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Occupation Details

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Musical Instrument Technician

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€20k > 36
Musical Instrument Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 36
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Designs and makes musical instruments and also carries out repairs, maintenance and restoration work.


Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Musical instrument technicians design, make, repair, maintain and restore musical instruments. As the work is highly skilled, it is usual to concentrate on a particular type or group of instruments. Typical specialisms include keyboards, strings or fretted instruments, woodwind, brass, percussion or electronic instruments.  
Some technicians specialise still further by concentrating on reproducing and restoring period instruments.  
 
The work varies according to the particular instrument being made. In order to make a new instrument, the technician designs an instrument according to a customer's requirements. They use their drawings and plans to help them cut, shape and put together materials such as metal, wood and plastic.
Other tasks may include:

  • advising clients on the care and handling of an instrument
  • finding faults in instruments
  • replacing or repairing damaged parts
  • using finishing techniques such as cleaning and varnishing
  • tuning the instrument.

Some work may take a few days, while other work, for example restoring a fine instrument, may take more than a year.  
 
Musical instrument technicians usually work in a workshop. They use a variety of hand and machine tools, and measuring devices. They may need to sell the instruments that they make. May also sell new and second-hand instruments and their spare parts as well as sheet music.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Play instruments to evaluate their sound quality and to locate any defects.

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Adjust string tensions to tune instruments, using hand tools and electronic tuning devices.

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Disassemble instruments and parts for repair and adjustment.

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Inspect instruments to locate defects, and to determine their value or the level of restoration required.

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Repair cracks in wood or metal instruments, using pinning wire, lathes, fillers, clamps, or soldering irons.

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Reassemble instruments following repair, using hand tools and power tools and glue, hair, yarn, resin, or clamps, and lubricate instruments as necessary.

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Compare instrument pitches with tuning tool pitches in order to tune instruments.

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String instruments, and adjust trusses and bridges of instruments to obtain specified string tensions and heights.

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Repair or replace musical instrument parts and components, such as strings, bridges, felts, and keys, using hand and power tools.

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Polish instruments, using rags and polishing compounds, buffing wheels, or burnishing tools.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment: Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People: Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Sales and Marketing: Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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Fine Arts: Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

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Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Practical skills are essential and a background in subjects such as woodwork, metalwork and electronics is very useful. You will need to be patient and pay attention to detail, because some work can be difficult and can take a long time to finish.  
 
Although a high level of musical ability may not be necessary, you should have an ear for tuning and an interest in music.  
 
Even though you might work alone, you must be prepared to discuss customers' requirements; you may need to adjust instruments in response to their comments. If you become a self-employed technician you will need business skills.


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Institute of Musical Instrument Technology
Address:
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Email: Click here
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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Music & Performing Arts

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