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Metal and Plastic Patternmaker

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What Do Metal and Plastic Patternmaker Do?

Occupation Description Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Life As a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker: What Do They Do?

  • Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
  • Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
  • Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns used to produce plastic.
  • Mark identification numbers or symbols onto patterns or templates.
  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.

Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Skills

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

Operation 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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

Types of Metal & Plastic Patternmaker Jobs

  • Freelance Patternmaker
  • Foundry Patternmaker
  • Pattern Fitter
  • Die Cast Die Maker
  • Sample Patternmaker

Job Demand for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

There were about 3,400 jobs for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Patternmaker. There will be an estimated 300 positions for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Metal & Plastic Patternmaker are Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, North Carolina, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

Metal and Plastic Patternmakers make between $28,890 and $67,250 a year.


Metal and Plastic Patternmakers who work in Kansas, Oregon, or Indiana, make the highest salaries.

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

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,390
California $46,870
Colorado $35,030
Florida $43,260
Georgia $44,880
Illinois $52,860
Indiana $50,250
Iowa $53,740
Kansas $59,450
Michigan $48,580
Minnesota $47,830
New York $49,640
North Carolina $35,380
Ohio $45,470
Oregon $63,180
Pennsylvania $47,430
South Carolina $47,620
Tennessee $50,600
Texas $41,190
Wisconsin $47,070

Tools & Technologies Used by Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Mastercam

How to Become a Metal & Plastic Patternmaker

Education needed to be a Metal and Plastic Patternmaker:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Metal and Plastic Patternmakers?


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


Similar Careers

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

Are you already one of the many Metal and Plastic Patternmaker in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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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