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Model maker

Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£31,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

43 to 45 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Model maker

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could do a college course to help you get started as a model maker. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Award In 3D Computer-aided Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in 3D Design and Crafts
  • Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design

A Level 3 Diploma in Carpentry, Woodworking or Engineering Design may also be helpful.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More Information


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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

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.

More Information

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.

Further information

Find more advice about working in model making in the creative industries through ScreenSkills.

For information on model making in architecture go to the Society of Architectural Illustrators.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and 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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice MEP Coordinator/Revit Coordinator

  • Wage: £17,500 a year Annually
  • Location: London

Technical Trainee Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,000 a year Annually
  • Location: Almondsbury Business Centre, Bristol

Courses In England

3D product design

  • Provider: BEAL HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Ilford

Award in 3D Computer Aided Design

  • Start date: 23 September 2024
  • Location: Halifax

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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