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Career profile Molding Technician

Also known as Metal Model Maker, Model Builder, Model Maker, Molding Technician, Pattern Finisher, Prototype Special Build

Molding Technician

Also known as Metal Model Maker, Model Builder, Model Maker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$32,950 - $85,770 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering and Technology
Core tasks
  • Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
  • Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
  • Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
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What does a Molding Technician do?

Molding Technicians set up and operate machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects.

In addition, Molding Technicians includes template makers.

What kind of tasks does a Molding Technician perform regularly?

Molding Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
  • Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
  • Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
  • Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
  • Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, cutters, shears, borers, millers, grinders, presses, drills, or auxiliary machines, to make metallic and plastic workpieces.
  • Devise and construct tools, dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures, or modify existing tools and equipment.
  • Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Grind, file, and sand parts to finished dimensions.
  • Program computer numerical control (CNC) machines to fabricate model parts.
  • Lay out and mark reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.
  • Align, fit, and join parts, using bolts and screws or by welding or gluing.
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software or hardware to fabricate model parts.
  • Assemble mechanical, electrical, and electronic components into models or prototypes, using hand tools, power tools, and fabricating machines.
  • Consult and confer with engineering personnel to discuss developmental problems and to recommend product modifications.
  • Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.

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

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

What is a Molding Technician salary?

The median salary for a Molding Technician is $54,780, and the average salary is $58,180. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Molding Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Molding Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Molding Technicians earn less than $32,950 per year, 25% earn less than $42,180, 75% earn less than $74,210, and 90% earn less than $85,770.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Molding Technicians is expected to change by -2.9%, and there should be roughly 300 open positions for Molding Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$54,780
Typical salary range
$32,950 - $85,770
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.9%

What personality traits are common among Molding Technicians?

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 Molding Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Molding Technicians 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.

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 Molding Technician tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Molding Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

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

Lastly, Molding Technicians moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

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 Molding Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and innovation.

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

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Molding Technicians need?

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

Molding Technicians 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 Molding Technicians

  • 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 Molding Technicians

Molding Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as design, mathematics, or engineering and technology knowledge.

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

Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Important Abilities needed by Molding Technicians

Molding Technicians 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, Molding Technicians need abilities such as near vision, visualization, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Molding Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
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.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
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.

Critical Skills needed by Molding Technicians

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.

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

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

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.