What Do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Metal and Plastic Patternmakers lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates. They also program computerized numerical control machine tools.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Repair and rework templates and patterns.
  • Assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, or welding equipment.
  • Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made, compute dimensions, and plan operational sequences.

We asked Metal and Plastic Patternmakers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

46%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Metal and Plastic Patternmakers design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups. They clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.

A typical day for a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic will also include:

  • Create computer models of patterns or parts, using modeling software.
  • Program computerized numerical control machine tools.
  • Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
  • Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, to machine castings or patterns.
  • Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.

We asked some Metal and Plastic Patternmakers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?18% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?41% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?74% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?14% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?44% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Metal and Plastic Patternmakers also paint or lacquer patterns. They may also assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, or welding equipment.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Metal and Plastic Patternmakers Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns used to produce plastic. They might also Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.

In addition, they Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Repair and rework templates and patterns.

To some Metal and Plastic Patternmakers, it is also their responsibility to Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Patternmaker, Metal and Plastic, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
62%


Never
38%


Do Metal and Plastic Patternmakers work outdoors?

Never
39%


Once a month
30%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Metal and Plastic Patternmakers

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Related to Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/production/metal-and-plastic-machine-workers.htm
http://www.fmanet.org/
http://www.amtonline.org/
http://www.ntma.org/


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