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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.

Degree Median Salary vs Adjacent Degree Types

Source: BLS, US Census, and IPEDS

2021 Best Gunsmithing Schools

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 of hours to complete, which in total will be 1800 hours prior to receiving an associate's degree.

The courses and their hours are:

  • Basic (250 Hours)
  • Machine (400 Hours)
  • Stockmaking (350 Hours)
  •  Design & Function (800 Hours)

Admissions and Financial Aid

Individuals interested in applying to CST must be at least 21 years of age or honorably discharged from the military, have a high school diploma or GED, be physically and mentally capable of performing the tasks necessary, and must be able to pass a background check. If an individual meets these requirements he or she can submit can print an application and submit it to the school.

Financial aid is available to all students who qualify. To know whether or not an individual qualifies requires a completed and submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students with queries can contact the financial aid office.

Acceptance Rate

100

Tuition

$21,500 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

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 listed below:

  • Counseling assistance
  • Assisting students to find work
Pennsylvania Gunsmith School has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges since 1985. Get more information by visiting the school's official website, where you can learn about admissions information, financial aid & tuition, and disclosures.

Acceptance Rate

-

Tuition

$27,144 / year

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

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 learning and educational excellence. It offers distinct courses and trainings in both curriculum and continuing education programs. Some of its unique programs are Human Services Technology: Developmental Disabilities, Shooting and Hunting Sports Management, Forest Management Technology and the Professional Crafts: Clay degree program. Montgomery Continuing Education program includes the following: Career and College Readiness, Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult High School (AHS), General Education Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL). At Montgomery, students are also given the opportunity to relax and have fun with several activities sponsored by the Student Government Association such as the Spring Fling, Polar Volleyball, Hollywood Spooktacular and Holiday Feast held once every year. Change is the main driving force of positive transformation for Montgomery, its students and the community it serves. This college strives to continuously enhance its programs to maintain high quality education and meet the evolving needs of the citizens.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

8:1

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 in the state and since its inception in 1925, the main goal and mission of the staff has been to increase the roots of knowledge for the students who enroll. The average yearly enrollment stands around 2,000 students spread across two lush campuses. TSJC is also renowned for their gunsmithing course, placing the institution in the top three across the whole nation.

Students are able to take a range of courses from two divisions- Career & Technical or Arts & Sciences and Sciences. For students on the career track, there are 35 associated degree programs and 20 associates programs for students who prefer to seek transfers to a four year college. The school also offers special programs for international students, and students who want to participate in the guaranteed transfer program.

Annual tuition rates are affordable with in state tuition at only $3,500 per year and out of state tuition only $4,500 per year. For students who need additional assistance financing their studies, there are several aid programs offered. TSJC also offer a wide assortment of student services and activities which include golf, baseball, soccer and volleyball. There is on campus housing, dining and medical services as well.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

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, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Network Administration, Early Childhood Development, and Human Services Eligibility Worker. Programs are also offered in health sciences which include nursing assistant, Long-Term Care Assistant Certificate, Practical Nursing, the Nursing Mobility program, and the Medical Laboratory Technician.

After completing a degree at Pine Technical College, students can transfer to a four-year public college in Minnesota. The aim is to help students finish their general education requirements and transfer to another college. Completion of a defined transfer curriculum at one institution enables a student to receive credit for all lower-division general education upon admission to any other institution.

Pine Technical College aims to offers veterans an outstanding educational experience. The Veterans Center provides a variety of services such as counseling and information on the GI Bill. Doug Davis is the Veterans Liaison. He will work with veterans to ensure a smooth transition from the military to the classroom.

The college works to help individuals with disabilities. PTC understands that individuals with disabilities may need assistance to help them participate and benefit from their program of study. Reasonable accommodations to provide access to programs, services, and activities are made available at PTC. 

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

20:1

Located in Torrington, Wyoming, Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) provides a college education in a rural setting and combines smaller class sizes with an environment that stresses cultural and academic enrichment.

Established in 1948, the two-year school features technical certifications and academic transfer programs. Associate of Science degrees, Associate of Applied Science degrees, and Associates of Arts degrees are offered as well as seven certificates. GED, ESL, and adult basic education (ABE) programs are also featured at the college.

Besides the Torrington campus, EWC holds classes at the branch locations of Newcastle and Douglass and in ten other communities. The school features varsity athletics and is a member of the National Athletic Association. Student athletes have the chance to compete in such activities and men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, and the sport of rodeo.

