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Guitar Technician Training and Certification Program Overviews

Guitar technicians or guitar techs can work in repair shops, custom shops or factories. They may also travel with musicians on tour and be responsible for the maintenance of guitars used on stage. Most guitar technicians learn the trade through on-the-job training or through a certificate program at a community college or lutherie school.

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Certificate Programs in Guitar Making and Repair

Many technical schools or schools specializing in guitar making (called lutherie) offer certificate or diploma options for guitar making and repair. Depending on the length of the program, students receive an overview of custom construction of guitars, repair work, electronics and audio engineering. Though not required, students may benefit from personal experience with guitar playing.

Some guitar repair shops may also offer training in guitar repair. However, these are typically not accredited schools, and the courses they offer are non-credit.

Program Coursework

Guitar technicians are trained to be experts in guitar maintenance; they must learn the techniques to repair both acoustic and electric guitars. Most guitar technician programs have students build at least one guitar from start to finish and provide an overview of the most common repairs requested. Courses can include:

  • Fret design
  • Woodworking and refinishing
  • Repair diagnostics
  • Soldering and electronics
  • Amplifier repair
  • Sound theory
  • Electronics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of musical instrument repairers was expected to change very little between 2010 and 2020, with 6,000 workers employed as of 2010 (www.bls.gov). Guitar technicians can find work in guitar manufacturing facilities, small music stores or repair shops. They may also be self-employed. The BLS reported that in 2012, musical instrument repairers earned an annual mean wage of $33,620; technicians who worked for postsecondary schools earned significantly more.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates seeking further education can find broader degree programs in guitar or musical instrument repair. In addition to courses in crafting and repair, curriculum includes general education classes such as English, musical theory and business management.

Several major guitar manufacturers offer certification for repairs to their specific guitars. While certification is not required to work as a guitar technician, it can help to demonstrate proficiency to potential employers.

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Become a Guitar Repairer: Education and Career Roadmap

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
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    • Florida (1 campus)

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  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Indiana University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Precision Systems Maintenance
        • Musical Instrument Maintenance
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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
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    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety

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