Programs in precision crafting and repair prepare people to make, modify, and repair precision items. Students may learn to work as gunsmiths, locksmiths, or watchmakers. They may learn to make and repair musical instruments. They also learn to maintain guns, locks, musical instruments, watches, clocks, and jewelry.
Technology, technology, technology. . . That's the buzzword these days. What can be automated is. People rely on their computers, cell phones, and PDAs more than ever. But no matter how many bells and whistles your cell phone has, it can't retrieve the car keys that you accidentally locked in your car. It will call the 24-hour locksmith, though!
Despite the push to become knowledgeable in every area of technology, there is a shortage of skilled craftspeople in several areas. This includes jewelry repair and design, musical instrument calibration, and gunsmithing. If you like paying attention to detail and have steady hands (and a lot of patience), working in an area of precision crafting and repair is a smart career choice.
There are several types of precision crafting and repair programs. Your courses will vary depending on the program's focus. For example, in watchmaking and repair programs, you learn how to use metric measuring tools and how to restore vintage timepieces. In gunsmithing programs, you learn how to use lathes and mills. You also learn how to make barrels and stocks. Overall, your courses teach you how to draw and read blueprints, safely use materials and tools, and fix damaged items.
A few private vocational schools and community colleges offer short programs in precision crafting and repair. Community colleges may also offer one-year certificate and two-year associate degree programs. Some high schools coordinate vocational programs with community colleges. This allows high school students to take precision crafting and repair courses before they graduate. In some cases, they are prepared for entry-level work as apprentices after they receive their high school diploma.