Toolmakers are skilled professionals who specialise in the design, fabrication, and maintenance of tools, moulds, dies, and other devices used in manufacturing processes.
Toolmaking can involve a range of different materials such as metals and plastics to create tools that meet specific requirements.
A toolmaker apprenticeship is a type of mechanical engineering trade specialisation that suits those who enjoy working with their hands, have a high attention to detail especially with measurements, and thrive within practical, problem-solving environments.
How Long is a Toolmaker Apprenticeship?
Like other mechanical engineering apprenticeships, undertaking a toolmaking apprenticeship takes 3-4 years to complete.
You will learn on-the-job skills while undertaking a nationally recognised qualification, typically a MEM31519 Certificate III in Engineering – Toolmaking Trade.
What is a Toolmaker
Toolmakers use a variety of machines and tools, such as lathes, milling machines, grinders, and CNC machines, to shape and form materials like metals and plastics as well as equipment like Micrometers to ensure everything is measured with precision. They must be skilled in working with different materials to create components that meet tight tolerances.
Toolmakers are often responsible for manufacturing moulds, dies, and other tools used in the production of parts and components. This can involve both traditional machining techniques and the use of advanced technologies like computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
Work can encompass the maintenance and repair of existing tools to ensure they remain in optimal working condition, including identifying and fixing any issues with tools to prevent disruptions in manufacturing.
A qualified toolmaker salary typically ranges from $75,000 to $90,000, based on the industry and specialist work undertaken. (Seek)
Wages for a toolmaking apprentice are paid under the Australian Government’s Manufacturing Award, and reflect factors like commencement age and completion of high school.
Indicative wages for a fitter machinist apprentice in 2024:
- Aged under 17 years: $497.50 to $875.60 per week
- Aged 17 to 20 years: $547.25 to $914.90 per week
- Aged over 21 years: $796.00 to $914.90 per week
These indicative wages under the Award increase with progression, and additional inclusions and support payments may apply to eligible apprentices.
Toolmaker Apprenticeship Skill Requirements
Attributes needed for a toolmaker apprenticeship include:
- Interest in a mechanical engineering trade
- Manual dexterity and fine motor skills to operate precision machinery and tools
- Attention to detail with a focus on measurements, tolerances and quality of outputs
- Mathematical and problem-solving aptitude
- Good communication and time management skills