Students of associate's degree programs may focus on watch making as a business while also learning repair techniques. Certificate programs focus more on watch mechanics. Applicants to both programs are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Internships and apprenticeships are required in some programs.
Certificate or Diploma in Watch Technology and Micro Mechanics
Enrolling in a certificate program trains students in the mechanical workings of watches, as well as how to diagnose and fix errors in watches. The program instructs students in the practical and theoretical aspects of watch repair through hands-on training with micro mechanical parts. Graduates of this program have the expertise and practical skills required to perform repairs on watch springs, gears, and wheels.
Coursework focuses on the mechanics and repair tactics used on watches and clocks. The following topics are generally covered:
- Micro mechanics
- Watch repair
- Horological lathes
- Precision timing
Associate's Degree in Watch Technology
An associate's degree program in watch technology provides students with instructive lessons on the business aspects of watch making, in addition to the repair of watches. Students are trained through hands-on demonstration and lectures in the procedures used for cleaning, lubricating, and manipulating timepieces.
Students take classes in English and business, as well as courses that provide hands-on training in the design and repair of watch technology. Typical courses include:
- Technical writing
- Introduction to business
- Winding and setting mechanisms
- Introduction to precision timing
- Tools and equipment
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a decline of 7% in the employment of jewelers and precious stone and metal workers from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov).The BLS reports that this decline is due to a continued amount of jewelry being manufactured outside of the U.S. According to the BLS, watch repairers made a median annual salary of $39,910 in May 2018.
Popular Career Options
Graduates possess the technical knowledge and practical expertise required for positions with watch manufacturers, retail jewelers and medical device manufacturers. Typical positions may include:
- Master watchmaker
- Watch and clock technician
- Manager or supervisor of a watch distributor
While both certificate and associate's degree programs offer courses in watch repair, associate's degree programs also include general education courses such as English and business. Graduates are then eligible to pursue employment with medical device manufacturers, retail jewelers, and jewelry and watch manufacturers.