Horologist, clock maker
Clock and watch repairers mend and restore clocks and watches.
Salary range: £16,000 to £40,000
How to become a watch or clock repairer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You could do one of the following courses:
- a degree in horology
- a foundation degree in historic craft practices – clocks
You can also study for a postgraduate qualification in clock conservation.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could start by doing a part-time course in watch and clock repair at a local college. After completing a basic repair course, you could move on to more in-depth training like:
- Level 3 Diploma in Clock or Watch Servicing
- Level 4 Diploma in the Servicing and Repair of Clocks and Watches
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You can get into this role through a watchmaker advanced apprenticeship.
This apprenticeship is recognised by the British Watch and Clockmakers Guild and is eligible for membership.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You could try to find a trainee position with a watch repair firm who would then put you through their own training programme.
You could take training through the British Horological Institute. They offer short courses for beginners along with more advanced qualifications.
You can also study for a professional qualification on the Watchmaker Training Programme at The British School of Watchmaking.
Professional and industry bodies
You can find out more about watchmaking careers from the British Horological Institute.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with your hands
- persistence and determination
- the ability to use your initiative
- analytical thinking skills
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- inspecting and taking apart watches or clocks to identify faults
- replacing batteries
- cleaning and oiling parts
- making new parts to replace worn ones
- checking for accuracy
- fitting new watch straps
- etching or engraving designs onto a watch face
You could work in a workshop.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could manage a workshop or retail jewellery outlet, or run your own business repairing or designing watches.
If you specialise in antique clocks, you could work in a museum conserving antique clocks, or work at an auctioneers as a valuer.