Tool and Die Technologies

Tool and die workers use machining skills to make precision equipment. They operate manual and computer-automated machine tools to create their products. Apprenticeships and associate degree programs are available for aspiring tool and die workers.

Inside Tool and Die Technologies

Tool and die technology is a field of study that involves the production of tools for manufacturing and metalwork, dies for metal stamping and molds for molding plastics and other materials. Tool and die makers are employed by the manufacturing industry, where they create prototypes of final products, produce specialized machine tools and repair existing tools. Tool and die makers use computer-aided drafting software to create drawings of parts that they intend to make. Using the drawings as input, they generate computer numerically controlled (CNC) codes that contain commands used to control CNC machines, which produce the parts shown in the drawings.

Education Information

Generally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tool and die makers need about 4-5 years to learn their trade (www.bls.gov). This timeframe includes both formal education, generally resulting in a certificate, and practical experience through an apprenticeship program.

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