There are a number of gunsmithing schools across the U.S. These schools offer programs ranging from six months to three years. Upon completion, graduates will be awarded with a certificate, diploma or an Associate’s Degree.
Students may also consider taking online courses, short courses as well as military training as a way to gain the necessary training and experience required to begin their career as a professional gunsmith.
On-campus vs. Online Program
Readily available access to the internet has increased the popularity of online programs. Advantages of enrolling in an online program include the flexibility of learning at one’s own pace (some of the classes are pre-recorded and students can access the recording at any time) and the ability to enroll in an out-of-state school without having to relocate. In addition, tuition for online programs is generally less compared to that for on-campus programs. Online programs are also gaining greater credibility, as major institutions offer online classes as part of their distance education program.
With respect to an on-campus gunsmithing program, because there are not a lot of schools which offer this program, students may find themselves on a long waiting list. As a result, some of them may decide to enroll in an online program in order to get their training faster.
However, online gunsmithing programs don’t always offer the same resources as an on-campus program. For example, if the program is completely online, the courses may not provide students with the opportunity to work with hand tools or machine tools because they will not have access to a shop. While they may still learn the theory and the principles of stock design, gun maintenance and gun safety, they may not have the necessary hands-on skills as their on-campus counterparts. They may have to make up their hands-on experience with an apprenticeship with a master gunsmith or short courses with an association.
On the other hand, on-campus programs (especially those with focused on developing hands-on skills) may not have communications or business classes in their curriculum. Depending on the student’s objective, whether they are looking for a career working in a gun factory or running their own gunsmith practice, they may choose a program that will enable them to learn the tricks of the trade in running their own business.
Whether you are someone who is hands-on and is looking a program that will prepare you for a technical position or someone who is looking to run their own business, you need to do thorough research to determine a program which will suit your interests, skills and lifestyle. Contact your highschool counselor, the college’s admissions advisor or a professional association for more information on these programs.
Cost of a gunsmithing program
Depending on the program you choose, the cost of gunsmithing school may range from a few hundred dollars for a short course to $10,000 for a two year program. You may want to know the career prospects of a gunsmith before investing in your education. Gunsmiths tend to be in demand in areas where there are a lot of shooting ranges as well as areas where hunting and shooting are popular hobbies. On the other hand, in regions of the U.S. where there are more emphasis on gun control, gunsmiths may be in demand to ensure that all guns are maintained properly to meet gun safety standards.