Programs in tool and die technology prepare people to make metal parts and tools by operating machines. Students learn to make special tools, dies, jigs, and fixtures that can be used to finish metal components. Students also learn to adjust and maintain machine tools.
Tool and die makers are highly skilled tradespersons that are behind nearly every item we use on a daily basis. From your water bottle to the car you drive, tool and die makers helped create them. This is because they build the equipment and machines that manufacture the things we can't live without.
In tool and die technology programs, you learn how to cut and shape metal and other industrial materials into tools and dies. You learn how to drill, bore, stamp and forge metal and plastic. You also learn how to file, grind, and polish finished products. In addition, you learn how to fix dies, jigs, and tools. By learning how to perform these techniques, you also learn about different metals and alloys.
Furthermore, you learn how to operate different types of tools and machines, including lathes, grinders, and mills. You also learn how to operate machines that are programmed by computers. In addition, you study technical math, computer software, and blueprint reading.
With a degree in tool and die technology, you can work in many types of industries. These include automotive, aerospace, metalworking, and plastics.
Many private vocational schools and community colleges offer short programs in tool and die technology. About 40 community colleges also offer one-year certificate and two-year associate degree programs. Some high schools coordinate vocational programs with community colleges. This allows high school students to take tool and die technology courses before they graduate. In some cases, they are prepared for entry-level work as apprentices after they receive their high school diploma.