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Musical instrument maker and repairer

Alternative titles for this job include Musical instrument technician

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

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a musical instrument maker and repairer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a specialised training course

University

You could do a specialist musical instrument craft degree at university.

You'd learn traditional skills and knowledge to specialise in building and repairing instruments like the guitar, violin, piano or woodwind.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You could do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology. This would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

There is an organ builder higher apprenticeship if you want to specialise in building and repairing pipe organs.

This typically takes 36 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

On successful completion you can apply for membership of the Institute of British Organ Building (IBO).

You may find other craft skills apprenticeships like leatherwork or carpentry may also give you some of the skills needed for instrument repair.

Other Routes

To learn the specialist craft skills you'll need you could take a short training course related to the type of instrument you want to make. Courses are offered by professional bodies for particular instruments and some university music departments.

Entry requirements will depend on the type of course you want to do.

More Information

Career tips

Craft skills are often more important than qualifications to get into this career. A background in woodworking or music technology may help.

You may also find it useful if you can play a musical instrument.

Further information

You can find details about training courses through The National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers.

You can get more information on working in crafts and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to repair and test the performance of instruments
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • problem-solving skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • build new instruments
  • repair or renovate damaged or worn instruments
  • restore or reproduce period instruments
  • work with materials like wood, metal, plastic and fibreglass
  • use traditional hand tools
  • fit plastic, fibreglass and electronic parts to modern instruments like electric guitars
  • apply finishing techniques like polishing and varnishing
  • tune instruments

Working environment

You could work from home, at a client's home, in a workshop or at a client's business.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a musical instrument maker and repairer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Music Technology

  • Provider: SIR JOHN LEMAN HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Beccles

Award in Music Technology

  • Provider: KENDAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 29 September 2021
  • Location: Kendal

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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