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Career Profile: Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

Mold, shape, form, cast, or carve products such as food products, figurines, tile, pipes, and candles consisting of clay, glass, plaster, concrete, stone, or combinations of materials.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 46,300 people employed as molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic in the United States. The median annual salary is $35,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $25,490 per year and senior employees earn approximately $53,290 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Read work orders or examine parts to determine parts or sections of products to be produced.
  • Trim or remove excess material, using scrapers, knives, or band saws.
  • Brush or spray mold surfaces with parting agents or insert paper into molds to ensure smoothness and prevent sticking or seepage.
  • Engrave or stamp identifying symbols, letters, or numbers on products.
  • Assemble, insert, and adjust wires, tubes, cores, fittings, rods, or patterns into molds, using hand tools and depth gauges.
  • Clean, finish, and lubricate molds and mold parts.
  • Separate models or patterns from molds and examine products for accuracy.
  • Set the proper operating temperature for each casting.
  • Load or stack filled molds in ovens, dryers, or curing boxes, or on storage racks or carts.
  • Align and assemble parts to produce completed products, using gauges and hand tools.
  • Operate and adjust controls of heating equipment to melt material or to cure, dry, or bake filled molds.
  • Select sizes and types of molds according to instructions.
  • Patch broken edges or fractures, using clay or plaster.
  • Withdraw cores or other loose mold members after castings solidify.
  • Repair mold defects, such as cracks or broken edges, using patterns, mold boxes, or hand tools.
  • Measure and cut products to specified dimensions, using measuring and cutting instruments.
  • Smooth surfaces of molds, using scraping tools or sandpaper.
  • Measure ingredients and mix molding, casting material, or sealing compounds to prescribed consistencies, according to formulas.
  • Remove excess materials and level and smooth wet mold mixtures.
  • Operate molding machines that compact sand in flasks to form molds.
  • Place forms around models and separately immerse each half portion of a model in plaster, wax, or other mold-making materials.
  • Verify dimensions of products, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, vernier gauges, or protractors.
  • Bore holes or cut grates, risers, or pouring spouts in molds, using power tools.
  • Locate and scribe parting lines on patterns, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, squares, or depth gauges.
  • Tap or tilt molds to ensure uniform distribution of materials.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
46,300
Annual Openings:
5,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
15%
Annual Salary Range:
$25,490 - $53,290
Education Requirements:
High school diploma