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What Does A Tool Engineer Do?

A tooling engineer is responsible for creating and adjusting tools or parts for cars, heavy equipment, and other products that need customized or personalized components. Your duties and responsibilities will include creating design blueprints, using computer-aided (CAD) software to develop two- and three-dimensional prints, and validating and evaluating products. As a tooling engineer, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with operational standards such as the ISO 9000. You also have to provide technical assistance to manufacturing personnel and quality assurance.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real tool engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage PCB libraries, databases and external layout vendors.
  • Manage mold vendors in the refurbishment of existing tooling and new mold construction.
  • Lead cross-functional teams that develop several emerging technology laser and CCD barcode scanner products.
  • Lead several independent, cross-functional projects and improve manufacturing quality, reduce cost, ensure environment are supported and FDA compliant.
  • Complete sigma cycle time measurements for an entire assembly line process.
  • Install Jenkins and perform troubleshooting during installation to implement the CI process for the java application builds.
  • Create Perl scripts and SQL store procedures for nightly batch job streams, data loads and corporate reporting.
  • Create custom SQL's in db2 and oracle for the reports.
  • Position require knowledge of SPC, JIT, GDT and GMP.
  • Upgrade Atlassian FishEye from internal HSQLDB database to external MySQL database.
Tool Engineer Traits
Mechanical skills refers to one's ability to work with specific machinery related to their industry.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.

Tool Engineer Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, tool engineer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a tool engineer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of tool engineer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 12,800.

On average, the tool engineer annual salary is $91,065 per year, which translates to $43.78 an hour. Generally speaking, tool engineers earn anywhere from $67,000 to $122,000 a year, which means that the top-earning tool engineers make $57,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a tool engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a research and development engineer, mechanical design engineer, manufacturing engineer, and product development engineer.

Tool Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Tool Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Tool Engineers are proficient in Python, Linux, and CAD. They’re also known for soft skills such as Mechanical skills, Listening skills, and Creativity.

We break down the percentage of Tool Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Python, 18%

    Designed and implemented a Python server and abstraction layer to delegate tasks to a 3rd-party data simulation tool.

  • Linux, 6%

    Conducted periodic patching of Windows and Linux boxes from the BSA console.

  • CAD, 6%

    Analyze customer CAD data and product design for manufacturing feasibility and provide recommendations.

  • Java, 6%

    Developed the XML Transformation Service using leading-edge Java EE and Web 2.0 technologies.

  • Jenkins, 6%

    Conducted configuration and the integration of SCM and Project management tools such as Perforce, Jenkins, Maven and Code Collaborator.

  • Ruby, 5%

    Manage deployment automation using Chef, Ruby and Perl.

Some of the skills we found on tool engineer resumes included "python," "linux," and "cad." We have detailed the most important tool engineer responsibilities below.

  • Mechanical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a tool engineer to have. According to a tool engineer resume, "mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems." Tool engineers are able to use mechanical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "designed using mechanical drawing board and tools, 2 years prior to going to cad. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform tool engineer duties is the following: listening skills. According to a tool engineer resume, "mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists." Check out this example of how tool engineers use listening skills: "led the effort to define the requirements and scope of work requests communicated by external customers. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among tool engineers is creativity. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a tool engineer resume: "mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "promoted development and implementation of advanced technological machining processes where possible and in-house manufactured parts inventory accountability and control. "
  • In order for certain tool engineer responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "math skills." According to a tool engineer resume, "mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "attended ipm, advanced statistics, algor fea software and iso audit training. "
  • Another common skill for a tool engineer to be able to utilize is "problem-solving skills." Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific principles and discoveries and use them to design and build useful products. A tool engineer demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "provide technical support for manufacturing operations and jointly develop solutions to problems for continuous improvement. "
  • See the full list of tool engineer skills.

    Before becoming a tool engineer, 49.6% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 14.0% tool engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most tool engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every seven tool engineers didn't attend college at all.

    The tool engineers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied mechanical engineering and industrial technology, while a small population of tool engineers studied drafting and design and mechanical engineering technology.

    Once you're ready to become a tool engineer, you should explore the companies that typically hire tool engineers. According to tool engineer resumes that we searched through, tool engineers are hired the most by Apple, Deloitte, and ZeniMax Media. Currently, Apple has 25 tool engineer job openings, while there are 14 at Deloitte and 6 at ZeniMax Media.