Annual tuition, including ancillary fees and costs, are approximated at $10,200 for in-state students living with their parents, or from about $15,000 to $20,000 for other students, depending on funding or a student’s residence. Current enrollment at the school now stands at around 1,300 students.

Some of the associate degree programs offered at the rural college include:

  • Accounting
  • Agri-business, or farm and ranch management
  • Environmental science
  • Business administration
  • Business office technology
  • Biology
  • Art
  • Criminal justice
  • English
  • Veterinary technology
  • Welding

Certificates can be obtained at the school for such programs as beef production, nail technician, hair technician, business records, computer applications, corrections, ESL and EFL teaching, and machine tool technology. Online certificate programs are offered in early childhood education and child development.

For more information about the programs at the college, contact them by phone at 307-532-8200.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

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 years the school was approved through vote for additional monies in order to establish a permanent campus, which was completed in 1978. With the new campus came a new name, Piedmont Technical College. In 1985 the North Carolina General Assembly added Caswell County. The school's name was once again changed, this time to the current, and additional funds were issued for renovations and additions to the main campus as well as the establishing of a Caswell campus, located in Yanceyville.

Academics
Piedmont Community College offers students a number of programs that may result in transfer to a four year institution or prepare them for immediate entry into the workforce after graduation. Transfer programs fulfill the freshman and sophomore years of a four year education, and upon completion allows for transfer to complete the final two years and obtain one's bachelor's degree. Career training programs provide training and education in a particular field, providing students with the skills and practical knowledge to be able to function in a work environment related to their field of study professionally.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
As an open enrollment institution PCC accepts all students who meet the minimum requirements for entry. Students are required to choose a program of study, provide all pertinent documentation, take a placement exam, and pay for their courses at the time of registration.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans and grants. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to for the school to be able to determine eligibility and awards. Students may be required to submit additional information as needed by the financial aid office.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

8:1

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 community colleges. Unlike most two year institutions, the school offers on campus housing through 48 apartments split between two buildings. The school also has an active campus life through clubs, organizations and athletics, both intercollegiate and intramural.

Academics

MCC offers a variety of programs aimed at transfer or career development. Students are able to enroll in programs dedicated to assisting in the transfer to four year institutions by completing the first two years of a bachelor's degree. Once completed students will apply to a college or university to complete the final two years at their desired school, transferring earned credits as part of the process. Career programs allow students to develop the skills and abilities necessary to enter the workforce as qualified professionals in their chosen field. Programs take up to two years to complete and result in a certificate or degree that demonstrates competency in the field.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students interested in enrollment at MCC may do so by submitting an application for admission, registering for classes and paying all accrued fees. Students should also supply transcripts and test scores, and may be required to take a placement exam prior to registration. Students are also encouraged to meet with a counselor to discuss future plans, program enrollment and curriculum.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. Aid is applied for through the submission of a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which will be used by the school to determine aid program eligibility and financial need for the given student. Aid must be reapplied for prior to each academic year.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

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 campuses located in Clarkdale, Prescott Valley, Sedona, and Chino Valley. The school is one of the few that offers a gunsmithing program, and has been considered among the best in the field since its establishment.

Academics

Yavapai College offers a variety of options for a large selection of individuals. Some may choose to take individual courses, others may seek online training or education, high school students may choose to dual enroll through partnerships established by the school, others may seek to gain the high school equivalency through GED programs.

Yavapai College primarily offers associate degrees in a variety of fields allowing for academic transfer or career training opportunities. Students choosing to continue their education at four year institution will complete many of their lower division and general education requirements at Yavapai prior to transferring to a college or university to complete the final two years of education required for a bachelor's degree.

Career training degrees and certificates are awarded to individuals who pursue an education on one of the many high demand fields currently seeking professionals. The school will provide the education, skills and training necessary to be able to enter the workforce in one of these fields, capable of performing the tasks and duties asked of such employees on a regular basis with competence and confidence. Programs take between one and two years to complete and generally reflective of the employment needs of the community, allowing residents of the area to seek employment opportunities nearby.

