Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers make and repair tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and other precision parts and equipment to fine tolerances for machine tools and other production machinery, and construct full-size engineering, visual and experimental models and models for the manufacture of prototype developmental products.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Three quarters of workers have this level of qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • studying drawings and specifications to determine dimensions and tolerances of articles to be manufactured and models to be constructed
  • measuring and marking out metal stock and castings using various gauges
  • shaping metal and wood stock using machine tools
  • checking accuracy of manufactured articles and finished patterns to fine tolerances, using precision measuring instruments
  • testing and modifying manufactured articles
  • applying protective finishes to patterns and painting pattern sections to indicate method of assembly
  • assembling pattern sections and shaping work pieces to specified finish
  • pouring and spreading materials into moulds and over models of patterns, and building laminations of fibreglass cloth and plastic resin to fabricate patterns
  • repairing broken and damaged patterns and correcting patterns to compensate for defects in casting
  • constructing templates for layout and inspection

Job Titles

  • Engineering Patternmaker
  • Toolmaker
  • Engineering Patternmaker

    Constructs full-size engineering models usually made out of timber, which are used in manufacturing to produce metal castings, copy models, vacuum form tooling and tooling for the automotive, aircraft or fibreglass industries.

  • Toolmaker

    Makes and repairs tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and other precision parts and equipment to fine tolerances for machine tools and other production machinery.

    Specialisations: Die Caster, Die Sinker, Jigmaker (Metal), Plastic Mould Maker, Press-tool Maker

Fast Facts

  • $1,324 Weekly Pay
  • 4,200 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 83.3% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.6 hours Average full-time
  • 49 years Average age
  • 0.0% female Gender Share

The number of Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 4,200 in 2017 to 3,400 by 2022.
There are likely to be less than 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria or South Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Other Services; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,324 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (83.3%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 49 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (59%).
  • Gender: 0% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20077400
20086100
20096200
20104900
20114900
20123600
20137400
20144500
20155900
20164400
20174200
20223400

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsToolmakers and Engineering PatternmakersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings13241230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing72.9
Other Services8.8
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services4.9
Mining4.4
Other Industries9.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateToolmakers and Engineering PatternmakersAll Jobs Average
NSW17.731.6
VIC59.226.2
QLD2.119.7
SA12.36.7
WA8.310.8
TAS0.02.0
NT0.41.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketToolmakers and Engineering PatternmakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.8-5.25.2
20-242.6-9.99.9
25-3410.3-23.623.6
35-4425.3-21.721.7
45-5421.8-20.820.8
55-5918.7-8.88.8
60-648.9-6.06.0
65 and Over9.6-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Three quarters of workers have this level of qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    89% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  2. Mathematics

    86% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Design

    82% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  4. Engineering and Technology

    80% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  5. Production and Processing

    74% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4111.00 - Tool and Die Makers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    93% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    79% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    78% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Getting Information

    78% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  5. Processing Information

    77% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4111.00 - Tool and Die Makers.

go to top