Horologists turn an array of mechanical and electronic parts into working watches and clocks.
To become a horologist - a watchmaker - you need training. Programs for the aspiring horologist are found at eight schools in the United States. Some offer a traditional degree curriculum, and two programs are offered by organizations connected to the Swiss watchmaking industry, according to the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute. The watchmaker’s art is at the core of all of them, but each course or training program has a slightly different emphasis, and some last longer than others.
Complete a course of instruction at a school that offers a certificate in horology through a traditional curriculum. Most of these curricula focus on mechanical watch repair, although supplemental courses for other types are available. According to the AWCI, these programs require as little as one year to complete.
Apply for one of the training positions available annually in the two-year Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance program conducted at the Lititz Watch Technicum in Lititz, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma State University's Institute of Technology in Stillwater, Oklahoma, or North Seattle Community College in Seattle, Washington.
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Attend training through the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program, a Swiss-based institution, if you are over 23 years of age. Two U.S. schools, the North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking, located in Fort Worth, Texas, and the N.G. Hayek Watchmaking School in Miami, Florida, offer the 3, 000-hour course that students can complete in two or three years.
- The two-year course offered by Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance includes service of the watch movement, repair of the case and the watch bracelet, and the essentials of problem-solving, estimating, parts availability and supply and customer service.