Tool and die makers use traditional and computer-controlled equipment to create tools, metal forms known as dies and molds for casting softer materials.The job requires a minimum of a high school diploma with strong math and computer skills. Tool and die makers can learn the trade through postsecondary classes, apprenticeships or a combination. Manufacturing industries employ the majority of tool and die makers.
Learn the Pay Range
As of 2013, the average income of tool and die makers was $23.74 per hour or $49,390 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eighty percent earned between $31,670 and $70,820 per year. Most tool and die makers work full time, and many work overtime.
Find an Industry
The largest employer of tool and die makers in 2013 was metalworking machinery manufacturing, which paid an average annual wage of $45,150, according to the BLS. Auto parts manufacturing, the second-largest industry, paid an average of $53,980 of per year. The highest-paying employer with more than 100 jobs was scientific research and development services, paying an average yearly wage of $63,680.
Locate a State
As the hub of the auto industry, Michigan was the state with the most jobs for tool and die makers in 2013. A total of 13,340 workers received average annual wages of $51,630, according to the BLS. The top-paying state was Washington, where 1,580 workers earned an average of $63,701 per year.
Study the Outlook
As advances in technology increase productivity, the BLS predicts a 1-percent drop in the number of jobs for tool and die makers between 2012 and 2022. Nonetheless, the BLS expects excellent prospects for new workers, because many young people capable of learning the trade will likely choose college rather than prepare for manufacturing jobs. As tool and die makers retire or leave the occupation, the number of newly trained workers may be insufficient to replace them.
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