Tool and die makers (NOC 7232)

Occupation targeted by the Workplace Apprenticeship Program

Please note that detailed information for each of the occupations under the Workplace Apprenticeship Program is only available in French.

Job titles

  • aircraft jig and template maker
  • aircraft jig and tool maker
  • apprentice tool and die maker
  • View all job titles

Nature of work

Tool and die makers make, repair and modify custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions. They are employed primarily in manufacturing industries such as automobile, aircraft, metal fabrication, electrical machinery and plastics, and in tool and die, mould making and machine shops. This unit group also includes metal patternmakers and metal mould makers.

Fields of interest

  • Carrying out tests or trials, process control
  • Crunching numbers
  • Making or building things, constructing, doing repairs, and performing installations

Main duties

  • Tool and die makers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Read and interpret engineering drawings and specifications of tools, dies, prototypes or models
  • - Prepare templates and sketches, and determine work processes
  • - Compute dimensions and tolerances and set up machine tools
  • - Position, secure, measure and work metal stock or castings to lay out for machining
  • - Set up, operate and maintain a variety of conventional and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools to cut, turn, mill, plane, drill, bore, grind or otherwise shape workpiece to prescribed dimensions and finish
  • - Verify machined parts for conformance to specifications using precision measuring instruments such as verniers, callipers, micrometers, co-ordinate measuring machines (CMM) and electronic measuring devices
  • - Fit and assemble or disassemble parts using hand tools
  • - Test completed tools, dies, jigs or fixtures for proper operation
  • - May program CNC machine tools.
  • Metal patternmakers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Machine, fit and assemble castings and other parts to make precision models of required shape such as metal patterns, core boxes and match plates
  • - Lay out, shape and assemble patterns of metal, wood, plastic and other materials from blueprints, models or templates
  • - May program CNC machine tools.
  • Metal mould makers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Machine, fit and assemble parts to make metal moulds and cores for plastic injection moulding, or other production processes
  • - May program CNC machine tools.

Main characteristics of the occupation

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • * Completion of a four- or five-year tool and die making apprenticeship program or A combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in tool and die making is usually required to be eligible for tool and die trade certification.
  • * Tool and die making trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • * Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified tool and die makers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
  • * Mould makers usually require completion of a four-year apprenticeship or college program in mould making.
  • * Trade certification for mould makers is available, but voluntary, in Quebec and Ontario.
  • * Patternmakers usually require completion of an apprenticeship or college program in patternmaking.
  • * Patternmaking trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Ontario.

Skill type

  • Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations

Skill level

  • Technical

More information

  • * The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility. Additional information from Emploi-Québec: Under the Agreement on Internal Trade, a worker holding certification in a regulated trade has access to interprovincial labour mobility, whether or not the worker’s certification bears a Red Seal endorsement.
  • * Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Professional associations