PATTERNMAKERS construct patterns from various materials, such as wood, metal, plastic, plaster, and wax, for use in forming molds for castings. They work according to blueprint specifications using various machine tools, power tools, and hand tools. Patternmakers study blueprints of parts to be cast, compute the dimensions, and plan the sequence of operations depending upon material specified for pattern. Many products, such as planes, automobiles, and industrial machinery, have parts which are made from these metal castings.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $49,000 average per year ($23.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (13,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to decline (0.4% per year)
A formal apprenticeship is the best way to become a PATTERNMAKER. Most employers require four to five years of apprenticeship for metalworking patternmakers. Applicants for apprenticeship must be eighteen years old and be a high school graduate or the equivalent. Some people become helpers in a patternmaking shop to obtain experience before applying for an apprenticeship. High school courses in blueprint reading, shop math, shop practices, and mechanical drawing will be helpful. No special licensing or certification is required for patternmakers.