Programs offered include:

Admissions

As a public, two year, open enrollment institution, Yavapai College will admit an individual who meets the minimum requirements for admissions, enrolling them once an application is submitted. Students should provide all pertinent documentation regarding previous education, take a placement exam, participate in student orientation and meet with a counselor to discuss program enrollment and future plans as well as a plan for a curriculum that best reflects the student's needs. Registration for classes typically takes place shortly before each semester, requiring all students to have completed their application and enrollment, as well as submitted aid forms and information by this time.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Student that are in need of aid must complete all necessary forms provided by the school, the most important of which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which may be completed online and the information from which is the primary source for determining a student's need, aid program eligibility and monetary awards. Aid must be reapplied for prior to the start of each academic year due to changing financial circumstances of the student based on tax returns.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

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 its lifetime added various buildings and programs and is part of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) which is comprised of 58 schools operating throughout the strate. Lenoir Community College serves the counties of Lenoir, Greene and Jones.

Academics
As a community college, LCC offers a variety of academic programs and services alongside career and vocational training. Academic programs generally result in transfer to a four year institution, fulfilling the freshman and sophomore years of a bachelor's degree. Students will apply to four year institutions of their choosing, but will have easier access to public institutions in North Carolina through agreements in place with the NCCCS. Career and vocational programs provide students with an education related to a particular field with the intent to enter the workforce immediately after completion. These programs are often in high demand fields or require the development of specific skills in order to operate professionally in the work environment. Graduates from the institution will have earned a diploma, certificate or associate degree.

Programs offered include:

Non credit courses are also available for residents wishing to explore interests, as well as continuing education courses for professionals wishing to return to school for additional training.

Admissions and Financial Aid
Students interested in enrollment at Lenoir Community College must complete the application for admission, after which he or she must supply all pertinent documents regarding one's education (i.e transcripts). Once completed the student must take a placement exam to determine their level of general education courses, after which they will met with a counselor to outline one's educational plan and goals. Once all these steps are completed the student may register at the given date and must pay for his or her tuition.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial aid must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible in order for the school to obtain the student aid report necessary to determine need, eligibility and awards. The school may request additional financial information or documentation in order to accurately disburse funds.

Athletics
The Lenoir Community College Lancers participate in intercollegiate athletics, and has the oldest athletic program in the North Carolina Community College System. The school participates in men's baseball and basketball and women's basketball and volleyball. Intercollegiate athletics allow students to participate in healthy competition while developing skills and abilities that may assist them in their academic and professional futures.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

About

Flathead Valley Community College, located in Kalispell, Montana, was established in 1967 to serve residents of the area. The school is one of three public two year institutions in the state not part of the University of Montana System or the Montana State University System. The school is dedicated to providing a quality education through experienced instructors rather than a mix of student teachers and professors. The school is a short drive away from two ski resorts and the famous Glacier National Park, allowing students access to some of natures wonders and participate in extracurricular sports.

Academics
Flathead Valley Community College offers a variety of programs designed to assist in academic transfer or career training. Academic transfer programs offer students the opportunity to complete the first two years of a four year education, followed by transfer to a college or university in order to complete one's bachelor's degree. Career training programs provide the skills and education necessary to operate as a professional in the workforce. Students will learn to implement methods and techniques in real world settings over the course of one to two years, earning a certificate or degree upon completion.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Flathead Valley Community College is a public, two year, open enrollment institution that allows any individuals who meet the minimum requirements for admission to enroll by submitting a completed application and paying tuition. Students should provide transcripts and test scores and may be required to take a placement exam. Students are encouraged to participate in orientation and meet with a counselor prior to the start of their first semester.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships and must be applied for prior to each academic year. Students in need of aid must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will be used by the school to determine the financial needs and awards for the student.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

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 prides itself on offering courses that are market oriented, especially within its region. Such courses include Physical Therapy Assisting, Education and Medical Assisting.

While at the college, students are in a position to benefit from activities such as participating in clubs that further their social and personal development standards and also in games and sports that are valuable as co-curriculum activities. There is a wide range of these activities and students have the ability to choose where they would like to participate. Moreover, there is a placement Center that helps students to get a place for attachment to get hands-on experience in their area of specialization and this further links the students to viable employment opportunities after their studies are complete. The school also provides financial aid to eligible students upon application for such opportunities, like the tribal scholarships that considers only the Native Americans.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

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 the need for travel to the main campus. PTC has the largest service area of any school in the South Carolina Technical College System. The school has ties to the community, working with local businesses in order to promote economic growth, which is reflected in the schools career program offerings. Education is the school's highest priority, and it maintains a high standard in order to meet current and future students' needs.

