TOOL DESIGNERS develop new industrial tools and plan materials and equipment to be used to make them. They apply their knowledge of mechanics and structures to the design or modification of the dies, jigs, fixtures, and gauges that are used in the processing and assembly operations of industrial tool production. Tool designers work from drawings, sketches, and other engineering and shop data to visualize all operations to be performed. Tool designers build and test experimental tools for performance, durability, and efficiency, and analyze the results. Many also use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems to produce and analyze designs.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $79,500 average per year ($38.25 per hour)
- A large occupation (234,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.6% per year)
Most employers prefer TOOL DESIGNERS to have 2 to 3 years of experience in tool design. Some employers will hire applicants who have a 2-year degree in mechanical engineering technology plus experience in either machine shop or tool making. Advancement to higher levels usually requires a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Training and experience in the use of CAD equipment is increasingly important. Tool designers should be familiar with plane and solid geometry, trigonometry, and other mathematics and have drafting skills.