Career Definition of Tooling Engineer
Tooling engineers specialize in creating tooling designs for an organization's existing products, as well as developing new designs. They typically work for manufacturing companies or engineering firms. Tooling engineers usually work full-time in an office setting or production facility.
Specific job duties for tooling engineers are dependent on their industry. General job responsibilities can include utilizing CAD software to develop 2D or 3D prints, collaborating with manufacturing and design personnel in development teams, and evaluating and validating products after design changes. Tooling engineers can ensure operations meet standards like ISO 9000 or SQF and process continuous improvement requests. They can offer technical assistance to quality assurance or manufacturing personnel.
Tooling engineers may collaborate with marketing, product development, and manufacturing departments to provide product recommendations. They may also create purchase requisitions, customer quotations on product cost and lead times, and obtain vendor bids on equipment repair services. Tooling engineers sometimes travel to vendor sites to review their operations and ensure they are in compliance with organizational standards. They often analyze technical material, such as schematic diagrams or engineering drawings, and work with management personnel to develop standards for new product development.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent technical skills, strong program management abilities, effective communication skills, and solid analytical abilities|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$70,505|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||8% (Engineers)|
Sources:*PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will usually need a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, or another technical field to work as a tooling engineer. Some employers may accept an associate's degree and relevant work experience in lieu of a bachelor's degree. Interested individuals can opt to pursue membership in a professional organization like the Society of Carbide and Tool Engineers. The organization promotes growth in the engineering field through education.
Excellent technical skills are a vital asset for tooling engineers, as they are responsible for the creation, execution, and maintenance of an organization's products or equipment. Relevant technical skills and knowledge may include 3D modeling, CATIA, continuous improvement training like Six Sigma or Lean, and Microsoft Office programs. Tooling engineers should have strong program management abilities in order to effectively develop systems or oversee personnel. They should also have effective communication skills to interface with colleagues, customers, or vendors. Tooling engineers will need solid analytical abilities in order to evaluate customer requests and examine technical drawings to resolve design issues.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect information on tooling engineers; however, they reported an 8% job growth for engineers during 2016-2026, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. In November 2017, PayScale.com reported an annual median salary of $70,505 for tooling engineers.
Individuals considering a career as a tooling engineer might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their skills in other technical positions.