Guitar Technician Training and Certification Program Overviews
Most guitar technicians learn the trade through on-the-job training or through community colleges, technical schools, or schools that specialize in guitar making (called lutherie). They offer certificate or diploma options for guitar making and repair.
Depending on the length of the program, students may receive an overview of custom construction of guitars, repair work, electronics, and audio engineering. Some guitar repair shops may also offer training in guitar repair. However, these are typically not accredited schools, and the courses they offer are non-credit. Though not required, students may benefit from personal experience with guitar playing. Students might actually build a guitar as part of their learning experiences.
- Program Levels for Guitar Technicians: Certificate and diploma options are available.
- Program Length: Programs in the guitar technician field vary in length.
Guitar Technician Coursework
Guitar technicians can work in repair shops, custom shops or factories. They may also travel with musicians on tour and be responsible for the maintenance of guitars used on stage.
Guitar technicians are trained to be experts in guitar maintenance; they must learn the techniques to repair both acoustic and electric guitars. Most guitar technician programs have students build at least one guitar from start to finish and provide an overview of the most common repairs requested. Courses could possibly include:
- Fret design
- Woodworking and refinishing
- Repair diagnostics
- Soldering and electronics
- Amplifier repair
- Sound theory
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to O*Net Online, employment of musical instrument repairers was expected to change at a slower-than-average rate from 2014-2024, with 1,900 job openings anticipated during that decade (www.onetonline.org). Guitar technicians can find work in guitar manufacturing facilities, small music stores or repair shops. They may also be self-employed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014, musical instrument repairers earned an annual mean wage of $36,200; technicians who worked for performing arts companies earned significantly more, at an average of $55,970 annually (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates seeking further education can find broader degree programs in guitar or musical instrument repair. In addition to courses in crafting and repair, curriculum includes general education classes such as English, musical theory and business management.
Several major guitar manufacturers offer certification for repairs to their specific guitars. While certification is not required to work as a guitar technician, it can help to demonstrate proficiency to potential employers.