Toolmakers craft the tools that are essential for New Zealand’s industrial processes.

Careers information

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What do they do?

Toolmakers make moulds, dies, gauges, jigs, tooling and fixtures for industrial processes. Many common household items such as aerosol cans and plastic bottles are produced from tooling. Tooling is typically used in injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion, and pressure die-casting operations.

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A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required.

Work can include design and manufacturing moulds, dies, or casts for mass-production product containers (for example paint and aerosol cans) as well as designing and manufacturing one-off tools needed within an industry.

You'll learn CAD/CAM design programs, and also CNC or EDM machining using computers.

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    Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • English or Media Studies or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics 
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Inside (workshop or plant)

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English
  • Toolmaker
  • Machine Shop
  • CNC Programmer/Operator
  • Research and Development Manufacturing
  • Specialist Toolmaker
  • Supervisor
  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning
Gateway programme avaliable