I know that from what I have seen so far a back ground in instrument repair and being a decent musician seems to be a common theme. Also many worked at large factories that where bought out by other companies.

My back ground I apprenticed in Germany to be an automotive technician. When I moved back to the USA I decided to go to college. My major was Aviation Materials and Technology. I have my BA inthat area of study I also got a BA in Business Adminstration. I worked in the automotive Industry first as a go between the engineering staff and the mechanics inthe field. Latter I moved to quality control and then on to forensic powertrain tear down and analsis. So with job often I was haveing to take failed power train's and find the cause of the clustering of failure due to manufactureing issues either with part's from suppliers or flaw's inthe manufactureing process again in house or with our suppliers.

It was not until the auto industry tanked and I lost my job and had a kid just starting band that I got interested???? In my case I figured if I can design an aircraft, trouble shoot manchinery , repair a car and build my own rifles for competition surely I can repair a trumpet! This allowed me to buy other wise great trumpets cheaply off ebay that needed minor repairs like new leadpipe. So far most of my trumpets have been in the $26-$50 range with the most expensive being $100. All are American made instruments except for one. Now I am wanting to start modifying them with different bells, different braceing, replateing my own valves etc.......

No matter your back ground I would imagine it would help if you are the handy type! By that I mean good with your hands and not intimadated by machines. The type that runs to an expert for every little thing would be the worst type of person in my mind to get involved with something as delicate as building a trumpet. It is part science and part art.