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Career profile Wood Model Maker

Also known as Craftsman, Model Builder, Model Maker, Product Development Carpenter, Sample Builder, Sample Maker, Sample Worker

Wood Model Maker

Also known as Craftsman, Model Builder, Model Maker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Artistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$38,380 - $82,710 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Design
  • Production and Processing
  • Engineering and Technology
Core tasks
  • Verify dimensions and contours of models during hand-forming processes, using templates and measuring devices.
  • Read blueprints, drawings, or written specifications, and consult with designers to determine sizes and shapes of patterns and required machine setups.
  • Set up, operate, and adjust a variety of woodworking machines such as bandsaws and lathes to cut and shape sections, parts, and patterns, according to specifications.
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What does a Wood Model Maker do?

Wood Model Makers construct full-size and scale wooden precision models of products.

In addition, Wood Model Makers includes wood jig builders and loft workers.

What kind of tasks does a Wood Model Maker perform regularly?

Wood Model Makers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Verify dimensions and contours of models during hand-forming processes, using templates and measuring devices.
  • Read blueprints, drawings, or written specifications, and consult with designers to determine sizes and shapes of patterns and required machine setups.
  • Set up, operate, and adjust a variety of woodworking machines such as bandsaws and lathes to cut and shape sections, parts, and patterns, according to specifications.
  • Fit, fasten, and assemble wood parts together to form patterns, models, or sections, using glue, nails, dowels, bolts, and screws.
  • Trim, smooth, and shape surfaces, and plane, shave, file, scrape, and sand models to attain specified shapes, using hand tools.
  • Select wooden stock, determine layouts, and mark layouts of parts on stock, using precision equipment such as scribers, squares, and protractors.
  • Construct wooden models, patterns, templates, full scale mock-ups, and molds for parts of products and production tools.
  • Mark identifying information on patterns, parts, and templates to indicate assembly methods and details.
  • Plan, lay out, and draw outlines of units, sectional patterns, or full-scale mock-ups of products.
  • Fabricate work aids such as scrapers or templates.
  • Maintain pattern records for reference.
  • Build jigs that can be used as guides for assembling oversized or special types of box shooks.

The above responsibilities are specific to Wood Model Makers. More generally, Wood Model Makers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

What is a Wood Model Maker salary?

The median salary for a Wood Model Maker is $64,050, and the average salary is $62,600. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Wood Model Maker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Wood Model Makers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Wood Model Makers earn less than $38,380 per year, 25% earn less than $52,160, 75% earn less than $75,650, and 90% earn less than $82,710.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Wood Model Makers is expected to change by 30.0%, and there should be roughly 100 open positions for Wood Model Makers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$38,380 - $82,710
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Wood Model Makers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Wood Model Maker are usually higher in their Realistic, Artistic, and Conventional interests.

Wood Model Makers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Wood Model Makers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Lastly, Wood Model Makers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Wood Model Maker tend to value Support, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Wood Model Makers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Wood Model Makers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Wood Model Makers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Wood Model Makers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Wood Model Makers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Wood Model Makers need?

Wood Model Makers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wood Model Makers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Wood Model Makers

  • 16.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 35.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.7% completed some college coursework
  • 8.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Wood Model Makers

Wood Model Makers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as design, production and processing, or engineering and technology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Wood Model Makers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Wood Model Makers

Wood Model Makers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Wood Model Makers need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, finger dexterity, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Wood Model Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Wood Model Makers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Wood Model Makers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Wood Model Makers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.