Manufacturers of large items like automobiles and aircraft are constantly seeking automated tools and methods to improve productivity and reduce costs. A tooling engineer provides input on achieving those goals. According to SalaryList.com, a tooling engineer in 2009 working in the United States made an annual average salary of $59,217.
Developing new tooling methods, building innovative tools and revamping tooling standards to reduce production costs are the main duties of this job. Researching new suppliers and tooling concepts is required. Project scheduling to test new tools and processes is part of the job.
Creative and progressive thinking is required to be a competent tooling engineer. Good communication skills enable the engineer to exchange tooling ideas with project managers, cost estimators and process engineers. In-depth knowledge of large-scale production and manufacturing is necessary.
A tooling engineer needs between seven and 10 years experience in tooling design and development. Experience as a machinist or supervisor of automated systems is preferred. Industry-specific background is a plus.