Tool and die makers are among the most highly skilled workers in manufacturing. These workers produce and repair tools, dies, and special guiding and holding devices that enable machines to produce a variety of products we use daily?from clothing and furniture to heavy equipment and parts for aircraft. They may work in manufacturing plants that produce tools in house, or in machine shops that only produce specialized machine tools for other manufacturers.
There are many different ways to become a machinist or tool and die maker. Machinists train in apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, or community or technical colleges, or on the job. To become a fully trained tool and die maker takes several years of technical instruction, as well as on-the-job training. Good math, problem-solving, and computer skills are important. A high school diploma is necessary.
Machinists and tool and die makers work in machine shops, tool rooms, and factories, where work areas are usually well ventilated. Most machinists and tool and die makers work full time during regular business hours. However, overtime is somewhat common. Because many manufacturers run machinery for long hours, evening and weekend work is also common.