    If you're interested in companies where tool engineers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at CyberCoders, eBay, and Coursera. We found that at CyberCoders, the average tool engineer salary is $153,405. Whereas at eBay, tool engineers earn roughly $142,990. And at Coursera, they make an average salary of $140,240.

    View more details on tool engineer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire tool engineers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include IBM, Boeing, and Ford Motor Company.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious tool engineers are:

      What Research And Development Engineers Do

      Research and development engineers generally execute research and tests on product ideas, develop new products, and perform redesigns. They are employed in many industries, including manufacturing, electrical, and science-based companies. Their duties vary and depend on the industries they work in. Responsibilities of these engineers include developing new technologies, designing products, and managing the projects until they are completed. Additionally, they lead the project team members to manage their schedules, design the project plans, and collaborate with key departments in developing new products.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take research and development engineer for example. On average, the research and development engineers annual salary is $2,055 lower than what tool engineers make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both tool engineers and research and development engineers positions are skilled in python, linux, and cad.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a tool engineer responsibility requires skills such as "ruby," "continuous improvement," "qa," and "mold changes." Whereas a research and development engineer is skilled in "c #," "data analysis," "hardware," and "prototype." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Research and development engineers really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $101,615. Whereas tool engineers tend to make the most money in the technology industry with an average salary of $107,380.

      Research and development engineers tend to reach higher levels of education than tool engineers. In fact, research and development engineers are 22.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 8.2% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Mechanical Design Engineer?

      A mechanical design engineer specializes in designing various mechanical devices that will be vital in developing machinery or large structures. One of their primary responsibilities revolves around conducting thorough research and analysis, establishing layouts and prototypes, producing progress reports, and working alongside fellow engineers and skilled professionals. Typically assigned in an office setting, a mechanical design engineer must visit construction sites or factories to test and observe equipment qualities. Furthermore, during production, there are instances when a mechanical engineer must coordinate with suppliers, contractors, and clients.

      The next role we're going to look at is the mechanical design engineer profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $12,465 lower salary than tool engineers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Tool engineers and mechanical design engineers both include similar skills like "cad," "project management," and "gd" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real tool engineer resumes. While tool engineer responsibilities can utilize skills like "python," "linux," "java," and "jenkins," some mechanical design engineers use skills like "engineering design," "creo," "ul," and "electrical systems."

      On average, mechanical design engineers earn a lower salary than tool engineers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, mechanical design engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $96,656. Whereas, tool engineers have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $107,380.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, mechanical design engineers tend to reach higher levels of education than tool engineers. In fact, they're 12.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 8.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Manufacturing Engineer Compares

      Manufacturing Engineers are responsible for handling and developing an efficient manufacturing system or procedure that will help a company produce up to standard products while in adherence to the policies, regulations, and expected cost and schedule. Furthermore, Manufacturing Engineers must also monitor quality control, identify or detect errors, provide and suggest improvements, oversee the procurement of materials involved in the production, and coordinate with various teams or departments within the company to ensure the effectiveness of innovations or new developments.

      The manufacturing engineer profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of tool engineers. The difference in salaries is manufacturing engineers making $19,149 lower than tool engineers.

      Using tool engineers and manufacturing engineers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "cad," "solidworks," and "continuous improvement," but the other skills required are very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a tool engineer is likely to be skilled in "python," "linux," "java," and "jenkins," while a typical manufacturing engineer is skilled in "process control," "troubleshoot," "engineering design," and "value stream."

      Interestingly enough, manufacturing engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $85,877. As mentioned previously, tool engineers highest annual salary comes from the technology industry with an average salary of $107,380.

      Manufacturing engineers typically study at higher levels compared with tool engineers. For example, they're 7.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Product Development Engineer

      A Product Development Engineer is responsible for creating and testing new product designs. They collaborate with market researchers to evaluate market needs, existing competition, and potential costs.

      Now, we'll look at product development engineers, who generally average a lower pay when compared to tool engineers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $9,429 per year.

      According to resumes from both tool engineers and product development engineers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "cad," "java," and "jenkins. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a tool engineer might have more use for skills like "python," "linux," "ruby," and "unix." Meanwhile, some product development engineers might include skills like "data analysis," "prototype," "c++," and "ul" on their resume.

      Product development engineers earn a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $84,575. Whereas, tool engineers earn the highest salary in the technology industry.

      The average resume of product development engineers showed that they earn higher levels of education to tool engineers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 19.8% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 2.3%.