If you are a watch lover, you may want to consider switching professions. A career in watchmaking can have a hefty payoff. While watchmaking as a profession may sound a bit boring, at first, it actually is quite the contrary. Watchmakers have to be patient and disciplined, yes. But they also have to be creative and curious. To be a master watchmaker, one needs to think outside the box and envision the future of this 500-year-old profession.
The number of professional watchmakers has dwindled over the past decades, especially in America. The upside is that skilled watchmakers are now in high demand.
Most watchmaking schools offer comprehensive courses developed with one of two guiding programs (SAWTA or WOSTEP). Both have strong curriculums that require 3,000 hours of training (two years), and apprenticeships. SAWTA stands for Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance, which currently collaborates with the three largest watchmaking schools in the United States, having a combined capacity of 42 students per year. WOSTEP stands for the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program.
Other schools with a traditional curriculum have degrees that can be accomplished anywhere from a year’s time to 24 months. Many of the schools offer scholarships and full-tuition opportunities. In terms of annual salary, depending on where in America one locates, a watchmaker can earn between $45,000 and $100,000 a year, or more.