Tool Designer

Tool designers assist in the design and development of the tools needed for the mass production of manufactured goods. They act as the link between the engineers, who develop ideas for machine tools, and the toolmakers, who are the artisans.

They may originate designs and prepare sketches of cutting tools, jigs, dies and other attachments, or re-design and improve existing tools. Experimental tools are constructed and tested for performance, durability and efficiency and the results of these tests analysed in written reports. Layouts and drawings of the assembly process are prepared, estimating labour costs, equipment life and plant space. The tool designer frees the engineer for more technical tasks.

Tools designers work at desks and drawing boards in offices, laboratories and shops. Work settings are usually quiet, well lit and comfortable.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Minimum Grade 9
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

In-service training can be undertaken, under the supervision of an experienced tool designer.


  • aircraft equipment and other machinery companies
  • engineering firms
  • government departments
  • manufacturers of motorcars

Further Information

Any of the above-mentioned potential employers

P O Box 6848
Marshaltown, 2107
Tel: (011) 544-1316 Fax: (011) 484-8620

Getting Started

  • contact one of the universities of technology and enquire about training and employers
  • arrange to speak to a tool designer about this type of career and ask permission to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

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