What Does a Tool/Tooling Maker Do?

A Tool/Tooling Maker (630T) repairs specialized equipment, cutting tools, gauges, jigs, fixtures, prototypes and mechanical devices that are used for testing parts and produces components for the building of machines and tooling that produce all kinds of industrial and consumer products.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • reading and interpreting engineering drawings and specifications
  • computing dimensions and tolerances and set up machine tools
  • operating a variety of machine tools to cut, turn, mill, plane, bore, grind and shape the piece being worked on to very specific dimensions
  • making sure that machined parts conform to specifications
  • testing completed tools for proper operation
  • being knowledgeable in advanced and complex mathematics, metallurgy, engineering drawings and layout technology

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Tool Maker you must complete Grade 12 with a secondary school diploma, preferably with senior credits in Math and Science, before entering an apprenticeship of approximately 7280 hours of work experience and 3 eight week sessions of in-school training. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as a Tool Maker?

Once the apprenticeship has been successfully completed the Journeyperson may work as a Tool Maker for an employer. Employers who hire Tool Makers include:

  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturers
  • Machine shops
  • Machinery and equipment manufacturers
  • Aircraft and parts manufacturers
  • Hardware manufacturers

Many Tool Makers progress to a supervisory position, some start their own businesses and do contract work for companies. Still others use the skills they acquired through their Tool Maker apprenticeship to work in related areas or occupations.

Wage Rate

  • you start at a wage rate that is less than that of a journeyperson tool maker
  • this rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • the journeyperson’s wage rate varies in the range of $14.00 to $28.00 per hour, often with benefits and the opportunities for overtime


Ask Yourself: Is Tool Making For You?

Do you enjoy working with your hands?

Yes      No

Are you pretty good at working with numbers?

Yes      No

Do you prefer to work on different tasks and not the same thing every day?

Yes      No

Is it easy for you to spot differences in size, shape or form?

Yes      No

Can you visualize how things fit together for them to work?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy keeping up with and learning about new technology?

Yes      No

Are you good at planning how to accomplish a task from start to finish?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Tool Maker may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Machinist
  • Construction Millwright/Industrial Mechanic
  • Tool and Die Maker


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