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Gunsmith Jobs

gunsmithing jobsLooking for gunsmith jobs? This classic job is growing in demand as more people and more people are purchasing firearms in these uncertain economical and political times. These new gun owners are more likely to seek professional service for their firearms which makes the employment outlook for gunsmith jobs very positive.

Job Description for Gunsmith Jobs

A typical job description for a gunsmith job at a sporting goods store usually looks like this:

  • Clean, diagnosis, and fix customer firearms and systems
  • Replace and repair broken or defective firearms.
  • Be able to disassemble and reassemble a wide range of small and large firearms including popular handguns, shotguns, and rifles.
  • Maintain correct store inventory levels. Keep records of sales and reorder parts as necessary.
  • Maintain clear records of all firearm repairs
  • Display a positive and customer focus attitude

Qualifications of Gunsmith Jobs

Basic skills needed for all gunsmithing jobs include machining, ballistics, drafting, woodworking, and algebra.

Gunsmith specific skills include ammunitions, ability to identify firearm issues, checkering, engraving, and installing/aligning gun sights.

Gunsmith training: A gunsmith must complete a training program that includes either a certification (short as 90 days) or a full 2 year associate degree in gunsmithing. You can find online gunsmithing schools for certification or traditional gunsmithing schools for an associate degree.

A Gunsmith apprenticeship may be required if you lack some of the basic skills or only received an online certification. Your online school should be able to help connect you with licensed master gunsmiths in your area to find the right apprenticeship.

A gunsmith must have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) as they are considered a firearms dealer under the laws of the United States. The gunsmith must also maintain a “bound book” if they keep possession of firearms over night.

Salary Guide for Gunsmith Jobs

Enter level gunsmithing jobs pay about $26,500 per year and the average salary for gunsmithing jobs is $43,250. Here’s a more detailed gunsmith salary analysis.

Types of Gunsmithing Jobs

A gunsmith typically works at a gun manufacture, sporting goods store, the government (police or military), and in their own personal business.

Where to find Gunsmith Jobs

The 3 best places to find available gunsmithing jobs are at online job websites, your local newspapers, and through your gunsmithing school. The best online job websites for gunsmithing jobs are Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com.

Read more about gunsmithing schools.

What is the average Gunsmith Salary?

gunsmith salaryIf you are looking to become a gunsmith then some of your first questions will naturally be “What is the average gunsmith salary?”, “What is the starting gunsmith salary?”, and “What’s the maximum gunsmith salary I can expect to make in this career?”

Overall the most recent gunsmith salary survey showed continued increases in annual salaries. The average starting salary for an entry level gunsmith is $26,500. The most experienced gunsmith’s are paid over $60,000 a year. The overall average for a gunsmith is $43,250 annually. (Source: allstarjobs.com)

While these are the averages, there are a lot of variables such as location, type of gunsmithing, and type of employer which influences the average gunsmith pay.

What affects your Gunsmith Salary

Type of Gunsmithing: Gunsmiths can be generalist or specialize. Specialties include custom design, finisher, engraver, pistol smith, or stockmaker. As with most jobs, a specialist is paid higher but will have fewer job opportunities.

Type of employer: You can work for a large gun manufacture, law enforcement, military, or the sporting good industry. A large gun manufacture generally pays the most because they are for profit companies which look to attract and maintain the best talent while law enforcement and military annual salary is lower due to budget constraints and government oversight.

Location: Gunsmith salaries in California, New York and Illinois are generally higher due to lower supply of qualified gunsmiths and an overall higher cost of living. Gunsmith salaries in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee are among the lowest due to a lower cost of living and more gun owners repairing and modifying their guns at home.

Ways to increase your Gunsmith Salary

You can increase your gunsmith income in 4 ways:

  1. Gain additional years of experience. This is the slow and steady way to increase your salary. While gunsmiths are not unionized most gunsmith employers have a standardized salary chart that rewards years of experience and years of service at their company. An entry level gunsmith should expect to receive 5 to 8% annual salary increases each year simply based on years of experience.
  2. Obtain your own Federal Firearms License. It is highly recommended to obtain your FFL before even seeking employment but if you haven’t; do so immediately. All gunsmiths must have their own license or work for someone who has a license. Employers who hire gunsmiths without a license know they can pay them less because you have fewer employment opportunities. Many employers will immediately reward you once you get a license to keep you from leaving for a better job.
  3. Specialize. Find a specific aspect of gunsmithing that you love and focus on it. Take additional training classes at a gunsmith school, talk to others that specialize, and ask your boss to work more in that area to gain experience. The best areas of to specialize in include custom designer, engraver, pistol smith, stockmaker, metal finisher, and restoration.
  4. Start your own gunsmithing business. A great way to start your own business as a gunsmith is to start taking on extra work at home. Use your network of friends and people you have completed gunsmith work for to get an extra side business started. You can grow the business as fast as you would like and even quit your current job once you get enough business. It’s recommended to setup a dedicated space for your business and follow the requirements of keeping a permanent “bound book” along with the other best practices of setting up a LLC, bookkeeping, etc.

Gunsmith Salary by State

California Gunsmith Salary

California Yearly Gunsmith Pay Statistics

Average Yearly Gunsmith Salary $27,599 – $41,398
Starting Yearly Gunsmith Salary $22,728 – $34,093
Top Yearly Gunsmith Salary $32,469 – $48,704

Illinois gunsmith salary

Illinois Yearly Gunsmith Pay Statistics

Average Yearly Gunsmith Salary $26,950 – $40,424
Starting Yearly Gunsmith Salary $22,194 – $33,291
Top Yearly Gunsmith Salary $31,705 – $47,558

pennsylvania gunsmith salary

Pennsylvania Yearly Gunsmith Pay Statistics

Average Yearly Gunsmith Salary $24,820 – $37,230
Starting Yearly Gunsmith Salary $20,440 – $30,660
Top Yearly Gunsmith Salary $29,200 – $43,799

new york gunsmith salaries

New York Yearly Gunsmith Pay Statistics

Average Yearly Gunsmith Salary $28,335 – $42,502
Starting Yearly Gunsmith Salary $23,334 – $35,002
Top Yearly Gunsmith Salary $33,335 – $50,002

(Source: http://gunsmithsalary.com)

Learn more about gunsmithing schools.