Model maker

Design, arts and crafts
Produce Create

Career outlook for model maker

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

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


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


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





Self employed


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  • Implementing ideas
  • Attention to detail
  • Understanding
  • Working with technology
  • Designing
  • Creative
  • Working with numbers
  • Problem solving

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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.


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.