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Wood Patternmaker

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What Do Wood Patternmaker Do?

Position Description Plan, lay out, and construct wooden unit or sectional patterns used in forming sand molds for castings.

Daily Life Of a Wood Patternmaker

  • Trim, smooth, and shape surfaces, and plane, shave, file, scrape, and sand models to attain specified shapes, using hand tools.
  • Mark identifying information such as colors or codes on patterns, parts, and templates to indicate assembly methods.
  • Set up, operate, and adjust a variety of woodworking machines such as bandsaws and lathes to cut and shape sections, parts, and patterns, according to specifications.
  • Inventory equipment and supplies, ordering parts and tools as necessary.
  • Repair broken or damaged patterns.
  • Select lumber to be used for patterns.

Skills Needed to be a Wood Patternmaker

Below is a list of the skills most Wood Patternmakers say are important on the job.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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

  • Mold Forms Builder
  • Forms Builder
  • Mold Maker
  • Wood Patternmaker Apprentice
  • Pattern Maker

What Kind of Wood Patternmaker Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 1,800 jobs for Wood Patternmaker in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Wood Patternmaker. The BLS estimates 200 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Wood Patternmaker are North Carolina, Michigan, and Nebraska. Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, or Michigan. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Wood Patternmaker Make?

Wood Patternmakers make between $34,930 and $82,630 a year.


Wood Patternmakers who work in Ohio, Michigan, or North Carolina, make the highest salaries.

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

State Annual Mean Salary
California $56,990
Michigan $68,910
North Carolina $53,910
Ohio $73,670

Tools & Technologies Used by Wood Patternmakers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Wood Patternmakers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Mastercam

How to Become a Wood Patternmaker

What education or degrees do I need to become a Wood Patternmaker?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Wood Patternmakers Are Employed


Below are examples of industries where Wood Patternmakers work:



Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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