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Career profile Wood Patternmaker

Also known as Apprentice Pattern Maker, Journeyman Patternmaker, Mold Maker, Pattern Maker, Wood Pattern Maker

Wood Patternmaker

Also known as Apprentice Pattern Maker, Journeyman Patternmaker, Mold Maker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$32,380 - $83,050 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Monitoring
  • Complex Problem Solving
Knowledge Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
Core tasks
  • Read blueprints, drawings, or written specifications to determine sizes and shapes of patterns and required machine setups.
  • Fit, fasten, and assemble wood parts together to form patterns, models, or sections, using glue, nails, dowels, bolts, and screws.
  • Lay out patterns on wood stock and draw outlines of units, sectional patterns, or full-scale mock-ups of products, based on blueprint specifications and sketches, and using marking and measuring devices.
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What does a Wood Patternmaker do?

Wood Patternmakers plan, lay out, and construct wooden unit or sectional patterns used in forming sand molds for castings.

What kind of tasks does a Wood Patternmaker perform regularly?

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

  • Read blueprints, drawings, or written specifications to determine sizes and shapes of patterns and required machine setups.
  • Fit, fasten, and assemble wood parts together to form patterns, models, or sections, using glue, nails, dowels, bolts, and screws.
  • Lay out patterns on wood stock and draw outlines of units, sectional patterns, or full-scale mock-ups of products, based on blueprint specifications and sketches, and using marking and measuring devices.
  • Trim, smooth, and shape surfaces, and plane, shave, file, scrape, and sand models to attain specified shapes, using hand tools.
  • Divide patterns into sections according to shapes of castings to facilitate removal of patterns from molds.
  • Verify dimensions of completed patterns, using templates, straightedges, calipers, or protractors.
  • Correct patterns to compensate for defects in castings.
  • 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.
  • Finish completed products or models with shellac, lacquer, wax, or paint.
  • Estimate costs for patternmaking jobs.
  • Mark identifying information such as colors or codes on patterns, parts, and templates to indicate assembly methods.
  • Repair broken or damaged patterns.
  • Maintain pattern records for reference.
  • Glue fillets along interior angles of patterns.
  • Construct wooden models, templates, full scale mock-ups, jigs, or molds for shaping parts of products.
  • Compute dimensions, areas, volumes, and weights.
  • Select lumber to be used for patterns.
  • Collect and store patterns and lumber.
  • Inventory equipment and supplies, ordering parts and tools as necessary.

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

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Wood Patternmaker salary?

The median salary for a Wood Patternmaker is $65,120, and the average salary is $60,750. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Wood Patternmaker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Wood Patternmakers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Wood Patternmakers earn less than $32,380 per year, 25% earn less than $45,210, 75% earn less than $75,690, and 90% earn less than $83,050.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Wood Patternmakers is expected to change by 50.0%, and there should be roughly 0 open positions for Wood Patternmakers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$32,380 - $83,050
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Wood Patternmakers?


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 Patternmaker are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Artistic interests.

Wood Patternmakers 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 Patternmakers typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Wood Patternmakers 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.

Wood Patternmakers 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 Patternmaker tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

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

Second, Wood Patternmakers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Wood Patternmakers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

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 Patternmakers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and initiative.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Wood Patternmakers, 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 a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Wood Patternmakers need?

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

Wood Patternmakers 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 Patternmakers

  • 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 Patternmakers

Wood Patternmakers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mathematics, engineering and technology, or design knowledge.

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

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Wood Patternmakers

Wood Patternmakers 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 Patternmakers need abilities such as manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, and control precision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Wood Patternmakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
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.
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).
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Critical Skills needed by Wood Patternmakers

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 Patternmakers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, monitoring, and complex problem solving to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Wood Patternmakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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.