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Pattern Maker Apprenticeship
Did you know?*
- Manufacturing industries employ more than 90 percent of workers.
- A few weeks of on-the-job training is sufficient for most workers to learn basic machine operations, but a year or more is required to become a highly skilled operator or setter.
- Overall employment of machine setters, operators, and tenders is projected to decline rapidly over the 2006-2016 period as a result of productivity improvements and competition for jobs from abroad.
- Those who can operate multiple machines will have the best opportunities for advancement and for gaining jobs with more long-term potential.
*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.
- General wood pattern finishing; sanding, filets and painting.
- General wood pattern construction; gating, rigging, gluing, repair and bench work.
- Simple wood pattern tooling-layout and construction; manual CNC and CAM machining.
- Complex wood pattern tooling, design and construction; manual CNC, CAD design and CAM machining.
- Plastic construction; laminating, fabricating and pouring.
- General machining operations; manual and CNC controlled.
- General pattern tooling; gating, rigging, mounting, fitting, layout, repair and bench work.
- Simple pattern tooling; layout and construction; manual, CNC, duplicating and CAM machining.
- Complex pattern tooling; design and construction; manual, CNC, duplicating, CAD design and CAM machining.
- Assemble pattern sections, using hand tools, bolts, screws, rivets, glue, and/or welding equipment.
- Clean and finish patterns or templates, using emery cloths, files, scrapers, and power grinders.
- Design and create templates, patterns, or coreboxes according to work orders, sample parts, or mockups.
- Lay out and draw or scribe patterns onto material, using compasses, protractors, rulers, scribes, or other instruments.
- Read and interpret blueprints or drawings of parts to be cast or patterns to be made; then compute dimensions and plan operational sequences.
- Select pattern materials such as wood, resin, and fiberglass.
- Set up and operate machine tools, such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and grinders, in order to machine castings or patterns.
- Verify conformance of patterns or template dimensions to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, scales, and micrometers.
- Apply plastic-impregnated fabrics or coats of sealing wax or lacquer to patterns that will be used to produce plastic.
- Construct platforms, fixtures, and jigs for holding and placing patterns.
Patternmakers usually work in tool-rooms. These areas are quieter than the production floor because there are fewer machines in use at one time. They wear protective equipment; such as: safety glasses to shield against bits of flying metal and earplugs to protect against noise. They spend much of the day on their feet and may do moderately heavy lifting.
- 5 year training program
- 10,400 hours on-the-job training
- 576 hours paid related instruction
- Additional unpaid related instruction
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Valid driver's license or reliable transportation
- Physically able to perform trade
- Designs- Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mechanical- Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Production and Processing- Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Complex Problem Solving- Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Equipment Selection- Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Mathematical Reasoning- The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Monitoring/Operation & Control- Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Analysis- Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Quality Control Analysis- Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment- Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness- The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Manual Dexterity- The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Information Ordering- The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision- The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Control Precision- The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Visualization- The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Static Strength- The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Pattern Maker trade in the United States, visit:
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook