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Firearms Repair Schools: How to Choose

Firearm repair, commonly referred to as gunsmithing, can be studied at the certificate and associate's degree levels. A federal firearms license is required to provide sales and repair services. Formal education prepares graduates to work in firearm retail stores and for firearm manufacturers.

Aspiring gunsmiths may find postgraduate employment opportunities in areas where firearms are commonly bought, sold and repaired. Only a few community and state colleges around the country offer programs for aspiring gunsmiths.

10 Firearms Repair Schools

These institutions offer gunsmithing programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Piedmont Technical College Greenwood, SC 2-year, Public Certificate $4,049 In-district; $4,601 In-state; $5,801Out-of-state
Pine Technical & Community College Pine City, MN 2-year, Public Certificate $4,066 In-state; $7,742 Out-of-state
Marshalltown Community College Marshalltown, IA 2-year, Public Associate's $4,416 In-state; $4,656 Out-of-state
Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,423 In-state; $8,567 Out-of-state
Montgomery Community College Troy, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,409 In-state; $8,553 Out-of-state
Murray State College Tishomingo, OK 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,340 In-state; $10,260 Out-of-state
Piedmont Community College Roxboro, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,419 In-state; $8,563 Out-of-state
Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad, CO 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,530 In-state; $7,318 Out-of-state
Yavapai College Prescott, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,064 In-state; $8,688 Out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students may want to take the following into account when choosing a school that offers programs in gunsmithing:

  • Students may want to consider the degree they want to pursue, from a certificate course that focuses on practical application, to an associate's degree that includes general education coursework and can be applied to a higher-level degree later.
  • Coursework can cover anything from restoration techniques to regulations, so students should ensure that a program encompasses everything necessary for their desired field.
  • Internship and licensing opportunities are available in many gunsmithing programs and can provide students with experience and a hands-on education.
  • The lengths of programs can vary, as some certificates can be completed in less than a year or longer, while an associate's degree takes two years.

Certificate in Gunsmithing

Certificate programs in gunsmithing typically take 1-2 years to complete. Students learn to identify different types of handguns, rifles and shotguns, as well as operate necessary diagnostics, repair and restoration tools.

Associate in Science in Gunsmithing

These 2-year programs prepare students for building, assessing, repairing and selling firearms. Students earn academic credit that may later be used toward a bachelor's degree. Some programs offer hands-on experience through volunteer or paid internship opportunities.

Choosing a program in firearms repair begins with determining whether you want to pursue studies towards a certificate or associate's degree. As there are a limited number of programs from which to choose, school locations and costs may be important in deciding which program to pursue.


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