There are relatively few new workers becoming molder apprentices today, as positions for molders have declined significantly during the last decade. Molders are skilled artisans who are gradually being replaced by technicians who can set up and maintain automated mold making machinery. Those who are entering this field are mainly replacing workers who retire, transfer, or leave the occupation. Competition for available openings can be intense as positions are more likely to be filled by experienced workers who are already in the industry. Employment of molders is expected to decline rapidly through 2018, despite increases in foundry production. In general, this is because of the continued trend toward labor-saving automated machine molding. Also causing the decline in employment opportunities is improved productivity, advances in technology, and increased foreign competition. There is likely to be more employment growth in plastics-molding, coremaking, and casting machine operation.

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