Asked the same question on the TH now I need TM wisdom

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by a marching trumpet, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    So i'm looking at apprinticing as a music repair tech when the next slot opens up in my area, and in a year or two im going to college to major in secondary music education (high school band director) My question is, about how much would I expect to make as an instrument repair tech in the southeast? I will not move north nor west, from you repair techs here, what's the job like? I'm actually really split on the decision between the two, and both areas I know would help the other area.
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Pay depends on experience, and how the shop runs.
    Some shops pay hourly, and some shops give you a percentage of each job done.
    It also depends how busy the shop is.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You know, it used to be that an engineer could almost write his own paycheck, today they are a dime a dozen. Many music stores have stopped offering technical services for brass because it is cheaper to buy a new chinese horn than to fix them. Because transportation is cheap, pros will use someone that they really trust rather than taking a chance.

    I don't think it is possible to talk about wages in a general way anymore. Most stores can't afford full time staff. You really have to take a job like this on a case by case basis. Here in Germany I hear moaning from the kiddies and their parents when major dent removal is supposed to cost $50.00/hr. How good can a tech be when the store has to subsidize the operation?

    You can't get a general wage estimate. It just depends on too many outside factors. My opinion is that if money is your first question, then you don't understand the job. If you were born to be a tech, you have no choice. Your love of the instrument trancends all hurdles.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  4. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Very deep, Sir!:play:

    And probably very realistic.........Buck:oops:
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I find the title of this thread very annoying. Obviously AMT did not get the answers that he wanted at TH and is looking for some that fit his way of thinking.
  6. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    Marching Trumpet,

    What were you told on TH? Did you not receive wisdom there?

    Can't imagine wages would be high for someone needing to complete an "on the-job-training" position to learn the craft. When you become the "main repair tech" and have gained a positive reputation, you may earn more. By the way, what would you consider the wage amount you need as a repair tech to sustain your lifestyle and make it your career?

    Best wishes,

  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Brass repair is a vocation... a calling. One needs to passionately believe in the instruments, and one's ability to to use one's hands to restore life to the instrument.

    Assessment of possible future earnings should not be a major criterion as to whether or not to embark on this or any other career.
  8. RandyTx

    RandyTx Pianissimo User

    Mar 26, 2010
    Central Texas
    I agree with this completely. I loved music ever since I started playing in the 5th grade. Apart from a very painful period when I had braces on in Jr. High, I never played anything but first chair.

    When time to go to college rolled around, I really wanted to go to music school. I didn't care if I wound up as a band director, a jazz player in a nightclub, on the road with Earth, Wind & Fire, or Tower of Power :-o, or in a symphony, or in LA in a recording studio. I just wanted to play trumpet.

    However, school counselors, teachers, my parents, and a lot of other people argued that I should go off to engineering school instead. This was back in the very early days of computers taking off for home and business use, and the field looked very compelling, and I enjoyed them as well.

    To make a long story short, I chose the latter route and went off to school to study computer engineering and software. I didn't hate the work, in fact it was very interesting and rewarding, and there were very few days when I dreaded going to work over the years. That said, I didn't LOVE it.

    Since that time, I never saw a marching band at a parade or ball game, or an orchestra performance, or any other live music with a brass section in it that didn't rip me up, thinking I could have been there. A really great performance would literally bring tears to my eyes.

    Now, years later, I'm very comfortably retired, so the choice was definitely not a bad one financially, but I still regret all those years when I wasn't doing what I really loved. I recently picked up the horn again, and haven't missed a day on it yet, and hope to continue for as long as I'm able to.

    If I had to do over again, despite the very low chance of me being one of the few that really "made it" on the trumpet (let's face it, odds are very low of being a household name in the field, even amongst trumpet households), I'd still have gone to music school instead. If I wound up as an assistant band director working with young brass players every day, that would still be a joy, to be around people wanting to make music come out of the bell all day every day.

    Anyone young enough to still be making this choice, I'd caution you strongly to really think about what you /love/ doing, and what will make your life most fulfilling and rewarding, not just what puts a lot of cash in the bank.
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
  10. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    At the risk of sounding slightly contrary in the thread, I think it's prudent and intelligent to go into any field with your eyes open about wages, benefits, schooling and all the sacrifices success in that field will require. I'm not saying to ignore your passions, or go into any field just for the money, but be honest with yourself about what it will actually be like to be in any particular career, be it instrument repair or engineering or what have you.

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