Musical instrument technician

A musical instrument technician


Musical instrument technicians maintain, tune and repair musical instruments such as pianos, pipe organs, band instruments, violins and other instruments.

Includes people producing smaller musical instruments or accessories such as metronomes, tuning forks or musical boxes.

The duties of a musical instrument maker include, but are not limited to:

  • Building new instruments
  • Repairing or renovating damaged or worn instruments
  • Restoring or producing period instruments
  • Working with different materials like wood, metal, plastic and fibreglass, using traditional hand tools
  • Fitting plastic, fibreglass and electronic parts to modern instruments like electric guitars
  • Applying finishing techniques like polishing and varnishing
  • Tuning instruments

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to musical instrument technician:

musical instrument restoration technician
organ repairer
violin repairer
instrument repairman
violin tuner
piano tuner
instrument fixer
musical instrument restoration specialist
musical instrument restorer
instrument tuner
musical instrument repairer
musical instrument fixer
organ tuner
musical instrument repair specialist
musical instrument repairman
instrument repairer
piano repairer
musical instrument tuner
musical instrument repair technician

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as musical instrument technician. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Musical instrument technician is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Musical instrument technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to musical instrument technician.

electronic musical instrument maker
harpsichord maker
harp maker
piano maker
membranophone musical instruments maker

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of musical instrument technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of musical instrument technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

mastering engineer
personal property appraiser
wholesale merchant in agricultural machinery and equipment
wholesale merchant in agricultural raw materials, seeds and animal feeds
wholesale merchant in beverages

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of musical instrument technician.

  • Musical instruments: The different musical instruments, their ranges, timbre, and possible combinations.
  • Tuning techniques: Tuning pitches and techniques and musical temperaments for the various instruments.
  • Musical instruments materials: The characteristics of composite materials, felts, glues, leathers and skins, metals and precious metals, woods and wood derivatives to create musical instruments.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of musical instrument technician.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of musical instrument technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Acoustics: The study of sound, its reflection, amplification and absorption in a space.
  • Woodturning: Process of shaping wood on a lathe and its types, namely spindle turning and faceplate turning.
  • Organic building materials: The types and processing of organic materials to build products or parts of products.
  • Metalworking: The process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures.
  • History of musical instruments: The historical background and chronology of various musical instruments.
  • Musical instrument accessories: The process of creating musical instrument accessories, such as metronomes, tuning forks or stands.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of musical instrument technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Pass on trade techniques: Pass on knowledge and skills, explain and demonstrate the application of equipment and materials and answer questions about trade techniques for the manufacturing of products.
  • Apply restoration techniques: Select and apply appropriate restoration techniques in order to achieve the required restoration goals. This encompasses preventive measures, remedial measures, restoration processes and management processes.
  • Create musical instrument parts: Design and create parts such as keys, reeds, bows, and others for musical instruments.
  • Evaluate restoration procedures: Evaluate the outcome of conservation and restoration procedures. Evaluate the degree of risk, success of treatment or activity and communicate the results.
  • Decorate musical instruments: Create designs on musical instruments by using methods such as embossing, piercing, painting, woodworking, weaving, and other methods.
  • Estimate value of musical instruments: Identify new or second hand musical instruments and estimate the market value of them based on professional judgment and knowledge of musical instruments, or subject them to estimation by a third party.
  • Verify product specifications: Check heights, colour and other attributes of finished product against specifications.
  • Design musical instruments: Develop and design a musical instrument according to customer specification.
  • Estimate restoration costs: Estimate the cost implications of restoring and replacing products or parts.
  • Play musical instruments: Manipulate purpose-built or improvised instruments to produce musical sounds.
  • Trade in musical instruments: Buy and sell musical instruments, or serve as an intermediate between potential buyers and sellers.

ISCO group and title

7312 – Musical instrument makers and tuners

  1. Musical instrument technician – ESCO
  2. Musical instrument technician – career guide and latest jobs –
  3. Featured image: Photo by Nika Cuores from Pexels
Last updated on September 28, 2022

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