Guitar amplifier repair and design is often a self-taught skill; however, associate degree programs in electrical engineering technology introduce fundamental electronic and technical skills that can be applied to guitar amplifier repair. Most programs offer a great deal of hands-on training. Students often supplement their degree by working as apprentices or by taking classes in amplifier repair offered at music shops. Prerequisites for these two-year programs include a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Associate's in Electrical Engineering Technology
In these programs, students will be introduced to foundations of electrical engineering and applied theoretical knowledge, including electrical and digital circuitry, mathematics and drafting skills. Coursework often involves hands-on experience with assembly, troubleshooting and repair. Common topics of study include:
- Circuit theory
- Introduction to digital electronics
- Physics and chemistry
- Algebra and calculus
- Electrical equipment
- Electronic systems
Popular Career Options
Amplifier technician occupations include working in instrument shops, operating independent repair shops and touring with national music acts as part of a road crew. Technical knowledge, experience and networking skills are paramount for securing amp repair and design jobs. Other technical skills, such as guitar and instrument repair, may give workers an advantage over competition. Once experience is gained, amplifier technicians may go on to work for higher-profile bands or earn positions at established amplifier companies.
Electrical and electronic repairers and installers (including guitar amplifier repairers) could expect to undergo a 4% decline from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Musical instrument repairers earned a mean yearly wage of $38,590 as of May 2015, reported the BLS.
After learning technical electronic skills through electronic engineering programs and self-study, aspiring amp technicians may gain experience through apprenticeships with experienced amp repairers. Some independent music shops offer amplifier repair training classes for further skill development, focusing on amplifier-specific components, such as tube replacement. Formal training in instrument repair may also strengthen professional capabilities.
Aspiring guitar amplifier repairers can receive the skills they need through an associate's degree program in electrical engineering technology. Following training, guitar amplifier technicians may work with music shops and experienced amplifier repairers to gain experience.