Model Maker

Job Description:

Model makers create 3D models for many uses, from prototypes and film sets, to construction, engineering and architecture projects.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

On a typical day you could:

  • discuss the brief with the designer or client
  • use freehand drawing skills or computer-aided design (CAD) to illustrate initial ideas
  • use a range of hand, power and machine tools and computerised equipment to make models
  • use electronics or mechanical methods to make working models with moving parts
  • carry out finishing processes like hand colouring or spray painting
  • make fully functioning prototypes of new products
  • use 3D printing and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) tools


You’ll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a model maker, you’ll need a combination of creativity, technical skills, and craftsmanship. While there are no specific subjects required to become a model maker, certain subjects can be helpful in developing the skills and knowledge needed for this career. Here’s a list of subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring model makers:

  1. Design and Technology: Design and Technology courses can provide a strong foundation in design principles, technical drawing, and hands-on craftsmanship, which are essential skills for model making.
  2. Art and Design: Art and Design can help you develop your artistic skills, including drawing, sculpting, and working with various materials. These skills are directly transferable to model making.
  3. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measurements, calculations, and scaling when creating models.
  4. Physics: While not mandatory, physics can be useful, especially if you plan to specialize in architectural or engineering models where understanding physical principles is important.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) software can be advantageous, as many modern model makers use digital tools for designing and planning.
  6. Woodwork or Metalwork: If your school offers woodwork or metalwork classes, taking these courses can be helpful for gaining hands-on experience with materials commonly used in model making.
  7. Graphic Design: Knowledge of graphic design software, like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, can be useful for creating decals, signage, or graphics on models.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship


You can do a foundation degree or degree in a subject like:

  • modelmaking
  • 3D design
  • art and design
  • sculpture
  • visual effects
  • product design

You’ll usually need a portfolio of work to get onto a course. A foundation course in art and design can help you to prepare for this.


You could do a college course to help you get started as a model maker. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Award In 3D Computer-aided Design
  • Diploma in 3D Design and Crafts
  • Diploma in Art and Design
  • Diploma in Carpentry, Woodworking or Engineering Design may also be helpful.


You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship that includes model making skills. For example, a Building services design technician or Engineering, woodworking, pattern and modelmaking advanced apprenticeships.

You can also do a Props technician advanced apprenticeship if you want to work in TV and film.

Direct Application

You may be able to apply for jobs if you have experience of model making from other work like engineering, architectural technology, set design, carpentry or prop making.

Career tips

Making things out of different types of materials as a hobby can help you to stretch your creativity and practise problem solving. You can demonstrate your potential to course providers and employers by creating a portfolio.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 43-45 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays flexibly.

You could work in a creative studio or in a workshop. Your working environment may be dusty. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

You could specialise in making models for a particular sector like architecture, advertising and exhibitions, product design, film, TV or animation.

With experience you could lead a team of model makers or manage a model making business.

You could run your own business or become an agent for other model makers.