Musical instrument maker or repairer

piano tuner musical instrument technologist musical instrument technician luthier
Design, arts and crafts
Create Produce

Career outlook for musical instrument maker or repairer

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make new musical instruments or repair ones that have been damaged so people can use them to make music.

You would usually specialise in one type, or family, of instrument, such as:

  • Pianos
  • String instruments including violins and guitars
  • Brass instruments such as trumpets

You would:

  • Work with a variety of materials including wood, metal, plastic and fibreglass, depending on the instrument
  • Use traditional hand tools for working with wood or metal
  • Use plastic, fibreglass and electronic parts for modern instruments like electric guitars and keyboards
  • Build new instruments
  • Repair or renovate damaged or worn instruments
  • Replace damaged parts
  • Tune instruments to make sure they produce high-quality sound
  • Use finishing techniques such as polishing and varnishing

You could specialise in restoring or producing period instruments.

If you are self-employed, you would also be involved in promoting and selling your work and in running your business.

Working conditions


You would normally work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Some part-time opportunities may be available. If you were self-employed, you would choose your own working hours to meet customers' demand.


You would usually work in a small workshop, or from home if you are self-employed. As a piano tuner you would visit customers’ homes and other premises usually within a local area to service or repair instruments on site.


As a piano tuner you would visit customers’ homes and other premises usually within a local area to service or repair instruments on site.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Persevering
  • Supporting
  • Working with technology
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentrating
  • Managing resources

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set qualifications required to enter this role but the work is very skilled. You would benefit from having qualifications and experience that demonstrate musical knowledge, practical skills with wood and metal work and basic electronics. 

You could do a National Certificate in Stringed Instrument Repair (SCFQ level 5/6). 

There are no progression courses above National Certifcate level in Scotland although there are options to study at a higher level in England.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses) 
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Music technology
  • Practical technologies such as practical woodwork

You will also need

For building, repairing and tuning instruments, you need good hearing and a natural ear for music, as well as musical knowledge.

You will need experience in woodwork, metalwork and be able to read technical drawings.

Knowledge of basic electronics is helpful

Helpful to have

  • The ability to play a musical instrument
  • A driving licence