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Musical instrument maker and repairer

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Musical instrument makers and repairers create new musical instruments or repair ones that have been damaged.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but you’ll need skills in music technology or instrument making and repair.

You could develop skills by attending short or part-time courses: 

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent woodwork and metalwork skills
  • a good appreciation of pitch and quality of sound
  • problem solving skills
  • good practical skills
  • accuracy and precision
  • business skills, if self-employed

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • building new instruments
  • repairing or renovating damaged or worn instruments
  • restoring or producing period instruments
  • working with different materials like wood, metal, plastic and fibreglass
  • using traditional hand tools
  • fitting plastic, fibreglass and electronic parts to modern instruments like electric guitars
  • applying finishing techniques like polishing and varnishing
  • tuning instruments

Creative and Cultural Skills has more information about this job.

4. Salary

Most musical instrument makers and repairers are self-employed. Your earnings will depend on how successful you are at running your business.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Some part-time opportunities may be available. If you're self-employed, you'll choose your own working hours to meet your customers' demand.

You'll usually work in a workshop, or from home if you're self-employed. As a piano tuner you'll visit customers’ homes and other premises to service or repair instruments on site.

6. Career path and progression

If you work for a larger manufacturer, you may be able to progress to supervisor or manager level.

You could move into product development, buying or sales work.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018