Upon completing a program, students know how to diagnose gun function issues, how to safely work with firearms and how to comply with the legal aspects of dealing with firearms.
Gunsmith diploma programs typically take just two semesters to complete. There are few requirements, with most schools simply requiring a background check and for students to provide their own tools.
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Most courses in a gunsmith program are held in a workshop setting, while classroom courses generally cover the theory behind the skills needed to be a gunsmith. Programs may offer training in prototyping, manufacturing or repair. Topics covered through workshop training may include:
- Metal fusion and stockmaking
- Hinges and levers, bolt action and accessory installation
- Heat treating and metallurgy
- Tool design and metalsmithing
- Barrel and chambering
- Polishing and bluing
Graduates of a gunsmith program can find work in a variety of settings, including gun shops, retail stores, manufacturing plants and small businesses. Graduates may find work in fabrication, repair, customization, sales and management.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide job growth or salary information for this career (www.bls.gov); however, PayScale.com reported that as of September 2015, gunsmiths earned a median wage of $39,072 yearly.
Continuing Education Information
Some programs may have an affiliation with the National Rifle Association (NRA), offering additional opportunities to pursue further education through the organization. Schools may also work with firearm manufacturers such as Beretta USA, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger and Glock to provide additional training courses as well.
After completing a gunsmith diploma program, students can find employment in a large variety of settings and continue their education via programs offered by the NRA and firearm manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson and Glock.