Piano Technology Careers

The highly skilled graduates of the Piano Technology program enjoy a wide a variety of careers including self-employed piano tuners, piano technicians for major universities and renowned piano builders and sellers.

A sample of jobs held by NBSS graduates:
  • Registered Piano Technician (RPT)
  • Piano technician, principal piano tuner and technician, and manager in the piano technical services departments of colleges and universities
  • Piano tuner for recording studios
  • Owner, piano tuning and repair business
  • Owner, instrument rental business
  • Piano technician at various Steinway Piano Galleries
  • Piano technician for Tanglewood and Sundance summer music festivals
  • Piano rebuilder
  • Piano repairman/restorer
  • Consultant for a piano company
  • Piano tuner for cruise ship company.

Job Prospects

Below is a general guide to wages, salaries and industry growth for piano technicians. It is difficult to be specific, however, because the job classifications defined by the US Department of Labor (DOL) do not match the specific skills of NBSS’s highly trained graduates.

The closest job classification the DOL uses is “Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners” which includes “repair of percussion, stringed, reed and wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning”. The classification does not include repair and tuning of electric instruments.
In the US, Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners held about 6,000 in 2008.
The number of job openings for Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners is expected to be 1,800 during the 2008-18 decade. (This information is from the US Department of Labor, Occupational Information Network (O*NET®).For more detailed information, visit O*Net Online at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/49-9063.00.

Salaries and Wages

Specific salaries are determined by many factors including education, training, years and type of experience, economic conditions, location, whether you work for yourself or a company, etc.

Below is a general guide to help you understand the average salaries and wages among “Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners.”

Musical Instrument Repairer and Tuner with 5 years experience living in Massachusetts (from http://www.payscale.com/)

  Annual Salary, average
 Working for College or University $36,859
 Self-employed     $36,859
For additional information, visit http://www.payscale.com/.
The website www.SimplyHired.com calculates salaries using the average salary for all jobs with the term "musical instrument repairer" anywhere in the job listings, indexed by Simply Hired's job search engine. Their data resulted in an annual Salary average of $46,000. For more information, visit http://www.simplyhired.com/.

The best opportunities for piano technicians

Employment levels, wages, and salaries for Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners vary by industry and geographic location.

The following information is from the US Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009, Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners.

Industries with the highest levels of employment: 

 Industry Annual Salary, average  Hourly Wage, average
Hobby and Musical Instrument Stores $36,280 $17.44
 Personal Goods Repair and Maintenance $31,670 $15.23
 Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
 $43,560 $20.94
 Consumer Goods Rental
 Colleges and Universities
 $48,710 $23.42
Top paying Industries for this occupation:


 Industry   Annual Salary, average Hourly Wage, average
 Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers $49,230 $23.67
 Colleges and Universities
 $48,710 $23.42
 Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
 $43,560 $20.94
 Consumer Goods Rental $40,340
 Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores $36,280 $17.44
Top paying Metropolitan Areas for this occupation:


  Annual Salary, average Hourly Wage, average
 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL Metro Division $47,150 $22.67
 Tacoma, WA Metro Division $46,280 $22.25
 Lansing-East Lansing, MI
 $44,240 $21.27
 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $41,910 $20.15
 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA $40,400 $19.42
Top paying States for this occupation:


  Annual Salary, average Hourly Wage, average
 New Mexico $58,990 $28.36
 Vermont $50,150 $24.11
 Illinois $45,340 $21.80
 $44,790 $21.53
 Washington $43,380 $20.85

For more information visit: US Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009, Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners,  www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes499063.htm#%283%29.

Additional Resources

The Piano Technicians Guild (http://www.ptg.org/).