Graduates of a gunsmithing program have a number of opportunities to pursue a career in the field. Depending on the schools’ connection with the industry, students may have greater exposure to the companies and businesses and as a result greater likelihood to get a job following graduation.
Below are some of the career opportunities, which may be available to graduates in this field1:
- Firearm manufacturers in the areas of fabrication, warranty repair, custom departments
- Gunsmith warranty repair stations
- Gunsmithing shops
- Custom shops for handguns, rifles, shotguns and black guns
- Sporting good dealers
- Tool and die shops
- Wood working fields
- Metal refinishers
In order to better understand the career prospects for a gunsmithing graduates, students should do research to learn where the firearm manufacturers are located along with the concentration of gunsmithing and sporting good shops because companies tend to hire local rather than out of town employees. This will also determine which schools you should apply for. Students should also research on successful gunsmiths to learn more about the industry and how they started their career. Often times, gunsmiths may be open to answering students’ questions as they were in the same place previously.
If possible, students should also consider working for a gunshop or a shooting range during their studies in order to gain experience before the end of their program. Often times, if an employer is happy with your job performance, you may be hired back as a full time employee following graduation.
On another note, gunsmithing is a career that is not limited to geography. There may be international opportunities depending on the regulations of gunsmiths in those countries (for instance, gunsmiths in the US are required to hold a firearm license, and if they move to another country, they may have to apply for a local license and fulfill other industry and legal requirements).
For more information on gunsmithing jobs, you should consult with the national association for gunsmiths as well as online job banks.
1. Pennsylvania Gunsmith School. (2014) Gunsmithing Careers