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

Musical instrument mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Portland, Oregon area. Currently, ninety people work as musical instrument mechanics in Oregon. This is expected to grow 12% to 100 people 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. In general, musical instrument mechanics repair percussion, stringed, or wind instruments.

A person working as a musical instrument mechanic can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $23,900 per year on average in Oregon and about $15 per hour or $33,080 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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 is one school within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can study to be a musical instrument mechanic, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the Portland area. The most common level of education for musical instrument mechanics is a post-secondary certificate. 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 Portland 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: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland 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.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.