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Tool Maker Apprenticeship
Did you know?
- Tool Makers are vital to manufacturing because they craft the very tools used to produce goods.
- Tool Makers craft precision tools that are used to cut, shape, and form metal and other materials.
- They craft jigs and fixtures, the devices that hold metal while it is bored, stamped, or drilled.
- Tool Makers also produce measuring devices, including gauges.
- Employment is projected to grow six percent by 2024, as fast as the national average for all occupations.
- Study specifications to plan sequences of operations.
- Set up and operate conventional or computer numerically controlled machine tools.
- Modify or adjust different parts to properly fit them together.
- Fit and assemble parts using machine tools and hand tools.
- Verify finished parts conform to specifications.
- Tool Makers work mostly indoors in manufacturing plants.
- Conditions vary by plant and industry.
- Tool Makers usually work in tool rooms, which are quieter than the production floor because there are fewer machines in use at one time.
- Tool Makers wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses and earplugs, to protect against flying debris and noise.
- Tool Makers spend much of the day on their feet and may do moderately heavy lifting.
- Most Tool Makers work full time during regular business hours.
Overall, the Tool Maker apprenticeship includes the following:
- Four years of not less than 8,320 hours
- 7,888 hours of on-the-job training
- 432 hours of paid related instruction
- Possible additional hours of unpaid related instruction
The employer must train the apprentice in the following mandatory duties:
- Perform precision measurement and inspection.
- Milling, including manual and/or CNC controlled
- Drilling, incluing manual and/or CNC controlled
- Turning, including manual and/or CNC controlled
- Precision grinding, including manual and/or CNC controlled
- Cut-off, including manual or CNC controlled
- Materials and metallurgy
- Jigs and fixtures
- Bench work, layout, and assembly
The employer may also train the apprentice in the following optional duties:
- Jigs and fixtures
- CNC programming and planning
- Other duties identified by the employer
The apprentice must also perform the following:
- Obtain Red Cross First Aid and CPR certifications during the first year of the apprenticeship
- Maintain the certifications throughouth the apprenticeship
- Complete the "Transition to Trainer" course in the final year of the apprenticeship.
The apprentice must:
- Apply directly to the participating employer
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be physically able to perform the work of the trade with reasonable accommodations and without hazard
- Be able to work in the United States
- Meet all other requirements of the employer
The employer must:
- Have been in business for at least one year
- Ensure that the apprentice is trained in the mandatory duties listed above
- Ensure that the apprentice is trained safely at all times
- Employ a full-time journeyworker or other qualified individual to supervise and/or train the apprentice at all times
- Employ one full-time journeyworker per apprentice.
Important skills include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Applying mathematics, such as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, is critical to determining product specifications.
- Arm-hand steadiness is the ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Operating and controlling equipment or is critical to producing tools according to specification.
- Maintaining mechanical equipment includes determining what kind of maintainenace is needed, when it is needed, and performing it.
- Manual dexterity includes quickly moving your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Monitoring operations includes watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Visualizing is the ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- O*NET Online
- Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions