Tool and Die Maker (Machine) apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Tool and Die Maker (Machine)

Table of Contents

Tool and Die Maker (Machine) apprenticeship

DOT code: 601.260-010, AIMS code: 0586

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


Analyzes specifications, lays out metal stock, sets up and operates machine tools, and fits and assembles parts to fabricate and repair metalworking dies, cutting tools, jigs and fixtures, gauges, and machinists' handtools, applying knowledge of tool and die design and construction, shop mathematics, metal properties, and layout, machining, and assembly procedures: Studies specifications, such as blueprints, sketches, models, or descriptions, and visualizes product to determine materials required and machines to be used to fabricate parts. Computes dimensions, plans layout, and determines assembly method and sequence of operations. Measures, marks, and scribes metal stock for machining. Sets up and operates machine tools, such as lathes, milling machine, shaper, and grinder, to machine parts, and verifies conformance of machined parts to specifications. Lifts machined parts manually or using hoist, and positions and secures parts on surface plate or worktable, using devices, such as vises, V‑blocks, and angle plates. Smooths flat and contoured surfaces, using scrapers, abrasive stones, and power grinders, and fits and assembles parts together and into assemblies and mechanisms, using handtools. Verifies dimensions, alignments, and clearances, using measuring instruments, such as dial indicators, gauge blocks, thickness gauges, and micrometers. Heat‑treats tools or parts. May connect wiring and hydraulic lines to install electrical and hydraulic components. May examine standard or previously used dies, tools, and jigs and fixtures, and recommend design modifications regarding construction and function of part. May develop specifications from general descriptions for specialty tools and draw or sketch design of product. May specialize in repair work.

Work Process Schedule

Task Hours
A. Power hack saw 200
B. Shaper 1200
C. Lathe 1200
D. Drill press 600
E. Surface grinder 500
F. Cylindrical grinder 500
G. Internal grinder 500
H. Milling machine 1200
I. Simple die and fixture 700
J. Bench, layout, and assembly 1200
K. Heat treating 200
(Every 2,000 hours = one year) total hours: 8000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. The following is a general listing of instruction topics for this trade. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.

Applied math

Strengths of materials

Blueprint reading

Technical writing
Basic computer

Trade theory
Trade theory
Machine terminology
Numerical controls
Basic tool and cutter grinding
Heat treating
Basic pneumatics and hydraulics

Additional Resources