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Career and Education Opportunities for Musical Instrument Mechanics in Gresham, Oregon

Musical instrument mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Gresham, Oregon area. There are currently ninety working musical instrument mechanics in Oregon; this should grow 12% to about 100 working musical instrument mechanics in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for musical instrument mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.1% over the next eight years. Musical instrument mechanics generally repair percussion, stringed, or wind instruments.

Income for musical instrument mechanics is about $11 hourly or $23,900 yearly on average in Oregon. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $33,080 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Specialized Equipment, people working as musical instrument mechanics in Oregon earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Specialized Equipment nationally.

There are forty-six schools of higher education in the Gresham area, including one within twenty-five miles of Gresham where you can get a degree to start your career as a musical instrument mechanic. Musical instrument mechanics usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a musical instrument mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Musical Instrument Mechanic

Musical Instrument Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, musical instrument mechanics repair percussion, stringed, or wind instruments. They also may specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.

Musical instrument mechanics play instruments to review their sound quality and to identify any defects. They also repair or remove musical instrument parts, such as strings and keys, using hand and power tools. Equally important, musical instrument mechanics have to disassemble instruments and parts for repair and adjustment. They are often called upon to reassemble instruments following repair, using hand tools and power tools and glue or clamps, and lubricate instruments as needed. They are expected to examine instruments to identify defects, and to establish their value or the level of restoration required. Finally, musical instrument mechanics mix and measure glue that will be used for instrument repair.

Every day, musical instrument mechanics are expected to be able to note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume. They need to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for musical instrument mechanics to solder or weld frames of mallet instruments and metal drum parts. They are often called upon to make wood replacement parts, using woodworking equipment and hand tools. They also adjust string tensions to tune instruments, using hand tools and electronic tuning devices. They are sometimes expected to polish instruments, using rags and polishing compounds, buffing wheels, or burnishing tools. Somewhat less frequently, musical instrument mechanics are also expected to adjust string tensions to tune instruments, using hand tools and electronic tuning devices.

They also have to be able to repair breaks in percussion instruments such as drums and cymbals, using drill presses or other hand tools and clean and paint parts of percussion instruments to maintain their condition. And finally, they sometimes have to repair cracks in wood or metal instruments, using pinning wire or soldering irons.

Like many other jobs, musical instrument mechanics must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Gresham include:

  • Industrial Machinery Mechanic. Repair, install, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.
  • Machine Repairman. Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
  • Mechanical Door Repairer. Install, service, or repair opening and closing mechanisms of automatic doors and hydraulic door closers. Includes garage door mechanics.
  • Millwright. Install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.
  • Watch and Clock Repairer. Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Musical Instrument Mechanic Training

Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center - Vancouver, WA

Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center, 2510 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661-4323. Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center is a small school located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 8 students and an admission rate of 50%. Emil Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center has a two to four year program in Musical Instrument Fabrication and Repair which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gresham, Oregon

Gresham, Oregon
Gresham, Oregon photo by Amadeust

Gresham is situated in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 101,221, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gresham, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Gresham cost $219,200 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred three new homes were built in Gresham, down from three hundred five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gresham are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 18.4% of Gresham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gresham is 10.8%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Gresham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Gresham is home to the Linnemann and the Ruby Junction Maintenance Facility-Portland Light Rail System as well as Kane City Park and Davis City Park. Visitors to Gresham can choose from Best Western, Gresham Suites and Shilo Inn-Gresham for temporary stays in the area.