How to become a Model Maker?

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model of chess

In this post we will be looking at modelmaking as a career.

A professional model maker will create three dimensional models for a wide variety of purposes. A client will present an idea, drawings or an item to copy and using this information a model is crafted.

The type of model can range from architectural models, prototypes of a product, window displays, works of art, an exhibition piece and much more. In fact, anything you can think of can be modelled.

A model maker has to have a variety of skills, often combining the technical with the creative. As well as a good knowledge of CAD software they need to be able to solve complex problems and team this alongside understanding which types of materials will work best in each individual case. Of course, they also need to ensure the finished article looks great too.

How to train as a model maker

As already seen, a range of complimentary skills is required to start out. You must of course be artistic, but alongside this you must have a knack for communication, trying to prise out as much information from clients will help ensure there are less adjustments to be made as you move along the model making process.

Another requirement is patience and focus, you will often be concentrating and partaking in detailed work for long periods of time. Someone that likes to move from on task to another quickly will likely not be suited to this type of job.

You might want to consider gaining A Levels or a Degree in an area such as technical drawing, woodwork, metalwork, CAD, art subjects. In fact anything that can help demonstrate your potential to an employer.

Skill and experience will win over a formal education if you want to be a model maker, but this is almost impossible if you are just starting out. By building a portfolio of work alongside A Levels or a degree in a relevant subject can help to show what you are capable of. There are also a number of more vocational qualifications available that may be more suitable for you. We would recommend speaking to a careers advisors to find out what courses are available in your area.

Career Progression

There are those that will specialise in a particular field, such as architectural model makers or special effects for film and TV. You may also find that your skillset and preference sees you concentrating on one particular aspect and becoming an expert in it e.g. CAD design. With this in mind as a newcomer it is advisable to start your journey working with a company that works with a variety of different techniques, materials and with different types of clients. This will give you a much better idea of how you would like your career to progress.

If you haven’t yet decided if you want a career as a model maker then you could always speak to local firms to see if there are opportunities for work experience. This will help to firm up your decisions about which subject to study further in school or at university.