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Women in Manufacturing

woman tool and die

The time has come for women in manufacturing to become common. According to the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, women represent about 47% of the workforce but only 29% of the manufacturing industry. That is a vast pool of untapped talent, and get this, there are projected to be more than 2 million total jobs to go unfilled during the next 10 years. Manufacturing jobs offer great careers, interesting and challenging work, and good potential earnings. In a great call-to-action, Carlos Ghosn, Chairman Renault-Nissan Alliance said, “Hiring and promoting talented women is the right thing to do for society—and it’s an economic imperative.”

Tool & Die Machinist Jobs

Becoming a tool & die machinist can be a great career for a woman who wants to work in a fascinating industry filled with the latest technology; one that has great reach into exciting manufacturing categories like aerospace, automotive, electrical, telecommunications, medical, military, and many others. Tool & die machinists set up and operate sophisticated machine tools that produce precision metal parts, tools and instruments, working in machine shops, factories and tool rooms. The employment outlook overall for machinists and tool & die makers is projected to continue to grow during the next decade.

How to Become a Tool & Die Machinist

With the currently strong educational focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), it is gratifying to see a rising interest in technology, engineering, science and manufacturing careers for both men and women.

Steps to take for a woman or a man to become a tool & die maker or machinist are:

  1. Master math skills including basic algebra and trigonometry and be able to apply formulas.
  2. Learn computer drafting and be able to create and interpret mechanical drawings.
  3. Get a High School diploma
  4. If possible, enter an apprenticeship program (which can be competitive) at a local tool & die shop while still in High School to become acquainted with basic shop operations and to experience the working environment.
  5. Study machine tool technology and manufacturing at a good vocational school, community college or university. Make sure the school you choose is accredited and has a variety of machine tools to learn from. A typical machine tool technology program will last two years.
  6. Complete your apprenticeship training program.
  7. Get a copy of the Machinery Handbook and become familiar with it.
  8. Buy a good set of quality precision tools for yourself.

Once you gain a job, focus on expanding your experience by learning from your team member career professionals—seek their tips and insights. Also, advance your career as a woman tool & die professional by becoming certified.

Advocacy and Support for Women

The Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM) is a trade association that “works to empower women workers and strengthen the manufacturing sector.” There are over 3,000 members of WiM representing over 1,000 companies. WiM offers professional development events, career information, publications, and data.

In addition, the Manufacturing Institute has launched the STEP women’s initiative to support women in the fields of engineering, production, and technology and to inspire joining these careers.

Seek Proven Expertise and Great Careers in Quality Metal Stamping

Contact Velocity Metalworks, serving the Greater St. Louis area and the Midwest. We have been recognized as a valued partner in the metal stamping industry for our strong tool design and build competency. With our metal stamping capacity, precision machining services and EDM capability, we provide the superior experience, precision, and quality companies rely on.