Job type

Model maker

£16k - £30k

Typical salary

43 – 45

Hours per week

Model makers design and create 3D models for TV and film, and for use in engineering, construction and architecture.

More info

  • Make models of buildings, products or sets for architects, product design, or for film and TV
  • Use your practical skills and creative skills to create 3D representations
  • You could work as a freelancer, or as a specialist within a particular industry

As a model maker, you might specialise in different areas, including architectural design, product design, automotive design, or visual effects design.


  • 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


You'll use a range of materials like metal, wood, plastic, clay, card, resin and plaster to create models, and computerised techniques, like laser cutting or 3D printing, to get the right size and shape for your model parts. You might also model the surrounding area to show how the building will fit in with its environment. 

You could work in a creative studio or in a workshop, and your working environment might be dusty.

You'll need

To be a model maker, you'll need design skills and knowledge, thoroughness and attention to detail, knowledge of engineering science and technology, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, manufacturing production and processes knowledge, innovation, flexibility and openness to change, and analytical thinking skills.

You can do a foundation degree or degree in a subject like 3D design, art and design, sculpture, visual effects, or product design. A portfolio of work will get you onto a course, and a foundation course in art and design can help you prepare for this.

A college course would get you started as a model maker, in an art and design subject. A Level 3 Diploma in Carpentry, Woodworking or Engineering Design may also be helpful.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship that includes model making skills.

Direct application is possible if you have experience of model making from other work like engineering, architectural technology, set design, carpentry or prop making.


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.