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Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
SOC Code: 51-4062.00

Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

Sample of reported job titles: Die Cast Die Maker, Fixture Builder, Journeyman Patternmaker, Layout Technician, Metal Pattern Maker, Pattern Maker, Pattern Maker Programmer, Pattern Repair Person, Patternmaker, Wax Molder


  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, to machine castings or patterns.
  • Repair and rework templates and patterns.
  • Assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, or welding equipment.
  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.
  • Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.
  • Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
  • Mark identification numbers or symbols onto patterns or templates.
  • Program computerized numerical control machine tools.
  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.
  • Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
  • Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
  • Paint or lacquer patterns.
  • Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software - 3D Systems Geomagic Design X; Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - Delcam PowerMILL; Mastercam
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Bench scales - Digital bench scales
  • Boring machines - Jig borers
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Casting machines - Gating systems
  • Cold chisels - Flat cold chisels
  • Compasses - Dividers; Layout compasses
  • Core drying ovens - Drying chambers
  • Disc sander - Disc sanders
  • Drill press or radial drill - Benchtop drill presses
  • Foundry crucibles - Crucible furnaces
  • Foundry flasks
  • Foundry ladles - Foundry casting ladles
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Warehouse hand trucks
  • Hoists - Electric hoists
  • Horizontal turning center - Horizontal turning centers
  • Laser measuring systems - Laser scanner coordinate capturing equipment
  • Manual press brake - Manual brake presses
  • Metal band sawing machine - Bandsaws
  • Micrometers - Digital micrometers
  • Milling machines - Three-dimensional routers
  • Personal computers
  • Planing machines - Planers
  • Positioning jig - Precision positioning jigs
  • Power grinders
  • Power routers
  • Power saws - Radial arm saws; Table saws
  • Protractors
  • Rulers - Precision rulers; Shrinkage rulers
  • Scribers - Metalworking scribers
  • Shaper cutter - Shaping cutters
  • Squares - Layout squares
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Traveling column milling machine - 2/3 axis computer numerically controlled CNC milling machines
  • Turret lathe - Computer numerical control CNC turning centers
  • Utility knives - Draw knives
  • Wire cathode electrode discharge machine - Wire electrical discharge machining EDM equipment


  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.


  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.


  • Interest code: RCI
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 13% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 49% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 62% responded “Very important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Telephone - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 38% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Physical Proximity
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 37% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 18% responded “No responsibility.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 36% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 40% responded “Serious.”
  • Level of Competition - 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 29% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 26% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Letters and Memos - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 49% responded “Important results.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 45% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 30% responded “Very important.”

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $21.65 hourly, $45,030 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 3,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 300

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