Registry Recognition
  • NCCER Module Certificates of Completion

Courses will consist of content from NCCER, OSHA, NFPA, and AWS standards. 

AWS Certifications can be offered to groups of 10 participants at an additional cost

Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College