Tool and die makers (NOC 7232)

About this job

Tool and die makers:

  • make, repair and modify custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions
  • work mainly in manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft, metal fabrication, electrical machinery and plastics
  • also work in tool and die, mould making and machine shops

This group also includes metal patternmakers and metal mould makers.

Common job titles
  • aircraft jig and template / tool maker
  • bench die cutter / fitter / sinker
  • die cutter / maker / finisher / fitter
  • diecast diemaker
  • gauge maker - tool and die
  • injection mould maker

Duties

Tool and die makers:

  • read and interpret engineering drawings and specifications of tools, dies, prototypes or models
  • prepare templates and sketches, and determine work processes
  • compute dimensions and tolerances and set up machine tools
  • position, secure, measure and work metal stock or castings to lay out for machining
  • set up, operate and maintain a variety of conventional and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools to cut, turn, mill, plane, drill, bore, grind or otherwise shape work piece to prescribed dimensions and finish
  • verify machined parts for conformance to specifications using precision measuring instruments such as vernier callipers, micrometers, coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and electronic measuring devices
  • fit and assemble or disassemble parts using hand tools
  • test completed tools, dies, jigs or fixtures for proper operation
  • may program CNC machine tools

Metal patternmakers:

  • machine, fit and assemble castings and other parts to make precision models of required shape such as metal patterns, core boxes and match plates
  • lay out, shape and assemble patterns of metal, wood, plastic and other materials from blueprints, models or templates
  • may program CNC machine tools

Metal mould makers:

  • machine, fit and assemble parts to make metal moulds and cores for plastic injection moulding, or other production processes
  • may program CNC machine tools

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a controlled indoor setting that may be noisy.
  • Work involves equipment, machinery or power/hand tools that may be a potential source of injury.
  • Workers may be exposed to flying particles, such as metal particles, and falling objects in the work environment that pose the risk of bodily injury.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Red Seal trade certification of tool and die makers allows for movement between provinces.

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources