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.

Salary range: Variable

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How to become a musical instrument maker and repairer

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • a specialised training course
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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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Other routes

You’ll need to learn specialist skills in musical instrument making and repair.

You could take a foundation degree, or 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.

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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 and Creative Choices.

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

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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
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • analytical thinking skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

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.

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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.