Tool and die makers analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures (devices that hold metal while it is shaped, stamped or drilled), gauges and machinist’s hand tools. Die makers construct metal forms (dies) to shape metal in stamping and forging operations.
Tool and die makers 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 of on-the-job training
- 576 hours of paid related instruction
- Possible additional hours of unpaid related instruction
Classwork training usually consists of mathematics, mechanical drawing, tool designing, tool programming and blueprint reading.
Learn more from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Tool & Die Apprenticeship classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:
- Madison - Commercial Avenue
- Madison - Truax
Curriculum and Experience
Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2023-2024 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.
Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:
- Progress toward your specific requirements
- Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements
If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.First Semester50-420-7111 credit50-420-7151 creditSecond Semester50-420-7131 credit50-420-7141 creditThird Semester50-420-7100.25 credit50-420-7200.25 credit50-420-7211 credit50-420-7320.5 creditsFourth Semester50-420-7160.5 credits50-420-7170.5 credits50-420-7180.5 credits50-420-7190.5 creditsFifth Semester50-420-7251 credit50-420-7260.5 credits50-420-7270.5 creditsSixth Semester50-420-7241 credit50-420-7331 creditSeventh Semester50-420-7281 credit50-420-7291 creditEighth Semester50-420-7230.5 credits50-420-7120.5Complete 1 of the following to complete the Eighth Semester50-420-7301 credit50-420-7311 credit
How to Apply for a Tool and Die Apprenticeship
Tool and die apprenticeship applicants must find an apprenticeship with a sponsoring employer on his or her own (similar to looking for a job). Once the applicant has found a position, the employer starts the apprenticeship registration process by contacting a Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) Representative for their county.
- Entry requirements vary by employers
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Physically able to perform trade
- Applicants apply directly to participating employers
All apprenticeships require an employer sponsor. After passing the application process, you will be responsible for finding an employer to sponsor you as an apprentice before you may begin the program.
Madison College Tool and Die Apprenticeship graduates are prepared to:
- Read Blueprints – Understand and interpret the types of lines used on shop drawings and part prints, apply tolerances and symbols, identify threads, tapers, and machined surfaces, and develop good sketching techniques.
- Perform Bench Work – Identify mechanical hardware and hand tools, precision measuring instruments, part layout, threading with taps and dies, files, and hand and power saws, and practice general shop safety.
- Work Engine Lathes – Basic lathe construction, single-point tool geometry, high-speed and carbide tool applications, and lathe operations including, turning, facing, grooving, boring, drilling, reaming, threading, taper turning, knurling, cut-off and safety.
- Work Tool-Room Milling Machines – Vertical mill construction and operation, end milling, side milling, key ways, boring and counter-boring, drilling and reaming, and follow safety procedures.
- Operate Surface and Cylindrical Grinders – Basic construction and operation, wheel selection, work-holding methods and grinder safety.
- Understand Metallurgy – Properties and applications of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
- Understand Mathematics – Fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, cutting speeds and feeds, basic algebra, geometry and trigonometry.
- Understand Jig and Fixture Design – Describe the basic functions of jigs and fixtures, explain the difference between locators and supports and select appropriate clamping mechanisms.
- Knowledge of Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) – Utilize CAM programs such as Feature-Cam to produce tool-paths for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) lathes and milling machines.
- Knowledge of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) – Set up and operate CNC lathes and milling machines using Computer Assisted Manufacturing tool-paths.
- Knowledge of Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM) – Describe the principles of EDM operation, compare electrode materials, discuss electrode machining methods, determine flushing requirements, and relate spark frequency to surface finish and metal removal rates.
- Understand Mold Making and Die-Cast Dies – Compare the properties of Thermoplastic and Thermoset plastics, explain the purpose of the various systems of plastic injection molding machines, explain the function of various mold components, select the appropriate metals for cavities, cores and mold bases, describe the different machining operations that may be used to produce mold cavities, cores and bases, calculate runner, gate and venting requirements, and demonstrate mold-polishing techniques.
- Understand Basic Die Making (Metal Stamping Dies) – Identify basic die components, explain the differences between blanking and piercing dies, calculate cutting and stripping forces, determine burr-side location, calculate bend allowances, develop stock strip layouts, calculate scrap-web allowances, explain the use of pilots, compare fixed and traveling strippers, calculate die spring requirements, and select appropriate steels for punches and dies.
Graduate Report Summary Overview
2020 2021 Number of Program Graduates 2 5 Number of Surveys Sent Number of Surveys Returned Percent of Surveys Returned Available for Employment 0 0 Percent Available for Employment Not in Labor Market Percent Not in Labor Market Available for Employment
2020 2021 Graduates Employed 0 0 Percent of Graduates Employed Employed in Related Occupation 0 0 Percent Employed in Related Occupation Employed in Unrelated Occupation 0 0 Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation Employed - No Response 0 0 Percent Employed - No Response Seeking Employment 0 0 Percent Seeking Employment Reaction To Training at Madison College
2020 2021 Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 0 0 Number of Satisfaction Responses 0 0 Very Satisfied (4) 0 0 Percent Very Satisfied Satisfied (3) 0 0 Percent Satisfied Unsatisfied (2) 0 0 Percent Unsatisfied Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 0 Percent Very Unsatisfied Primary Reason for Attending Madison College
2020 2021 Number of Primary Reason Responses 0 0 Preparation for Getting a Job 0 0 Percent Preparation for Getting a Job Career Change 0 0 Percent Career Change Improvement of Existing Skills 0 0 Percent Improvement of Existing Skills Preparation for Further Education 0 0 Percent Preparation for Further Education Personal Interest 0 0 Percent Personal Interest Other 0 0 Percent Other When Employment was Obtained
2020 2021 Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 0 0 Before Enrollment 0 0 Percent Before Enrollment While Attending the College 0 0 Percent While Attending the College After Training at the College 0 0 Percent After Training at the College Location of Employment (related and unrelated)
2020 2021 Number of Employment Location Responses 0 0 In College District 0 0 Percent In College District In Wisconsin, Not in District 0 0 Percent of In Wisconsin Outside of Wisconsin 0 0 Percent Outside Wisconsin Employer Location Unknown 0 0 Percent Location Unknown Salary Trend Salary Trend 2020 2021 Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count Average Monthly Wage Average Hourly Wage Average Work Hours per Week Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count Average Hourly Wage Average Work Hours per Week
Madison Truax Campus
Main Building, A2105
1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
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