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Career profile Watchmaker

Also known as Calibration Specialist, Calibrator, Clockmaker, Horologist, Time Stamp Assembler, Watch Technician, Watchmaker

Watchmaker

Also known as Calibration Specialist, Calibrator, Clockmaker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,140 - $58,930 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Repairing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Change timing weights on balance wheels to correct deficient timing.
  • Assemble and install components of timepieces to complete mechanisms, using watchmakers' tools and loupes.
  • Adjust sizes or positioning of timepiece parts to achieve specified fit or function, using calipers, fixtures, and loupes.
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What does a Watchmaker do?

Watchmakers perform precision assembling or adjusting, within narrow tolerances, of timing devices such as digital clocks or timing devices with electrical or electronic components.

What kind of tasks does a Watchmaker perform regularly?

Watchmakers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Assemble and install components of timepieces to complete mechanisms, using watchmakers' tools and loupes.
  • Observe operation of timepiece parts and subassemblies to determine accuracy of movement, and to diagnose causes of defects.
  • Test operation and fit of timepiece parts and subassemblies, using electronic testing equipment, tweezers, watchmakers' tools, and loupes.
  • Replace specified parts to repair malfunctioning timepieces, using watchmakers' tools, loupes, and holding fixtures.
  • Clean and lubricate timepiece parts and assemblies, using solvents, buff sticks, and oil.
  • Disassemble timepieces such as watches, clocks, and chronometers so that repairs can be made.
  • Examine components of timepieces such as watches, clocks, or chronometers for defects, using loupes or microscopes.
  • Bend parts, such as hairsprings, pallets, barrel covers, and bridges, to correct deficiencies in truing or endshake, using tweezers.

The above responsibilities are specific to Watchmakers. More generally, Watchmakers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

What is a Watchmaker salary?

The median salary for a Watchmaker is $36,170, and the average salary is $39,430. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Watchmaker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Watchmakers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Watchmakers earn less than $27,140 per year, 25% earn less than $29,800, 75% earn less than $47,300, and 90% earn less than $58,930.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Watchmakers is expected to change by -20.0%, and there should be roughly 100 open positions for Watchmakers every year.

Median annual salary
$36,170
Typical salary range
$27,140 - $58,930
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-20.0%

What personality traits are common among Watchmakers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Watchmaker are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Watchmakers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Watchmaker tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Watchmakers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Watchmakers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Watchmakers somewhat value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Watchmakers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Watchmakers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Watchmakers need?

Working as a Watchmaker usually requires a high school diploma.

Watchmakers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Watchmakers

  • 16.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.0% completed some college coursework
  • 7.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Watchmakers

Watchmakers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Watchmakers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Watchmakers

Watchmakers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Watchmakers need abilities such as finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Watchmakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Watchmakers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Watchmakers frequently use skills like repairing, troubleshooting, and quality control analysis to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Watchmakers, ranked by their relative importance.

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.