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Model Maker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up and operates machines, such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects. Includes template makers.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Studies blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine material dimensions, required equipment, and operations sequences.
  • Inspects and tests products to verify conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments or circuit testers.
  • Drills, countersinks, and reams holes in parts and assemblies for bolts, screws, and other fasteners, using power tools.
  • Cuts, shapes, and forms metal parts, using lathes, power saws, snips, power brakes and shears, files, and mallets.
  • Sets up and operates machines such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, or bandsaws to fabricate prototypes or models.
  • Devises and constructs tools, dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures, or modifies existing tools and equipment.
  • Reworks or alters component model or parts as required to ensure that products meet standards.
  • Grinds, files, and sands parts to finished dimensions.
  • Programs computer numerical control (CNC) machines to fabricate model parts.
  • Lays out and marks reference points and dimensions on materials, using measuring instruments and drawing or scribing tools.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Catalytic Converter Special Build Prototype --
  • Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist) --
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator) --
  • Fabricator --
  • Metal Model Maker --
  • Model Builder --
  • Molding Technician --
  • Pattern Finisher --
  • Prototype Special Build --