Instrument Maker

Fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments.
picture of Instrument Maker

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$24,000 – $58,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Instrument Makers do?

Fabricates, modifies, or repairs mechanical instruments or mechanical assemblies of electrical or electronic instruments, such as chronometric timing devices, barographs, thermostats, seismographs, and servomechanisms, applying knowledge of mechanics, metal properties, shop mathematics, and machining procedures and using machine tools, welding and heat-treating equipment, precision measuring instruments, and handtools: Measures, marks, and scribes stock, such as silver, nickel, platinum, steel, ivory, and plastic, following blueprints and engineering sketches, and using square, rule, and scribe to lay out workpiece for machining [LAY-OUT WORKER]. Sets up and operates machine tools, such as lathes, drill presses, punch presses, milling machines, grinders, brakes, and lapping and polishing machines, to machine parts to specifications [MACHINIST]. Anneals and tempers metal parts [HEAT TREATER I]. Assembles parts in jig and brazes or welds. Fits and installs precision components, such as timing devices, springs, balance mechanisms, and gear trains, in housing, using jeweler’s lathe, tweezers, loupe, and handtools. Verifies dimensions of parts and installation of components, using measuring instruments, such as micrometer, calipers, and electronic gauges. Coats assembled instrument with protective finish, such as lacquer or enamel, using spray gun. May install wiring and electrical components to specifications. May set up and operate machines to fabricate dies for punch presses [DIE MAKER, BENCH, STAMPING]. May be designated according to product assembled.


Should I be an Instrument Maker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Electrical Instrument Maker, Instrument-Lens-Grinder Apprentice, Instrument Maker Apprentice See More

    How to become an Instrument Maker

    Most Instrument Makers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9weaaa&chl=no+college+%2854%25%29|certificate+%2842%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,54,54
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