Model maker

Model makers design and make 3D scale models to show how buildings or products will look.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

43 to 45 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly

How to become a Model maker

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship


You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

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

You'll need a portfolio of work to get onto a course. A foundation course in art and design may help you to prepare for a higher-level course, and to build up a portfolio.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship that includes model making skills. For example, an advanced apprenticeship in engineering woodworking, pattern and modelmaking.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

More information

Further information

Find more advice about working in model making in the creative industries through Creative Choices, and in animation through ScreenSkills.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • analytical thinking skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • discussing the brief with the designer or client
  • using freehand drawing skills or computer-aided design (CAD) to illustrate initial ideas
  • using a range of hand, power and machine tools and computerised equipment to make models
  • using electronics or mechanical methods to make working models with moving parts
  • carrying out finishing processes like hand colouring or spray painting

Working environment

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 and progression

With experience you could lead a team of model makers.

As a self-employed model maker you could become an agent for other model makers.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage : To be agreed upon appointment
  • Location: Oldbury B69 3HU

Advanced Apprenticeship - Mechanical Engineering

  • Wage : £191.82 Weekly
  • Location: Ulverston LA12 9EE

Courses In England

Foundation Degree in 3D Design (3D design, modelmaking, product design, furniture design D & T, CAD)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

Design and Technology - Product 3D Design A Level

  • Provider: Greenshaw High School
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Sutton

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