Gunsmithing Schools

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What is Gunsmithing?

A gunsmith is responsible for repairing, customizing, and building firearms by combining aspects of woodworking, metalworking and machining. One can pursue an associate's degree in gunsmithing through trade or community college, the curriculum of which includes general education course such as geometry and creative writing along with more degree specific classes such as stockmaking, gun repair and machining fundamentals. Certificate programs are also available, which provide much of the same coursework minus the general education requirements. Online courses can be taken as well, typically lasting between five months and a year and utilizing guides and kits provided prior to the start of the coursework.

Gunsmiths will make modifications to existing weapons, restore old and antique weapons, and perform customer requested alterations. An experienced and talented gunsmith will be able to construct custom firearms that often fetch high prices. Due to the multi-skill nature of gunsmithing, a gunsmith can also find work as a machinist, metalworker or woodworker.

Employment Opportunities

An experienced gunsmith may also choose to open his or her own store. The regulations for store ownership will vary by state, as will the amount of time a customer may have to wait to purchase a firearm. Regulations may extend to the amount and type of customization that is acceptable for firearms, and any individual who chooses to enter into such a business should become familiar with local, state and federal laws governing their business. As laws may change in a given year, remaining up to date on gun policy and regulation should be a priority for a store owner.

Potential employers for gunsmiths include:

  • Military
  • Law Enforcement
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Firearms Manufacturing Plants

The demand for gunsmiths in the United States is limited, though there is a small market for those interested in custom made firearms and modifications. Individuals entering the field will often participate in apprenticeships with professionals before moving on with their own career. The average salary for a gunsmith is approximately $39,590 per year,  with the top 10% averaging $57,750 a year and the bottom ten percent bringing home just over twenty-five thousand dollars a year on average.

 

Top Employers of Gunsmiths

  • Machine Shops                                          29,160
  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers     12,780
  • Metalwork Manufacturers                      11,140
  • Metal Products Manufacturers              10,320
  • Aerospace Manufacturers                       10,200

States with the Highest Employment of Gunsmiths

  • Ohio                   13,490
  • California          11,430
  • Texas                  11,150
  • Pennsylvania    11,030
  • Wisconsin         10,560

Top Paying States for Gunsmiths

  1. Washington       $60,780
  2. Vermont             $51,110
  3. North Dakota    $48,030
  4. Massachusetts  $47,090
  5. Connecticut       $46,410

Those who are interested in gunsmithing may also want to consider machine shop technologist and metallurgical engineering.

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Career Summary: Gunsmithing Major



Colleges That Offer Gunsmithing

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that may have gunsmithing programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting online or a state. Popular schools are defined as the most number of graduates as reported by the latest published IPEDS survey.*

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C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctorate Degree (PhD,MD,...)

Colorado School of Trades

Lakewood, CO |

The Colorado School of Trades, opened in 1947 and located in Lakewood, CO, trains individuals in gunsmithing through its associate program. The school uses an in depth and time tested, project oriented program to teach individuals the proper methods for machining, repairing, maintaining and modifying various types of firearms. The program is broken down into courses requiring various numbers ...

School Details

  • Program Cost (Tuition & Fees): $20,520
  • Type: Career College
  • Students Enrolled: Less Than 1,000
  • Telephone: 30323311

Programs

  • Gunsmithing (A)

Montgomery Community College

Troy, NC |

Montgomery Community College has an open-door admission policy and it provides vast learning opportunities through traditional and distance education. This college is previously named as Montgomery Technical Institute and Montgomery Technical College. Its campus facility is approximately 134,400 square feet and it occupies 153 acres of land at 1011 Page Street, Troy, NC 27371. This college fosters an environment for lifelong ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,409
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: Less Than 1,000
  • Telephone: 91057712

Programs

  • Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (C,A)
  • Gunsmithing (C,A)

Trinidad State Junior College

Trinidad, CO |

Trinidad State Junior College is a quaint two year institution that is nestled in the hills of Trinidad, Colorado. The open admission of the school enables any student who has completed their HSD or GED and has attained the age of 16 is able to enroll in one of their 49 robust degree programs. TSJC is one of the oldest schools ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,530
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (719) 846-5011

Programs

  • Gunsmithing (C,A)
  • Auto Mechanic (C,A)
  • Diesel Mechanic (C,A)

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School

Pittsburgh, PA |

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School is a two-year private career college dedicated to offering a sound education for students located in and around Pittsburgh. The largest programs offered are the gunsmithing programs, with more than 110 students graduating in the past few years. To help students and recent graduates, Pennsylvania Gunsmith School may provide some services to students like those ...

