If you’re thinking about signing up for a training program at gunsmithing schools, chances are you’ve found some information about launching a business and striking out on your own. However, what if you don’t want to start your career as your own boss, or can’t commit to opening your own shop right off the bat? Well, fortunately, the firearms manufacturing industry is another route you can explore when you’re done with your training at technical schools.
A history of industry
Firearm manufacturing is one of the oldest industries in the U.S. Areas like western Massachusetts are particularly vibrant in this area, as George Washington first designated Springfield to be the location of the nation’s first stockpiled arsenal. Today, firearms manufacturing is big business, and companies such as Browning, Colt, Smith & Wesson and O.F. Mossberg & Sons have manufacturing plants all over the country.
The right tool for the job
The process of manufacturing firearms is intricate and complicated, requiring workers with a great deal of skill. Depending on the complexity of the weapon being produced, firearms manufacturers employ a variety of tradesmen and manufacturing professionals to get the job done. From tool and die makers and general machinists to welders and fabricators, making the kind of weapons that U.S. companies like Colt are renowned for takes time, skill and a broad range of expertise.
Although government databases like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) don’t maintain data on specific information for firearms manufacturing jobs, these positions typically pay similarly to those of skilled workers in other industries.
PayScale states that machinists and tool and die makers typically make between $29,055 and $59,238 per year. If you end up working on an hourly basis, you could bring in between $11 and $24 per hour, with overtime rates as high as $35 per hour. As with most jobs, the more experience you have, the better your earning potential. Technical training schools are the perfect place to learn real-world skills in gunsmithing and firearms maintenance that could help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to finding work.
While demand for skilled workers remains high in many industries, including firearms manufacturing, growth is expected to be hesitant in the coming years. Some experts speculate that this is because of uncertainties associated with gun control laws in an election year.
Data from the BLS suggests that the need for machinists in the manufacturing sector is expected to grow by around 8% through 2020. While this is a little lower than the national average of 14% for all occupations, skilled workers with gunsmithing experience aren’t likely to be out of work for long.
Your employment prospects will improve dramatically if you can use a variety of manufacturing equipment – especially if you’ve got the skills and knowledge to work on the kinds of parts used in firearms manufacturing. Technical schools can prepare you to enter the workforce with confidence and launch a satisfying career in this exciting industry.
What appeals to you about working in weapons manufacturing? Let us know in the comment space below.