Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.
Sample of reported job titles: Die Cast Die Maker, Fixture Builder, Layout Technician, Metal Pattern Maker, Pattern Maker, Pattern Maker Programmer, Pattern Repair Person, Patternmaker, Wax Molder
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
- Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, to machine castings or patterns.
- Repair and rework templates and patterns.
- Assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, or welding equipment.
- Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.
- Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.
- Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
- Mark identification numbers or symbols onto patterns or templates.
- Program computerized numerical control machine tools.
- Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.
- Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
- Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
- Paint or lacquer patterns.
- Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
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- Computer aided design CAD software — 3D Systems Geomagic Design X; Autodesk AutoCAD
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Delcam PowerMILL; Mastercam
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- 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.
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- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- 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.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- 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.
- 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.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Program equipment to perform production tasks.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Design templates or patterns.
- Construct patterns, templates, or other work aids.
- Operate welding equipment.
- Repair templates, patterns, or molds.
- Calculate dimensions of workpieces, products, or equipment.
- Plan production or operational procedures or sequences.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Clean workpieces or finished products.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Select production input materials.
- Apply solutions to production equipment.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 13% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 49% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 62% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Physical Proximity
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 37% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 18% responded “No responsibility.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Consequence of Error — 40% responded “Serious.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 29% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 26% responded “More than half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 49% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Very important.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Some college, no degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent
|Not available||Post-secondary certificate
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Interest code: RCI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — 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.
- Conventional — 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.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$23.16 hourly, $48,160 annual|
|Employment (2020)||2,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||200|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Foundry Society
- American Mold Builders Association
- Association for Manufacturing Technology
- Association of Professional Model Makers
- Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills
- National Tooling and Machining Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Metal and plastic machine workers
- Precision Machined Products Association
- Precision Metalforming Association
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
- United Steelworkers
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