Model Maker

Sculpt and create 3D models of buildings, projects, or landscaping plans.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $63,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Model Makers do?

A Model Maker creates 3D non-digital representations of finished products. You use clay, resin, wood and mortar, and most other studio art materials to create your models. Unlike a traditional Artist, however, as a Model Maker, you are not be able to change your work if creativity strikes, as the end product is already decided. Think of this position, then, as an Artist who doesn’t have to think up their own ideas.

Your models, be they miniature or life-sized, focus on exhibiting visual appeal— not on replicating structural integrity. For example if a zoo wants to build an elephant reserve, they send their plans and designs to a Model Maker who sculpts small versions of the buildings and geographic layout of the proposed space. The model then might be brought to investor meetings, or placed at the zoo’s front gate to ask for donations. However it will not be used to measure if the proposed fences are strong enough to stop an elephant’s escape attempt.

On the whole you translate finished blueprints into a beautiful model without tinkering with the structural details. For this you need the technical ability to read blueprints, but not the engineering background to judge them. You need the artistic ability to make physical objects resemble an outlined vision, but not the creativity to dream up the vision.

Should I be a Model Maker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Model Builder, Display, Model Designer, Model Maker Apprentice, Mold Forms Builder

    How to become a Model Maker

    Most Model Makers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2836%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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