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Career profile Mold Maker

Also known as Core Maker, Core Setter, Core Stripper, Journeyman Molder, Mold Maker, Molder, No Bake Molder, Sand Molder

Mold Maker

Also known as Core Maker, Core Setter, Core Stripper

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$25,080 - $54,330 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Judgment and Decision Making
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Administration and Management
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Sift and pack sand into mold sections, core boxes, and pattern contours, using hand or pneumatic ramming tools.
  • Clean and smooth molds, cores, and core boxes, and repair surface imperfections.
  • Tend machines that bond cope and drag together to form completed shell molds.
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What does a Mold Maker do?

Mold Makers make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

What kind of tasks does a Mold Maker perform regularly?

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

  • Sift and pack sand into mold sections, core boxes, and pattern contours, using hand or pneumatic ramming tools.
  • Clean and smooth molds, cores, and core boxes, and repair surface imperfections.
  • Form and assemble slab cores around patterns, and position wire in mold sections to reinforce molds, using hand tools and glue.
  • Move and position workpieces, such as mold sections, patterns, and bottom boards, using cranes, or signal others to move workpieces.
  • Sprinkle or spray parting agents onto patterns and mold sections to facilitate removal of patterns from molds.

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

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Mold Maker salary?

The median salary for a Mold Maker is $37,140, and the average salary is $38,370. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mold Maker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Mold Makers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mold Makers earn less than $25,080 per year, 25% earn less than $30,190, 75% earn less than $45,940, and 90% earn less than $54,330.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mold Makers is expected to change by -3.2%, and there should be roughly 1,500 open positions for Mold Makers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$25,080 - $54,330
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Mold Makers?


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 Mold Maker are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Mold 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, Mold 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.


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 Mold Maker tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

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

Second, Mold Makers somewhat value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Mold Makers somewhat 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 Mold Makers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, initiative, and cooperation.

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

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Mold Makers need?

Working as a Mold Maker usually requires a high school diploma.

Mold Makers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Mold Makers

  • 14.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.0% completed some college coursework
  • 8.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Mold Makers

Mold Makers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, administration and management, or mechanical knowledge.

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

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Mold Makers

Mold 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, Mold Makers need abilities such as manual dexterity, finger dexterity, and trunk strength in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mold Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Critical Skills needed by Mold 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.

Mold Makers frequently use skills like monitoring, critical thinking, and judgment and decision making to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mold Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.