To work as a watch repairer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete long-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some watch repairers complete a formal training program in horology (the study of watchmaking and repair). Watch repair programs take up to two years to complete. Programs award certificates or degrees. There are only about ten of these programs nationwide and a few home study courses.
Apprenticeship positions are available, but difficult to find. Apprenticeships include a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job work experience. They generally take longer than school-based programs. Watch repairer apprenticeship programs typically take 8,000 hours to complete.
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities in your area, consult the US Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
Most watch repairers learn their skills on the job from an experienced repairer or watchmaker. You begin as a helper and work on more complex tasks as you gain experience. Training includes:
- using equipment and tools;
- making repairs; and
- providing customer service.
Training may last up to three years. Watch manufacturers also provide training for repairers.
Some branches of the military train people to be precision instrument and equipment repairers. Training lasts seven to eight weeks, depending on your specialty. Further training occurs on the job. While this training is not an exact match with watch repair, you can learn some skills that will prepare you for this occupation.