How to become a Tool and Die Setter

Tool and die setters set up and adjust machine tools and production machines, such as automatic lathes or multiple-operation machines.

Personal requirements of a Tool and Die Setter

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Patient
  • Able to carry out accurate work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Alert and safety-conscious
  • Aptitude for technical activities

Education & Training for a Tool and Die Setter

To become a tool and die setter you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Tool and Die Setter

Tool and die setters:

  • study job cards, drawings or other instructions and determine the sequence of machine operation
  • set up the cutting or shaping tools or dies needed in machines or presses for precision work
  • measure and mark reference points and fix work pieces, position and fasten cutting tools, and adjust machine trowels using basic hand tools such as spanners, allen keys and screwdrivers
  • adjust the guides, stops and other controls of machines to ensure stock is machined to the sizes required
  • trial machines, make adjustments as required, advise or instruct operators and watch the first operations
  • periodically check product sizes and report any problems or readjust machines using measuring instruments.

Working conditions for a Tool and Die Setter

A tool and die setter is usually responsible for setting up and running a number of machines in a factory or workshop. These machines are then operated by other workers, usually in situations where large-scale production techniques are used. Tool and die setters work in factories and workshops, which can be noisy at times, although the work environment is generally spacious, ventilated and well lit. They wear protective clothing and may be required to stand for long periods.

Employment Opportunities for a Tool and Die Setter

Tool and die setters are mainly employed in organisations that manufacture plastic products, industrial machinery and equipment, fabricated metal products, basic iron and steel, motor vehicles and parts, household appliances and electrical equipment.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 0.3%

NSW NSW 26.2%

NT NT 0.7%

QLD QLD 18.8%

SA SA 8.1%

TAS TAS 3.5%

VIC VIC 24.3%

WA WA 18.2%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 95.6%

Female 4.4%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 1.1%

20-24 - 8.9%

25-34 - 21%

35-44 - 20.8%

45-54 - 21%

55-59 - 16.6%

60-64 - 6.6%

65 and Over - 4.1%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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