Watch or clock repairer

Horologist, clock maker

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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

University

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.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

College

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

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More information

Apprenticeship

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.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More information

Work

You could try to find a trainee position with a watch repair firm who would then put you through their own training programme.

Other routes

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.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British Horological Institute and The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers for training opportunities and professional development.

Further information

You can find out more about watchmaking careers from the British Horological Institute.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

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