Model maker

Produce Create

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would design and make scale models for film and TV shows, to test out new products or to how how new buildings will look.

You would make 3D scale models (or mock-ups) for:

  • Architectural design, producing scale models of new and existing building designs
  • Product design, making models of new products designed for testing before production starts
  • Visual effects design, creating models used in special effects or to illustrate set designs in TV, film and theatre

If you produce architectural models, you might also create a model of the surrounding area to show how the building will fit into the environment.

You would:

  • Discuss the requirements - the brief - with the designer or client
  • Look at and understand plans and technical drawings
  • Use freehand drawing skills or computer-aided design (CAD) to illustrate initial ideas
  • Consult with your client and make changes to the design before you make the model
  • 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
  • Finish models with hand colouring or spray painting

You’d use a wide range of materials like metal, wood, plastic, clay, card, resin and plaster to create your models.

You might also use computerised techniques such as laser cutting or 3D printing to get the right size and shape for your model parts.

You would need to be aware of health and safety requirements.

Working conditions

Hours

You may need to work long and irregular hours. This could include evenings and weekends when there are deadlines to meet.

Environment

You’d usually be based in a workshop or studio. Some of the materials you use may produce dust or unpleasant or dangerous fumes, so you would need to wear a protective mask and gloves at times.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working with your hands
  • Using computers
  • Designing
  • Being logical
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

There are no set routes into this job but most employers value a good general education including English and maths.

A National Certificate in Model Making for TV and Film (SCQF level 6) requires two National 5 qualifications.

You can enter a Higher National Diploma course in 3D: Design: Model Making for the Creative Industry (SCFQ level 8) with National 5 qualifications and one Higher or a relevant NC/NQ.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by many courses and employers) 
  • Art and design (required by many courses and employers)
  • Graphic communication
  • Design and manufacture
  • Technologies subjects such as practical craft skills

You will also need

You will need a portfolio of your work when applying to courses and to jobs. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show creative, craft and model-making skills such as: 

  • National Certificate in Model Making for TV and Film (SCFQ level 6)
  • Higher National Diploma in 3D: Design: Model Making for the Creative Industry (SCFQ level 8)

There are currently no model-making degree courses (SCFQ level 9/10) in Scotland but design-centred courses with craft and model-making elements such as interior design may be of value.