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.
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:
- the National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers has a list of course providers
- Pianoforte Tuners’ Association has details of colleges providing courses in piano tuning and technology
- British Violin Making Association has details of violin making courses
- London Metropolitan University offers degrees in guitar making
2. Skills required
- 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.
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 environmentYou'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 progressionIf 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