Tool and Die Makers

(NOC 7232)

in All Trades and Transportation

Tool and die makers make, repair and modify custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions. They are employed primarily in manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft, metal fabrication, electrical machinery and plastics, and in tool and die, mould making and machine shops. This group also includes metal patternmakers and metal mould makers.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Tool and Die Makers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 80% of Tool and Die Makers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$49,657

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Tool and die makers make, repair and modify custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions. They are employed primarily in manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft, metal fabrication, electrical machinery and plastics, and in tool and die, mould making and machine shops. This group also includes metal patternmakers and metal mould makers.

Job duties

Tool and die makers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Read and interpret engineering drawings and specifications of tools, dies, prototypes or models.
  • Prepare templates and sketches, and determine work processes.
  • Compute dimensions and tolerances and set up machine tools.
  • Position, secure, measure and work metal stock or castings to lay out for machining.
  • Set up, operate and maintain a variety of conventional and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools to cut, turn, mill, plane, drill, bore, grind, or otherwise shape workpiece to prescribed dimensions and finish.
  • Verify machined parts for conformance to specifications using precision measuring instruments such as verniers, calipers, micrometers, coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and electronic measuring devices.
  • Fit and assemble or disassemble parts using hand tools.
  • Test completed tools, dies, jigs or fixtures for proper operation.
  • May program CNC machine tools.

Metal patternmakers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Machine, fit and assemble castings and other parts to make precision models of required shape such as metal patterns, core boxes and match plates.
  • Lay out, shape and assemble patterns of metal, wood, plastic and other materials from blueprints, models or templates.
  • May program CNC machine tools.

Metal mould makers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Machine, fit and assemble parts to make metal moulds and cores for plastic injection moulding, or other production processes.
  • May program CNC machine tools.

Sample job titles

  • die cutter
  • die finisher
  • die fitter
  • die mouldmaker
  • die repairer
  • injection moulding tool and die maker
  • jig and form maker
  • precision tool maker
  • tool and die maker

Skills

For these jobs, you should have an interest in machines, precision techniques, and processes. Good hand-eye coordination and agility are needed. You should be comfortable working with tools and able to read mechanical drawings. You must have the ability to work systematically, think analytically, and perform basic mathematical calculations. Employees in automated shops must be comfortable using computer equipment.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a four- or five-year tool and die making apprenticeship program or a combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in tool and die making is usually required to be eligible for tool and die trade certification.
  • Tool and die making trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified tool and die makers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
  • Mould makers usually require completion of a four-year apprenticeship or college program in mould making.
  • Patternmakers usually require completion of an apprenticeship or college program in patternmaking.

Other considerations

To maintain employment, workers will have to keep abreast of changing technology. In particular, the use of sophisticated computer-controlled equipment has transformed the work of machinists and will continue to do so. The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

< 50

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

25.0%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
52.2

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

50.0%

Northern

33.3%

Halifax

33.3%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

16.7%

Textiles, Furniture and Other Manufacturing

16.7%

Management, Admin & Other Support

16.7%

Accommodation and Food Services

16.7%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

16.7%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

66.7%

25-34

66.7%

55-64

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

50.0%

College certificate or diploma

$47,112 median annual income
33.3%

Trades certificate

$65,590 median annual income
33.3%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Machine tool technology/machinist

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts, mechanisms, machines, and structures in which materials are cast, formed, shaped, moulded, heat treated, cut, twisted, pressed, fused, stamped or worked.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Tool and die technology/technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate machine tools used in the forming of metal components, as well as the fabrication of special tools, dies, jigs and fixtures used in cutting, working and finishing metal components.

Institutions providing this program

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Tool and Die Maker

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Canadian Tooling and Machining Association
140 McGovern Drive, Unit #3
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R7
Tel: (519) 653-7265
Fax: (519) 653-6764
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.