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

Careers information

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What does it involve?

Toolmakers are trained in engineering skills and knowledge to make moulds, dies, gauges, jigs, tooling, press 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 sheet metal presses or injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion, and pressure die-casting operations.

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Typical day

Normally an 8 hour day; sometimes working longer may be required. Work can include design and manufacturing moulds, dies or casts for mass-produced product containers (for example paint and aerosol cans, etc.) 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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How much could I earn?

  • 2 years experience

    $42k- $52k

  • 5 years experience

    $53k- $80k

Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 passes 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