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Arts & crafts

Musical instrument maker and repairer

Musical instrument makers and repairers create new musical instruments or repair ones that have been damaged.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

4.8%
Future employment

There will be 4.8% fewer Musical instrument maker and repairer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • build new instruments
  • repair or renovate damaged or worn instruments
  • restore or reproduce period instruments
  • work with materials like wood, metal, plastic and fibreglass
  • use traditional hand tools
  • fit plastic, fibreglass and electronic parts to modern instruments like electric guitars
  • apply finishing techniques like polishing and varnishing
  • tune instruments

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work from home, at a client's home, in a workshop or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • a specialised training course
University

You could do a specialist musical instrument craft degree at university.

You'd learn traditional skills and knowledge to specialise in building and repairing instruments like the guitar, violin, piano or woodwind.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
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
For more information
Other routes

To learn the specialist craft skills you'll need you could take 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.

More information

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

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • the ability to repair and test the performance of instruments
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • problem-solving skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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