MOLDERS form sand molds for use in the production of metal castings which are the basic parts of all kinds of metal products, from household appliances to automobile engines. Patterns for the molds are developed by metalworking patternmakers. Molds may be prepared by machine or by hand, but most molds are now made by machines that pack and ram the sand mechanically. Molders follow instructions and apply their knowledge of metal characteristics, molding sand, contours of patterns, pouring procedures, and various other factors when forming molds.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $35,000 average per year ($16.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (142,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to decline (0.6% per year)
Machine MOLDERS of metal and plastic learn their skills on the job. Under supervision, trainees start with simple tasks, advance to more difficult jobs, and eventually become responsible for their own machines. Most molders learn the basic skills in a few weeks, but they may need several years to become fully skilled in all aspects of the job. High school courses in shop and blueprint reading can improve employment opportunities. A working knowledge of the properties of metals and plastics and a solid background in mathematics, including courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics are also useful.