Gunsmiths: Salary Overview
A gunsmith is someone specialized in repairing, modifying, designing, and building guns.
Gunsmiths may customize an existing weapon or they may create a completely new weapon from scratch.
Their job description includes inspecting, cleaning, diagnosing and maintaining guns, repairing and upgrading weapons, and training users on how to use and maintain weapons.
According to payscale.com, the average gunsmith hourly rate was $16.63 but payments vary depending on a variety of factors, including the gunsmith’s level of experience and education.
The average annual salary for this profession is somewhere in the range of $40,000.
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As a gunsmith, you can make anywhere between $12-$26 an hour.
Along with a base salary, gunsmiths may also receive bonuses and additional benefits.
According to the report published by payscale, bonuses for gunsmiths range between $61-$7,830 a year.
Gunsmith Salary by Years of Experience
The total compensation for entry-level employees with less than one year of experience is typically around $14-$15 an hour but the hourly pay increases after the gunsmiths earn a few years of experience.
Gunsmiths with 1-4 years of experience earn a total compensation of $15.19 an hour, according to payscale.com.
The average annual salary reported by gunsmiths with 5-9 years of experience was $20.09 while those who had between 10-19 years of experience were remunerated, on average, with $18.71 per hour.
The most experienced gunsmiths, those with more than 20 years of experience, earned, on average, $21.50 per hour.
Salaries for gunsmiths also vary depending on other factors, including the region of employment.
According to Payscale, gunsmiths in San Antonio, Texas earned 40-45% more than the national average.
Higher salaries were also reported by gunsmiths in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Lower-than average salaries were reported in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fayetteville, North Carolina.
You may also improve your earning prospects by gaining additional skills, such as Tungsten Inert Gas welding and knowing how to use machinery and other tools.
After earning a few years of experience working as a gunsmith in a shop you may be promoted to a manager position, which is a better-paid profession.
Last, but not least, your earning prospects as a gunsmith will also depend on the place of employment and your level of education.
Firearm manufacturing plants want to hire educated gunsmiths with good technical skills.
Holding a certificate or a diploma in the field of gunsmithing will help you start a career in this field but your salary will increase after you earn a few years of experience.
Self-employed gunsmiths may earn more than salaried gunsmiths but before being ready to be your own boss you need a few years of experience in the field.
As a self-employed gunsmith, your earnings will depend on your business skills, communication abilities, and on your reputation.
Another way of improving your earning prospects is by continuing your education and earning a degree in electrical or mechanical engineering or a related technical field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for mechanical engineering technicians was $56,980, about 40 percent higher than the average salary reported by gunsmiths.
Salaries for mechanical engineering technicians typically range between $35,000-$90,000.
Commission, Bonuses and Additional Benefits
Along with a base salary, some gunsmiths also earn commissions, bonuses, and a share of the company’s profit.
The numbers published by Payscale, show that gunsmiths can make anywhere between less than $100 and more than $7,500 a year in bonuses, and between $300 and more than $5,000 in profit sharing.
Commission earnings for gunsmiths range between 0-$1,000 a year.
The report shows that approximately 54 percent of all gunsmiths received medical insurance and 41 percent of them had dental insurance.
* Based on information from the May 2019 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Gunsmiths. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.