Tool and Die Makers
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Overview
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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.
Titles for this career often contain these words
DieMakerToolApprenticeJigWorkerFixturePlasticSetterCarbideCutterTechnicianBuilderStampingToolmakerBenchOperatorAssemblerDesignerFinisherMechanicRepairMachinistSetUpSinkerTroubleShooterTryOutGaugeRepairerMetalAircraftBroachCamBakerMaintenanceCastingMoldingMoldEdgerElectronicForcerGageHardMillDesignHubBoreJigmanJourneymanKellerMachineLeadManOverAllDiesinPatternShopSawSawsmithTapTemplateLayoutLevelFiveLiaisonSalvageGradeThreeToolsmithTrimWireDrawing
Education
Only 4% of tool and die makers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by tool and die makers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer tool and die makers have bachelor's degrees than 90% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Tool and die makers, with 74,300 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for tool and die makers are expected to shrink by 6%, and should have about 6,700 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Tool and die makers are more likely to be automated than 66% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for tool and die makers compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most tool and die makers earn.
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 2% of tool and die makers -- that's a smaller percentage than 94% of other jobs.
Gender of tool and die makers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For tool and die makers, the median men's salary was 52% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 5% of tool and die makers are minority, and 7% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of tool and die makers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (7%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Tool and Die Makers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of tool and die makers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (88%)
  • Time Pressure (79%)
  • Consequence of Error (52%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (46%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (40%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (36%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do tool and die makers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for tool and die makers (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for tool and die makers (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Tool and Die Makers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $45K$61K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire tool and die makers.
Employers of Tool and Die Makers (ACS)
Private for-profit (96.8%)
Private not-for-profit (1.0%)
Local government (0.2%)
State government (0.0%)
Federal government (0.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.6%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of tool and die makers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$56K$56K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed incorporatedPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of tool and die makers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$54K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for tool and die makers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$52K$61K$61K$61K$39K$60K$58K$59K$32K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K8K10K12K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Tool and die makers and gender

With 2% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 94% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Tool and die makers
Men (98%)
Women (2%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%, and the difference for tool and die makers tops that, with the median salary for men 52% higher than the median salary for women.

$37K$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Tool and die makers have one of the more significant inequity issues, with the increase in men's median salary over women's median salary even higher than that for 97% of other jobs.

52%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of tool and die makers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority tool and die makers than for 99% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of tool and die makers
White (93% )
Black (2% )
Other (2% )
Asian (1% )
Multiracial (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
5%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
7%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for tool and die makers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$43K$50K$50K$51K$57K$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KOtherHispanicAsianBlackWhiteMultiracial
Distribution: Salaries for tool and die makers by nativity
$54K$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Tool and die makers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 3% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 89% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by tool and die makers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tool and die makers typically hold a postsecondary nondegree award.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as tool and die makers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for tool and die makers

Machinists typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, whereas tool and die makers may need to complete courses beyond high school. High school courses in math, blueprint reading, metalworking, and drafting are considered useful.

Some community colleges and technical schools have 2-year programs that train students to become machinists or tool and die makers. These programs usually teach design and blueprint reading, the use of a variety of welding and cutting tools, and the programming and function of computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for tool and die makers

A number of organizations and colleges offer certification programs. The Skills Certification System, for example, is an industry-driven program that aims to align education pathways with career pathways. In addition, journey-level certification is available from state apprenticeship boards after the completion of an apprenticeship.

Completing a certification program provides machinists and tool and die makers with better job opportunities and helps employers judge the abilities of new hires.

Education attained by tool and die makers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for tool and die makers? Below we see the distribution of tool and die makers salaries based on the education attained.

$50K$54K$57K$63K$65K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KNone (5%)High School (41%)Some College (34%)Associate's/Cert. (16%)Bachelor's Degree (3%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for tool and die makers

What jobs will most tool and die makers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of tool and die makers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Tool and Die MakersMachinistsSpecialized production workers, including computer-controlled tooloperatorsCrushing, grinding, polishing, mixing, and blending workersDriver/sales workers and truck driversAgricultural Products Graders and SortersMaids and Housekeeping CleanersntsAcsOcc_8010Laborers and Freight, Stock, and By-Hand Material MoversBailiffs, correctional officers, and jailers
Lateral job transitions for tool and die makers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 4 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as tool and die makers as well as 1% of respondents after working as tool and die makers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for tool and die makers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as tool and die makers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of tool and die makers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most tool and die makers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as tool and die makers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Tool and Die Makers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.01.02.03.04.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where tool and die makers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for tool and die makers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for tool and die makers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Tool and Die Makers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which tool and die makers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests with
All education levels
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