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Metal and Plastic Model Maker

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What Do Metal and Plastic Model Maker Do?

Career Description 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.

Life As a Metal & Plastic Model Maker: What Do They Do?

  • Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
  • Assemble mechanical, electrical, and electronic components into models or prototypes, using hand tools, power tools, and fabricating machines.
  • Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws, to fabricate prototypes or models.
  • Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Devise and construct tools, dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures, or modify existing tools and equipment.
  • Consult and confer with engineering personnel to discuss developmental problems and to recommend product modifications.

Metal & Plastic Model Maker Skills

When polled, Metal and Plastic Model Makers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation 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.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Metal & Plastic Model Maker Job Titles

  • Prototype Special Build
  • Injection Mold Technician
  • Pattern Finisher
  • Product Builder
  • Engineering Model Maker

Job Opportunities for Metal and Plastic Model Makers

There were about 6,300 jobs for Metal and Plastic Model Maker in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Model Maker. The BLS estimates 600 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Model Maker are Utah, Arizona, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Oregon, Kentucky, or Colorado. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Metal and Plastic Model Makers Salary

Metal and Plastic Model Makers make between $31,410 and $84,250 a year.

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Metal and Plastic Model Makers who work in Washington, Massachusetts, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Metal and Plastic Model Makers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $50,800
California $58,710
Colorado $62,240
Connecticut $65,590
Florida $55,720
Illinois $62,050
Indiana $46,360
Iowa $47,210
Kentucky $55,630
Massachusetts $65,900
Michigan $61,900
Minnesota $39,330
Missouri $60,370
New Jersey $57,260
New York $63,360
North Carolina $38,980
Ohio $52,400
Oklahoma $39,920
Pennsylvania $55,580
South Carolina $63,910
Tennessee $50,150
Texas $57,660
Utah $44,810
Virginia $52,290
Washington $70,040
Wisconsin $54,180

What Tools & Technology do Metal and Plastic Model Makers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Metal and Plastic Model Makers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • CNC Software Mastercam

Becoming a Metal & Plastic Model Maker

What kind of Metal and Plastic Model Maker requirements are there?

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What work experience do I need to become a Metal & Plastic Model Maker?

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Where Metal and Plastic Model Makers Are Employed

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The table below shows the approximate number of Metal and Plastic Model Makers employed by various industries.

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Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Metal and Plastic Model Maker may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Metal and Plastic Model Maker sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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