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Tool and Die Makers

Career Overview

Tool and die makers make, repair and modify custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions. They are employed primarily in manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft, metal fabrication, electrical machinery and plastics, and in tool and die, mould making and machine shops. This unit group also includes metal patternmakers and metal mould makers.

The tasks of Tool and Die Makers include the following:

  • read and interpret engineering drawings and specifications of tools, dies, prototypes or models
  • prepare templates and sketches, and determine work processes, compute dimensions and tolerances and set up machine tools, position, secure, measure and work metal stock or castings to lay out for machining
  • set up, operate and maintain a variety of conventional and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools to cut, turn, mill, plane, drill, bore, grind or otherwise shape workpiece to prescribed dimensions
  • finish, verify machined parts for conformance to specifications using precision measuring instruments such as vernier callipers, micrometers, co-ordinate measuring machines (CMM) and electronic measuring devices
  • fit and assemble or disassemble parts using hand tools
  • test completed tools, dies, jigs or fixtures for proper operation

Career Progression

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience. Red Seal trade certification of tool and die makers allows for interprovincial mobility.