How to become a Model Maker

Model makers construct full-size and scale models of landscape, engineering, architectural, automotive and other industrial designs. They work from scale drawings, plans, photographs and lists of figures or specifications requiring conversion to three-dimensional form. These models help designers to see how a project, such as a building or a car, will look or work before it is completed. Some model makers, such as automotive clay modellers, may specialise in high-quality artistic work, while others may concentrate on technically accurate models.

Personal requirements for a Model Maker

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to visualise three-dimensional forms when looking at a technical drawing
  • Creative and practical
  • Able to work quickly and accurately
  • Good at mathematics

Education & Training for a Model Maker

You can work as a model maker without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications and you may like to consider a VET course. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.


Duties & Tasks of a Model Maker

Model makers:

  • Look at drawings, drafts or samples and consult designers about specifications
  • Choose suitable material, mark out parts, determine layout and cut out pieces using the appropriate cutting equipment for the material being used
  • Construct models using a variety of adhesives, machinery and hand tools
  • Operate computer modelling programs
  • Colour a model using paint, varnish and other finishes
  • Add details to create authenticity such as windows, road lines and lettering
  • Construct working models, such as model furnaces, to test if they work properly prior to construction
  • Comply with local or national design standards
  • Alter models to meet new specifications.

Tasks

  • Assists photographers in taking and developing photographs.
  • Plans the interior design of commercial or residential premises and arranges for decorating work to be done.
  • Sets up, adjusts, repairs and troubleshoots machines which manufacture plastics products.
  • Interprets optical prescriptions, and fits and services optical appliances such as spectacle frames and lenses.
  • Swims underwater to undertake tasks such as seafood gathering, research, salvage and construction.
  • Operates machines to grind, polish and surface optical lenses to meet prescription requirements, and fits lenses to spectacle frames.
  • Classifies wool to industry standards or market requirements.

Working conditions for a Model Maker

Model makers work in industrial research or design and development laboratories, which may be in offices or open workshops.


Employment Opportunities for a Model Maker

Most model makers work on a contract basis. There are a number of companies that undertake model making for a wide range of activities, including architectural, engineering and topographical models, promotional displays, stage props and sculptures.


Specializations

Model Maker

Model makers construct full-size and scale models of landscape, engineering, architectural, automotive and other industrial designs. They work from scale drawings, plans, photographs and lists of figures or specifications requiring conversion to three-dimensional form. These models help designers to see how a project, such as a building or a car, will look or work before it is completed. Some model makers, such as automotive clay modellers, may specialise in high-quality artistic work, while others may concentrate on technically accurate models.

  • Average age
    Average age
    40 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    39% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,146
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    68% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    17,900 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.4%
    NSW: 32.6%
    NT: 0.8%
    QLD: 19.2%
    SA: 8.1%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 24.5%
    WA: 11.1%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 2.1%
    20-24: 10.4%
    25-34: 24.6%
    35-44: 23%
    45-54: 22%
    55-59: 8.5%
    60-64: 5.8%
    65 and Over: 3.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 15.4%
    Bachelor degree: 12.5%
    Below Year 10: 0%
    Certificate III/IV: 34.9%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.9%
    Year 10 and below: 10.4%
    Year 11: 4.4%
    Year 12: 19.5%
    Years 11 & 10: 22.5%
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