The model maker doesn't work with the human kind of models, but with inanimate ones. They are a crucial step in the manufacturing process between design and production. Model makers make models of a product in order for the team to test the design and see possible improvements more tangibly than on a blueprint.

The kinds of models a model maker makes depends on where they work. They can work for a technological manufacturer making models of their phones or for a film studio making models of sets and special effects. No matter where they work, model makers need to know how to use tools like welders, lathes, and even software such as CAD (computer-aided design).

Model making doesn't use a lot of skills that can be learned in the classroom. Only a few model makers have bachelor's degrees, although some may complete a special training program or certification. They learn how to use the tools of the trade on the job.

What Does a Model Maker Do

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.

Learn more about what a Model Maker does

How To Become a Model Maker

A few months of on-the-job training is enough for most workers to learn basic machine operations, but 1 year or more is required to become proficient. Computer-controlled machine workers may need more training.

Learn More About How To Become a Model Maker

Model Maker Career Paths

Average Salary for a Model Maker

Model Makers in America make an average salary of $48,523 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $70,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Model Maker Salary
$48,523 Yearly
$23.33 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Model Maker

There are several types of model maker, including:

Tool And Die Maker


Every manufacturing industry holds the position of Tool and Die Maker, which make working hands of any production. With variation in the name, they are also referred to as toolmaker, diemaker, mold maker, tool jig, or most commonly called fitter. Their key job is to operate certain tools or equipment to craft products.

Tool and die makers are skilled craftsmen who combine academic knowledge with their hands-on experience and skills to accomplish their trade. Now, how much education is required for doing so? Well, the answer is High school graduation or above.

As they got to craft real products by analyzing blueprints and modeling them as per design, one with higher education will be preferred. They are also offered various job training to get along with changing working practices and tool techniques.

Although the working environment is different for every industry, they are supposed to work in a toolroom environment. Like the working environment, their salaries also vary between $43,000 and $67,000 annually.

  • Average Salary: $52,956
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Tool Maker


Some professions make use of precision tools and metal forms otherwise known as dies to shape metal used for forging and stamping processes. The specialist responsible for carrying out these activities is known as a tool and die maker. If you aspire to become a toolmaker, keep in mind that you must be involved in reading designs, blueprints, and CAD specifications. Also, prepare to set up and operate machines and tools. It is also your duty to compute the sizes and dimensions of tools and dies while also testing final items.

Ideally, tool and die makers should have strong technical and mathematical abilities, as well as computer application experience. To be a competent tool and die maker, you'll need a thorough understanding of metalworking and engineering, as well as a keen eye for detail and the ability to conceptualize structural components. You should have either a high school diploma or a degree in mechanical engineering. A Toolmaker's average hourly wage is $25.03.

  • Average Salary: $52,443
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Mold Maker


Mold makers work with metals, although they may also work with rubber and plastic. Their job involves fabricating molds using casting, blueprints, and design. They may be required to construct new tools for molding and metal stamping using plans provided by the design team. Mold makers usually work in manufacturing companies, and they often have to liaise with members of other teams and the clients.

A day in the life of a mold maker involves him spending several hours on his/her feet twisting, turning, and creating molds. Mold makers may also need to maintain and repair existing molds, create prototype products, and create new designs. They need proficiency in mathematics, problem-solving, and communication, technical reasoning, and, maybe most importantly, manual dexterity.

A mold maker also requires knowledge of CSS design and CNC matching. The minimal education requirement for a mold maker is a high school diploma, even though employers prefer a vocational school certificate.

  • Average Salary: $48,841
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Model Maker Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active model maker jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where model makers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Model Maker Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
9New York198$46,197
11North Carolina192$44,118
16New Jersey108$55,439
17South Carolina99$32,810
31New Hampshire48$33,428
35West Virginia30$48,367
40Rhode Island24$35,673
41South Dakota19$29,764
43North Dakota17$39,737
45New Mexico13$63,146

Model Maker Education

Model Maker Majors

13.9 %

Model Maker Degrees


46.4 %


27.5 %

High School Diploma

12.2 %

Top Skills For a Model Maker

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.0% of model makers listed cnc on their resume, but soft skills such as computer skills and dexterity are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Model Maker Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Model Maker templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Model Maker resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Model Maker diversity

Model Maker Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among model makers, 10.2% of them are women, while 89.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among model makers is White, which makes up 60.8% of all model makers.

  • The most common foreign language among model makers is Spanish at 26.7%.

Online Courses For Model Maker That You May Like

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1. Introduction to CAD, CAM, and Practical CNC Machining


This course introduces you to the foundational knowledge in computer-aided design, manufacture, and the practical use of CNC machines. In this course we begin with the basics in Autodesk® Fusion 360™ CAD by learning how to properly sketch and model 3D parts. Before we program any toolpaths, we’ll explore CNC machining basics to ensure we have the ground level foundational knowledge needed to effectively define toolpaths. Finally, we explore the basics of setting up a CAM program and defining...

2. Machine Learning Modeling Pipelines in Production


In the third course of Machine Learning Engineering for Production Specialization, you will build models for different serving environments; implement tools and techniques to effectively manage your modeling resources and best serve offline and online inference requests; and use analytics tools and performance metrics to address model fairness, explainability issues, and mitigate bottlenecks. Understanding machine learning and deep learning concepts is essential, but if you’re looking to build...

3. Fusion 360 CAD/CAM for CNC routers


Make any part using your CNC router with Fusion 360...

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Best States For a Model Maker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a model maker. The best states for people in this position are New Mexico, Michigan, Arkansas, and New Jersey. Model makers make the most in New Mexico with an average salary of $63,146. Whereas in Michigan and Arkansas, they would average $62,817 and $58,176, respectively. While model makers would only make an average of $55,439 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Michigan

Total Model Maker Jobs: 225
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Ohio

Total Model Maker Jobs: 272
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. West Virginia

Total Model Maker Jobs: 30
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Model Makers

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Top Model Maker Employers

Most Common Employers For Model Maker

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1General Motors$86,086$41.396
3Ford Motor$76,342$36.704
5Globus Medical$64,460$30.995
6Motorola Solutions$63,235$30.404
8Sypris Electronics$59,068$28.404