Certain colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in gunsmithing. Trinidad State Junior College, Yavapai College and the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School are three of the more well-known schools in the United States to offer these training programs. Students frequently complete college-level gunsmith education programs within two years. Educational gunsmithing programs usually require students to spend time gaining hands-on experience in settings such as machine shops. Students may have the opportunity to work with different types of guns during their education.
Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colo., has offered gunsmithing courses since 1947. Aspiring gunsmiths can choose to take only gunsmithing courses to earn a certificate, or they can add general education classes to their gunsmithing course load to graduate with an associate degree. Trinidad State Junior College also collaborated with commercial firearms manufacturer Brownells to create the Brownells – Trinidad American Firearms Technology Institute, which opened in January 2010. The Trinidad, Colo.-based gun shop, which provides a full range of services to customers, provides graduates of gunsmithing programs with the chance to learn how a gunsmithing establishment operates and develop their business management and entrepreneurial skills.
Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz., offers both a certificate and an associate degree in gunsmithing. Each of the college’s gunsmithing instructors owns a business associated with firearms. Gunsmithing students at this institution can expect to spend many hours in the school’s machine shop, learning to properly and safely use the tools of the gunsmithing trade. The program goes beyond simple firearm repair skills and prepares students to create custom firearms.
The Pennsylvania Gunsmith School of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been training student gunsmiths since 1949 and currently offers a master gunsmithing program that prepares students to find entry-level positions that require a variety of gunsmithing skills. The program can be completed in a period of 16 months and requires gunsmithing courses only. The Pennsylvania Gunsmith School boasts a unique classroom setting designed to resemble the real-life work setting of a gunsmith shop.
Students who are unable to attending on-site gunsmithing programs can also learn the trade through online or distance-learning courses. Gunsmithing students in online programs can take as long to complete the curriculum as they like, or they can finish their educational requirements more quickly than standard courses. Notable online gunsmithing programs hosted by Ashworth College and the Penn Foster Career School are designed to be possible to complete in as little as five or six months, whereas on-campus college programs generally take 16 to 24 months. Online programs may require students to complete assigned readings and online examinations.
Online gunsmith programs often include many of the same basic courses that traditional gunsmith education programs cover, like firearm history and theory and gun safety. Some lessons teach general gunsmithing skills, including gun repair, stockmaking and metal finishing. In other learning modules, students may learn about particular types of firearms, like various types of rifles, shotguns, revolvers and pistols.