What do they do?

Metal casting engineers produce parts from molten metal and test, control and adjust the chemical make-up of the metal. They use traditional and modern techniques and a high level of skill.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required.

Work can include reading, interpreting and creating design drawings, producing replicas, before making moulds, selecting the metals, inspecting, testing and repairing castings, then tempering, hardening, polishing and coating the final product.

You will learn about all sorts of materials; metals, woods, clays, plastics and resins.


Sound like you?

  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management.
  • Reasonable strength and fitness
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Good literacy and numeracy skills
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery.
  • Inside (workshop or plant).


These can be useful from school:

Ideally NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English.


  • Foundryman
  • Pattern Maker
  • Mould Maker
  • Metal worker
  • Metal Forger
  • Blacksmith
  • Metal Extruder
  • Metal Worker.


Higher learning

  • Specialist Engineer
  • Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Workshop Supervisor
  • Welding Supervisor.

Higher learning

  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner.

Qualifications available

This qualification is designed to enable trainees/apprentices employed in the metal casting discipline of engineering to gain recognition for the relevant skills and knowledge required by industry.

The qualification represents a set of foundation skills for mechanical engineering and specific skills in metal casting and engineering pattern making. Metal casting embraces moulding and pattern making skills. Technological advances have initiated a convergence of these historical trades: it is impossible for either to exist in isolation. People awarded this qualification can use the tools and make castings or patterns/tooling applicable to metal casting.

NZQA qualification overview Fees free eligible

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview