Model Makers, Metal and Plastic
SOC: 51-4061.00


Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects. Includes template makers.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
6,200 employed

Projected (2024):
4,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Appliances Sample Maker
  • Catalytic Converter Special Build Prototype
  • Clay Modeler
  • Composite Manufacturer
  • Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist)
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Programmer (CNC Programmer)
  • Dioramist
  • Display Maker
  • Engineering Model Maker
  • Experimental Mechanic
  • Fabricator
  • Firearms Model Maker
  • Fluorescent Lighting Model Maker
  • Form Builder
  • Injection Mold Technician
  • Injection Mold Tooling Technician
  • Jig and Fixture Builder
  • Liner Man
  • Liner Worker
  • Linesman
  • Machine Tool Builder
  • Machinist
  • Mandrel Maker
  • Metal Mockup Maker
  • Metal Model Builder
  • Metal Model Maker
  • Mock Up Builder
  • Mock Up Maker
  • Model Builder
  • Model Maker
  • Model Maker Apprentice
  • Model Technician
  • Mold Maker
  • Mold Technician
  • Mold Tooling Technician
  • Molding Technician
  • Pattern Finisher
  • Pattern Maker
  • Plastic Jig and Fixture Builder
  • Process Mold Technician
  • Process Technician
  • Product Builder
  • Prototype Fabricator
  • Prototype Model Maker
  • Prototype Special Build
  • Prototyper
  • Scale Model Maker
  • Sculptor
  • Template Maker
  • Tool and Die Machinist
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Tool Builder
  • Tool Maker
  • Tooling Technician

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations 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 these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Study blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
  • Set up and operate machines such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws to fabricate prototypes or models.
  • Inspect and test products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
  • Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
  • Lay out and mark reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.
  • Drill, countersink, and ream holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
  • Grind, file, and sand parts to finished dimensions.
  • Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.
  • Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Align, fit, and join parts, using bolts and screws or by welding or gluing.
  • Consult and confer with engineering personnel to discuss developmental problems and to recommend product modifications.
  • Assemble mechanical, electrical, and electronic components into models or prototypes, using hand tools, power tools, and fabricating machines.
  • Devise and construct tools, dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures, or modify existing tools and equipment.
  • Wire and solder electrical and electronic connections and components.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Audio-oscillators
  • Bandsaws
  • Benchtop drill presses
  • Capacitance checkers
  • Chain hoists
  • Computer numerical control CNC routers
  • Computer numerical control CNC vertical machine centers
  • Digital calipers
  • Digital electrical frequency meters
  • Digital hardness testers
  • Digital integrated circuit testers
  • Digital oscilloscopes
  • Electrical discharge machines EDM
  • Electronic micrometers
  • Engraving machines
  • Flat smooth cut files
  • Fused deposition modeling FDM printers
  • Gas powered brazing equipment
  • Grease dispensing guns
  • Hand snips
  • Hydraulic punch presses
  • Jewelers lathes
  • Jig bores
  • Mallets
  • Manual lathes
  • Manual mills
  • Metal shears
  • Microsoldering equipment
  • Portable workshop cranes
  • Power brakes
  • Power grinding machines
  • Power saws
  • Scribing tools
  • Selective layered sintering SLS printers
  • Shadowgraph optical comparators
  • Signal generators
  • Soldering irons
  • Stereolithography SLA printers
  • Three-dimensional prototyping printers
  • Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
  • Visual autocollimators
  • Volt-ohm meters VOM
  • Wheatstone bridges
  • CNC Software Mastercam
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • PTC Creo Parametric software

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220