School Details

  • Program Cost (Tuition & Fees): $23,868
  • Type: Career College
  • Students Enrolled: Less Than 1,000
  • Telephone: (412) 766-1812

Programs

  • Gunsmithing (A)

Pine Technical College

Pine City, MN |

Pine Technical College is a leader in education in Minnesota. The school is located in Pine City. It offers high quality hands-on training at an affordable price. The college sits on a 21 acre campus. The cost of tuition per year is currently $5,080. The college offers many outstanding programs. Programs of study are offered in Business Administration, Business Technology, Entrepreneurship, ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,066
  • Type: Technical College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (320) 629-5100

Programs

  • Gunsmithing (C,A)
  • Auto Mechanic (C,A)

Piedmont Community College

Roxboro, NC |

About Piedmont Community College, located in Roxboro, North Carolina, was founded in 1970 through overwhelming support by the local populace. The school began operations shortly after gaining approval, and was then known as Person County Technical Institute. Within the year the school's name was changed to Person Technical Institute, then once more to Piedmont technical Institute. In the subsequent ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,419
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (336) 599-1181

Programs

  • Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (C)
  • Gunsmithing (C)

Lenoir Community College

Kinston, NC |

About Lenoir Community College, located in Kinston, North Carolina, was established in 1963 as a charter from the state board of education. Initially known as the Industrial Education Center, the school offered education through technical programs. Very early on the school increased its size and offerings, very quickly expanding into the role of community college. The school has over ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,423
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (252) 527-6223

Programs

  • Industrial Electronics Technology (C,A)
  • Gunsmithing (C,A)
  • Auto Body (C,A)
  • Auto Mechanic (C,A)

Yavapai College

Prescott, AZ |

Yavapai College, located in Prescott, Arizona, was founded in 1965, taking four years to prepare operations which began in 1969 on what was once Fort Whipple, used in the defense of the territory one hundred years ago. The school has grown rapidly over the years, covering much of Yavapai County and expanding its facilities and programs across four additional ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $2,064
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (928) 445-7300

Programs

  • Electrical Equipment Installation and Repair (C,A)
  • Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance (C,A)
  • Gunsmithing (C,A)
  • Auto Body (C,A)

Piedmont Technical College

Greenwood, SC |

About Piedmont Technical College, located in Greenwood, South Carolina, was founded in 1966 to promote workforce development in its service area. Over the years the school has expanded its role, becoming a comprehensive community college and expanding its service area to include seven counties, which are covered by County Centers that provide education and services in part to reduce ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,601
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 5,000 to 9,999
  • Telephone: (864) 941-8324

Programs

  • Electrical Equipment Installation and Repair (C)
  • Industrial Electronics Technology (C)
  • Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (C)
  • Gunsmithing (C)

Marshalltown Community College

Marshalltown, IA |

Marshalltown Community College, located in Marshalltown, Iowa, was founded in 1927 when it was known as Marshalltown Junior College. Originally operating within the Marshalltown Community School District, the school was given its own district in 1966 known as the Iowa Valley Community College District, which better represents the area and communities served by the school and includes two other ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,416
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (641) 752-7106

Programs

  • Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance (A)
  • Gunsmithing (A)
  • Auto Mechanic (A)

Murray State College

Tishomingo, OK |

Murray State College MSC is one of a few well-known institution based in Oklahoma that offers professional training in gun smithing. The course takes a year to a year and a half to complete, and afterwards students can become professionally certified. The college also offers some environmentally oriented courses to students such as Agriculture and Conservation of wildlife. The college ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,340
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (580) 387-7000

Programs

  • Gunsmithing (C,A)

Jefferson Davis Community College

Brewton, AL |

Jefferson Davis Community College offers an outstanding education and has campuses in Brewton and Atmore, Alabama. Class sizes are small, allowing faculty to provide personalized instruction and hands-on training. The college teaches you the technical skills needed to thrive in today’s job market. The college is part of the Alabama College System and offers outstanding opportunities through traditional instruction and distance ...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,028
  • Type: Community College
  • Students Enrolled: 1,000 to 4,999
  • Telephone: (251) 867-4832

Programs

  • Electrical Equipment Installation and Repair (C)
  • Gunsmithing (C)
  • Locksmithing and Safe Repair (C)
  • Auto Body (C)

Notes: The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2015: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.