Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.

  • Program computerized numerical control machine tools.
  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, to machine castings or patterns.
  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.
Read more about what does a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$47130 per year

Average hourly wage
$23 per hour

Metal and Plastic Patternmakers with little to no experience tend to make between $28890 and $35920 while the more experienced ones can earn over $57510 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
OR $30 $63,180
KS $29 $59,450
IA $26 $53,740
IL $25 $52,860
TN $24 $50,600

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic is to move to a higher paying state like OR. Right now, the highest paying states for Metal and Plastic Patternmakers are OR, KS, IA, IL and TN.

However, a higher pay at OR doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at OR might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Associate’s degree

We asked other Metal and Plastic Patternmakers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a College Certificate followed by a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking
Read more about how to become a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Demand for this career is growing
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

61% of Metal and Plastic Patternmakers said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

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