The average day for a tool and die maker can vary depending on the needs of the shop. Being skilled craftsman in multiple areas, they often have the flexibility to make fixtures, dies, jigs, molds, cutting tools, gauges, machine tools and other manufacturing equipment.
While working closely with manufacturing engineers, the tool and die maker becomes part of a manufacturing engineering team using both art and applied science on a daily basis. As computer-aided manufacturing equipment advances, a tool and die maker also has applicable IT skills under their belt.
Educational programs for tool and die making can vary throughout the world, but most tool and die makers begin their career with an apprenticeship program that involves a mix of classroom and hands-on training. In the United States, the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) offers a 4 year college program with at least 10,000 hands-on hours required to achieve accreditation through the U.S. Department of Labor. Local colleges like Monroe Community College here in Rochester, NY also offer one year Precision Tooling and Precision Machining Certificates through their Applied Technologies Center.
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