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.


  • aircraft equipment and other machinery companies

  • engineering firms

  • government departments

  • manufacturers of motorcars

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


Boland TVET College, Coastal KZN TVET College, College of Cape Town , Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Motheo TVET College, Tshwane North TVET College, Vuselela TVET College

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