Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners

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Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners

Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners - Preparation

To work as a musical instrument repairer and tuner, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
  • complete an apprenticeship program.

Education after high school

Most repairers and tuners learn their skills through apprenticeship training programs. Union and non-union apprenticeship programs are available. Admission to apprenticeship programs is competitive. To apply for an apprenticeship, you must:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • be at least 18 years old; and
  • be in good physical condition.

Apprenticeship programs usually consist of four years of on-the-job training. You are paid for the time you spend on the job. In addition, each year you receive at least 144 hours of classroom training.

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities in your area, consult the US Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.

You can prepare for an apprenticeship by taking courses at a professional-technical or two-year school. 

Some musical instrument repairers complete formal training programs. Some professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer programs in this area. After completing a two-year program, you earn a certificate. You can also earn a certificate through a correspondence course. Organ repairers may need a certificate in electronics. Some instrument repairers have a bachelor's degree, though not always in instrument repair.

Most, if not all, instrument repairers know how to play the instruments they repair. For some instruments, this is necessary.

On-the-job training

Instrument repairers learn additional skills on the job. You work with an experienced repairer and tuner and begin as a helper. You work on more complex tasks as you gain experience. Training includes instruction in:

  • using equipment and tools;
  • making repairs; and
  • tuning instruments.

Training may last from two to five years.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.