Toolmakers make and repair 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.
A certificate III or IV in engineering or relevant training is usually needed to work as a Toolmaker.
Studies drawings and specifications to determine dimensions and tolerances of articles to be manufactured and models to be constructed.
Measures and marks out metal stock and castings using various gauges.
Shapes metal and wood stock using machine tools.
Checks accuracy of manufactured articles and finished patterns to fine tolerances, using precision measuring instruments.
Tests and modifies manufactured articles.
Applies protective finishes to patterns and painting pattern sections to indicate method of assembly.
Assembles pattern sections and shapes work pieces to specified finish.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as Toolmakers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Toolmakers work in the Manufacturing industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Toolmakers||All Jobs Average|
Around 76% of Toolmakers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria and South Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Toolmakers is 50 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Toolmakers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||10.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III or IV in engineering or relevant training is usually needed to work as a Toolmaker.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Toolmakers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.9||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||6.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Toolmakers and Engineering Patternmakers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
50%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
45%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
41%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Designing and improving equipment and technology.
Talking to others.
Using maths to solve problems.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
67%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
51%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
49%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
45%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
36%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
36%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
27%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
27%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
26%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
22%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
18%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Communicate by speaking.
54%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Read and understand written information.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
89%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
76%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
70%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
68%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
68%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
65%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
65%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
62%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
61%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
61%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
57%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
57%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
56%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
53%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
50%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
49%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
44%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
100%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
99%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
97%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
92%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
81%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Work to strict deadlines.
Work with people in a group or team.
74%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
72%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
71%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
69%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
68%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
66%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
65%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
65%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
65%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
64%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.