Tool and Die Maker

Collaborate with Engineers to make new tools and their molds.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$32,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tool and Die Makers do?

A Tool and Die Maker creates the tools, dies, and devices used to make the things society needs, including everything from clothes, can openers, and couches to planes, trains, and automobiles. Forget “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Instead, ask yourself, “Which came first, the tool or the Tool Maker?” It’s an equally maddening question, because somebody had to make all mankind’s tools — but they needed tools to do it!

Although it’s hard to say which came first, it’s clear today that chickens make eggs, and Tool Makers make tools. As a Tool and Die Maker, you’re a highly skilled Machinist employed by factories and independent shops. You might be both a Tool and Die Maker, although you’re probably one or the other.

If you’re a Tool Maker, you build tools that are used for cutting, bending, and drilling metal. If you’re a Die Maker, on the other hand, you construct metal molds, called “dies,” that are used to form metal via stamping and forging.

Either way, manufacturers count on you to make metal parts for their products and machines. Usually, that starts with design, which requires collaborating with Mechanical Engineers in order to build blueprints. Then, using a combination of manual and automated processes, you perform the steps necessary — laying out, measuring, grinding, cutting, shaping, and assembling — to physically produce the tool or die, which you then test, refine, and, when it eventually breaks, repair.

Basically, you’re a metalworking Magician, using your knowledge of metals and machining properties — for example, hardness and heat tolerance — to build manufacturing miracles!

Should I be a Tool and Die Maker?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Diamond-Tool Maker, Hub Cutter, Jigman, Tool and Die Assembler, Tool and Die Machinist, Tool and Die Maker Apprentice See More

    How to become a Tool and Die Maker

    Most Tool and Die Makers have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:k9caaa&chl=no+college+%2814%25%29|certificate+%2883%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,14,83
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Tool and Die Maker