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Metal and Plastic Model Maker

What is a Metal and Plastic Model Maker?

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.

A Day in the Life of a Metal & Plastic Model Maker

  • Rework or alter component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) software or hardware to fabricate model parts.
  • Cut, shape, and form metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
  • Record specifications, production operations, and final dimensions of models for use in establishing operating standards and procedures.
  • Program computer numerical control (CNC) machines to fabricate model parts.
  • Consult and confer with engineering personnel to discuss developmental problems and to recommend product modifications.

Metal & Plastic Model Maker Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Metal and Plastic Model Makers say are important on the job.

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.

  • Liner Worker
  • Product Builder
  • Welding Prototype Operator
  • Appliances Sample Maker
  • Experimental Mechanic

Is There Going to be Demand for Metal and Plastic Model Makers?

In the United States, there were 6,300 jobs for Metal and Plastic Model Maker in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Model Maker. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 600 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Metal & Plastic Model Maker Average Salary

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


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

How much do Metal and Plastic Model Makers make 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 do Metal and Plastic Model Makers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Metal and Plastic Model Makers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • CNC Software Mastercam

How do I Become a Metal & Plastic Model Maker?

Education needed to be a Metal and Plastic Model Maker:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Metal and Plastic Model Maker might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Metal and Plastic Model Maker sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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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