Clock Repair Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 11, 2019

A clock repair technician works on mechanical components such as the face, movement and winders of a clock. A technician can fix minor or major parts of the clock, replace ruined components and remedy case damage. Clock and jewelry stores employ many technicians; others are self-employed. Vocational, technical and specialized clock and jewelry repair schools offer training in clock repair.

Clock repair technicians, also called horologists, repair all types of clocks, including modern and antique clocks. Students may take standalone courses in the field or earn certificates and/or associate's degrees in clock repair, watchmaking or a closely related field.

Schools with Programs in Horology

Horology programs in the United States are offered at a number of institutions, including those listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2018-2019)
Bishop State Community College Mobile, AL 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $4,740; Out-of-state $8,610
Gem City College Quincy, IL <2-year, Private for-profit Certificate Program cost ranges from $7,475 to $22,225, depending on length
Lititz Watch Technicum Lititz, PA Non-traditional, Private Diploma, Apprenticeship Free tuition; tool kit costs $7,000
North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking Dallas, TX Non-traditional, Private Certification courses Accepted students earn a scholarship that includes tuition, fees and tools
North Seattle Community College Seattle, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,461
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology Okmulgee, OK 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $5,550; Out-of-state $11,160
Paris Junior College Paris, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $2,400; In-state $3,900; Out-of-state $5,400
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Courses $2,314 (15 credits)**
North Bennet Street School Boston, MA 2-year, Private not-for-profit Diploma $25,000** (2019-2020)
Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, WI 2-year, Public Course $136.50 per credit, In-state; $204.75 per credit Out-of-state**

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics; **School website

School Selection Criteria

Students choosing a school for clock repair training may want to keep in mind important considerations such as these:

  • Some programs require students to purchase their own equipment, which can add substantially to the overall program cost. Therefore, prospective students may want to look for programs that are sponsored by well-respected watch manufacturers, such as Rolex, to ensure that they gain experience with high-quality materials.
  • A low student-to-teacher ratio is important, since individualized instruction plays a key role in this type of hands-on precision training.
  • Some programs may allow students to specialize their training; potential specializations include vintage, antique, electric, quartz or mechanical clock repair.
  • Clock repair workshops that are stocked with standard equipment used in the field may help prepare a student for a post-graduate career.

Standalone Courses

Courses fit individuals who want to get an entry-level position in clock repair. Repair skills, specialized repairs, chiming movement and tall clocks are all common class topics.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in clock repair or horology take 6-12 months. These programs are for students looking for a more in-depth education and a career in clock repair. Courses may include repair techniques, assessments, price estimation, advanced tools and use of lathes. Students often rebuild a broken/unused clock using learned tools and techniques.

Associate's Degree Programs

A few schools offer associate's degree programs in watchmaking and technology. In these programs, students learn about the mechanical aspects of watch technology and learn how to maintain and repair watches. Programs may also cover the artistic aspects of watch design, as well as business management principles that are relevant for students who plan to open a repair shop. Some programs also provide training for specific certification examinations, such as the American Watchmaker-Clockmaker Institute (AWCI) Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century examination. Prior to graduation from one of these two-year programs, students must also fulfill general education requirements.

A career as a horologist can be pursued by completing courses, a certificate or an associate's degree from a recognized horology program. Program costs vary widely, and students should check whether they need to buy a tool kit.

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