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Career profile Die Maker

Also known as Aircraft Tool Maker, Carbide Tool Die Maker, Die Maker, Jig and Fixture Builder, Jig and Fixture Repairer, Tool and Die Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, Tool Repairer, Toolmaker, Trim Die Maker

Die Maker

Also known as Aircraft Tool Maker, Carbide Tool Die Maker, Die Maker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$34,840 - $79,090 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Operations Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Verify dimensions, alignments, and clearances of finished parts for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, gauge blocks, micrometers, or dial indicators.
  • Set up and operate conventional or computer numerically controlled machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, or grinders to cut, bore, grind, or otherwise shape parts to prescribed dimensions and finishes.
  • Visualize and compute dimensions, sizes, shapes, and tolerances of assemblies, based on specifications.
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What does a Die Maker do?

Die Makers analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists' hand tools.

What kind of tasks does a Die Maker perform regularly?

Die Makers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Verify dimensions, alignments, and clearances of finished parts for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, gauge blocks, micrometers, or dial indicators.
  • Set up and operate conventional or computer numerically controlled machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, or grinders to cut, bore, grind, or otherwise shape parts to prescribed dimensions and finishes.
  • Visualize and compute dimensions, sizes, shapes, and tolerances of assemblies, based on specifications.
  • Study blueprints, sketches, models, or specifications to plan sequences of operations for fabricating tools, dies, or assemblies.
  • Inspect finished dies for smoothness, contour conformity, and defects.
  • Fit and assemble parts to make, repair, or modify dies, jigs, gauges, and tools, using machine tools, hand tools, or welders.
  • Select metals to be used from a range of metals and alloys, based on properties such as hardness or heat tolerance.
  • File, grind, shim, and adjust different parts to properly fit them together.
  • Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plates or worktables, using hoists, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.
  • Smooth and polish flat and contoured surfaces of parts or tools, using scrapers, abrasive stones, files, emery cloths, or power grinders.
  • Measure, mark, and scribe metal or plastic stock to lay out machining, using instruments such as protractors, micrometers, scribes, or rulers.
  • Conduct test runs with completed tools or dies to ensure that parts meet specifications, making adjustments as necessary.
  • Design jigs, fixtures, and templates for use as work aids in the fabrication of parts or products.
  • Cut, shape, and trim blanks or blocks to specified lengths or shapes, using power saws, power shears, rules, and hand tools.
  • Set up and operate drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly.

The above responsibilities are specific to Die Makers. More generally, Die Makers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

What is a Die Maker salary?

The median salary for a Die Maker is $54,760, and the average salary is $55,520. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Die Maker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Die Makers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Die Makers earn less than $34,840 per year, 25% earn less than $43,500, 75% earn less than $66,220, and 90% earn less than $79,090.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Die Makers is expected to change by 1.6%, and there should be roughly 6,400 open positions for Die Makers every year.

Median annual salary
$54,760
Typical salary range
$34,840 - $79,090
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
1.6%

What personality traits are common among Die Makers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Die Maker are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Die Makers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Die Makers typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Die Makers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Die Maker tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Independence.

Most importantly, Die Makers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Die Makers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Die Makers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Die Makers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Die Makers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Die Makers need?

Die Makers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Die Makers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Die Makers

  • 5.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 40.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 36.0% completed some college coursework
  • 13.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Die Makers

Die Makers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Die Makers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Important Abilities needed by Die Makers

Die Makers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Die Makers need abilities such as visualization, near vision, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Die Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Die Makers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Die Makers frequently use skills like operation and control, quality control analysis, and operations monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Die Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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