Academics
Piedmont Technical College offers 23 programs of study that result in career development or academic transfer t opportunities. Career programs provide training and education in a given field and assist students in development of skills necessary for entering the workforce as qualified professionals. These programs combine traditional classroom education with practical courses, allowing students to perfect methods and techniques used within their field through controlled environments that simulate real world settings. Programs take between one and two years to complete, resulting in a certificate or associate degree that demonstrates competency and assists in the pursuit of entry level employment.

Academic transfer is accomplished through the completion of the first two years of a four year education, after which the student will apply to a college or university in order to continue one's education. This accomplished by completing the final two years of their education at the new school and earning a bachelor's degree. Transfer to a public institution in South Carolina is made easier through transfer agreements in place between the public systems, though students may apply to private and  out of state institutions which will have more stringent and varying admissions requirements.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Piedmont Technical College is an open enrollment institution that allows any individual to enrol if they meet the minimum requirements for admission, submit a completed application and pay all accrued fees. Applicants should also supply transcripts and standardized test scores if available, and take the required placement exam prior to registration. Individuals are also encouraged to participate in new student orientation to become familiar with the campus. Student should also meet with a counselor to discuss career goals, curriculum and program enrollment.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the resulting information from which will be used by the school to determine financial needs and program eligibility prior to forming an aid packet. Aid must be applied for prior to each academic year. Students may be chosen at random to supply additional information to be compared to their FAFSA in order to verify its accuracy.

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

About
Fayetteville Technical Community College located in Fayetteville, is the fourth largest community college in North Carolina. FTCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is one of the 58 institutions that form the North Carolina Community College System. The school has the largest continuing education program in North Carolina. Fay Tech is adjacent to Fort Bragg and provides educational services to military servicemen. The school's goal is to provide a solid educational foundation that produces a qualified and competitive workforce and as a result is constantly reviewing programs and facilities to ensure that it is providing the most modern and relevant services possible.

Academics
FTCC offers over 113 certificate, diploma and degree programs alongside continuing education courses and transfer programs to 4 year institutions. The goal of FTCC is to provide students of all ages and backgrounds a quality education. Career training programs provide students the training and skills necessary to enter the workforce as qualified professionals in their particular area of study. Programs provide practical and classroom education, allowing for the first hand experience alongside more traditional teaching. Students will earn a certificate, diploma or degree which demonstrates competency in the area of study, and programs take between one and two years to complete.

Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the freshman and sophomore years at low monetary cost, followed by transfer to a four year institution to complete a bachelor's degree. Students must apply to a college or university to after completing their first two years and requirements for transfer will vary by school. It is recommended that students meet with a counselor prior to the start of their education to plan their curriculum to best meet the requirements of their desired school or schools.

Programs offered include:

The school also offers military and continuing education courses for interested individuals. Individuals stationed at Fort Brag may take classes through the Fort Brag Center located on the base. FTCC was one of sixteen colleges to be asked as part of the online military education program now known as the GoArmyEd program. FTCC also offers traditional and online courses for military personnel. Continuing education courses are available to individuals interested in updating their knowledge and/or skill set, need a certain amount of credit hours to renew a license or certification, or simply wish to study a topic of interest.

Admissions and Financial Aid
Interested students can apply to FTCC online. Applicants must provide all transcripts and/or GED test scores, take a placement test or provide ACT/SAT test scores and meet with a counselor to choose a program of study. As an open enrollment institution, any students who meet the minimum requirements for admission will be admitted once a application for admission is submitted.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA), the resulting student aid report (SAR) from which will be used to identify financial need, aid program eligibility, and monetary awards. Students may be asked to provide further financial information prior to the disbursement of funds. Aid must be applied for prior to the start of each academic year.

Clubs and Organizations
FTCC provides a number of clubs and organizations to interest students and broaden their interests through participation and discussion. Clubs and Organizations cover a variety of topics, often in social, cultural, academic or extracurricular areas of interest. Students are encouraged to join one or more clubs, as they promote new ideas and develop existing interests in a social environment of peers. Students may also form their own club or organization if one does not exist to meet a given interest or topic.

Clubs and organizations at FTCC include:

  • Accounting Club
  • Advertising Design Club
  • Horticulture Club
  • Veterans Club
  • FTCC Game Club

Acceptance Rate

-

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

Employment Opportunities for Gunsmiths

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, machining, welding, and metallurgical engineering. For additional research, you can visit the AGI or the American Gunsmith to learn more about the trade and employment opportunities.

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