Toolmaker

Manufacture custom tools used in factories and plants.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$32,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Toolmakers do?

Toolmakers make tools, but not the ones most people think of. Instead of churning out hammers and screwdrivers, Toolmakers create specialized tools used in industrial manufacturing. Plants that make lawnmowers, clothing, cups, shoes, Tupperware, or bikes are all examples of manufacturers that buy the tools they make.

Since many types of industrial manufacturers use your services, your repertoire of creations as a Toolmaker includes a wide range of tools as well. You might create tools that flatten pieces of metal, making them easier to cut or shape into car hoods. Or you can make tools that form plastic into bottle shapes or doll parts. In other words, you make tools that are used to form anything and everything that comes out of a factory.

When an order for a tool comes in, it can take the form of a blueprint, a hand-drawn sketch, or verbal directions. Specialized computer programs and equipment make the actual tool. Your job is to keep an eye on the machines in case any problem comes up, and to make sure the correct tool is being made. And then you test the finished product to make sure it works and is exactly what the client ordered. The tools you make might be reproductions of old ones. Or you can be creating an entirely new tool that’s never been ordered before.

You deal with a lot of orders in this line of work—some of them rush orders because of, say, an order form that was incorrectly filled out, or damage in a previous batch. Needless to say, the ability to prioritize helps a lot in this job.


Should I be a Toolmaker?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • 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.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Toolsmith

    How to become a Toolmaker

    Most Toolmakers 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
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