2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
35 members (FloRi89, almo82, AZNpiano, colinstead, clothearednincompo, Beemer, Gianluca, Burkey, 7 invisible), 321 guests, and 397 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Piano tuning career prospects 2014
#2339592 10/20/14 06:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
M
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
Hello, just looking for some insight into current market conditions and career prospects for someone wanting to enter the trade. Is there enough demand to support more technicians? Especially in the Minnesota Twin Cities market?
Thank you for any information.

Morrisos

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2339601 10/20/14 07:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 42
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 42
Demand is declining everywhere unless where there is a huge Asian population. IMO the only way you can get in is to hook up with a piano dealer (or dealers). Going at it yourself will be very difficult.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2339652 10/20/14 10:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
There is definitely opportunity for piano technicians to make a living in this economy, but under certain conditions.

1. You have to be able to give exceptional service, which includes many skills besides the technical, like politeness, punctuality, etc.
2. You have to have a niche. E.g. rebuilding, recording studios, university work, professionals, etc.
3. You have to have some alternate income. E.g. Teaching, gigging, etc.
4. You have to live in a large urban area, or be willing to travel a lot.
5. It is difficult to support a large family on just piano tuning.
6. You have to be good with budgets, finances, accounting, marketing, internet, social media, etc.

It can be done, if done right. Gone are the days when a mediocre piano technician could make an easy living working three drays a week.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Mark Cerisano #2339667 10/20/14 10:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 971
P
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 971
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Gone are the days when a mediocre piano technician could make an easy living working three drays a week.


Wow, there used to be days like that? What decade(s) was
that?

How many pianos did they have to tune a day? And how much
for each piano?

Too bad it ain't like that now!

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2339693 10/21/14 12:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
I think it's like in all other occupations. There are successful, mediocre and unsuccessful piano technicians. Success depends on how good you are. If you have passion for what you do, chances are you will be successful, if you work for the money you'll be mediocre or unsuccessful. People won't hire you to take their money!




Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2339892 10/21/14 04:54 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 48
F
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 48
I talk to many different technicians every day. Some are very successful, others are not. You will have to put in the time to first learn the craft to get the knowledge. This will take some time depending on how much effort you can put in to this endeavor. Being in a major metro area is a plus. Very few people step in to a new profession and start to make a comfortable living right off the bat. There seems to be a lot of older technicians out there so IMHO there is room for younger ones to make a good living for themselves given that they work very hard at it. No one is going to give you anything if you don't put in max effort.


Warehouse Manager
Schaff Piano Supply Co
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Frank Pinn #2339938 10/21/14 07:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Originally Posted by Frank Pinn
I talk to many different technicians every day. Some are very successful, others are not. You will have to put in the time to first learn the craft to get the knowledge. This will take some time depending on how much effort you can put in to this endeavor. Being in a major metro area is a plus. Very few people step in to a new profession and start to make a comfortable living right off the bat. There seems to be a lot of older technicians out there so IMHO there is room for younger ones to make a good living for themselves given that they work very hard at it. No one is going to give you anything if you don't put in max effort.


Excellent advice Frank. But may I make one very important clarification. When you say, "This will take some time depending on how much effort you can put in to this endeavour" I worry that some may think time is the only ingredient.

In this new internet age, as Hakki has already inferred, there are tons of free resources for anyone to use to learn this craft. But that is the danger. Just taking the time to learn tuning is not enough. You need to spend that time wisely, not just watching youtube videos. And the wiser you are with your time, the better skilled you will become, and faster.

Good uses of your time:
Buying an old piano and rebuilding it. I mean everything you can think of; new hammers, dampers, strings, tuning pins, repair soundboard, refinish case and soundboard, regulation, keyboard felts and paper, key tops, new key bushings, etc. I did that and made a whopping $2.50/hr.
Volunteer at a rebuilding shop.
Join an association.
Attend classes and conventions.
Read.
Pay for instruction and resources.


Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Mark Cerisano #2340181 10/22/14 01:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted by Frank Pinn
I talk to many different technicians every day. Some are very successful, others are not. You will have to put in the time to first learn the craft to get the knowledge. This will take some time depending on how much effort you can put in to this endeavor. Being in a major metro area is a plus. Very few people step in to a new profession and start to make a comfortable living right off the bat. There seems to be a lot of older technicians out there so IMHO there is room for younger ones to make a good living for themselves given that they work very hard at it. No one is going to give you anything if you don't put in max effort.


Excellent advice Frank. But may I make one very important clarification. When you say, "This will take some time depending on how much effort you can put in to this endeavour" I worry that some may think time is the only ingredient.

In this new internet age, as Hakki has already inferred, there are tons of free resources for anyone to use to learn this craft. But that is the danger. Just taking the time to learn tuning is not enough. You need to spend that time wisely, not just watching youtube videos. And the wiser you are with your time, the better skilled you will become, and faster.

Good uses of your time:
Buying an old piano and rebuilding it. I mean everything you can think of; new hammers, dampers, strings, tuning pins, repair soundboard, refinish case and soundboard, regulation, keyboard felts and paper, key tops, new key bushings, etc. I did that and made a whopping $2.50/hr.
Volunteer at a rebuilding shop.
Join an association.
Attend classes and conventions.
Read.
Pay for instruction and resources.


Well said.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
phantomFive #2340341 10/22/14 08:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 411
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 411
The industry has been shrinking for 30-40 years, with no end in sight. Clearly, fewer people will do well servicing pianos.

My son could take over my business if he was inclined to, but I am discouraging him from going into the trade. I fear the future may not be good.

I think tuners will need a store or a college to anchor their business, or at least to get started. The way piano stores are dropping, that may go away when you most need it.

All this said, this business has been good to me and I really enjoy what I do.


Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340380 10/22/14 09:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
Technicians in general have to be better business people these days. There was a time when technicians I talked to were complaining that they didn't return calls anymore because they were too busy.

Today, we need to use creative methods like asking customers if they know of anyone who needs a piano tuned, calling customers to remind them it's time to tune, pre booking six months in advance, etc. These things all make a difference.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340459 10/23/14 03:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 128
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 128
There's a global economic downturn whose reasons are best explained in John Ralston Saul's "Voltaire's Bastards". AS such, the piano industry will suffer as other industries are suffering.
Having said that, there are groups of people that never seem to amaze us, and stubbornly keep industries rolling :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Osk2ul21qE



We meet upon the level, and..you don't fear someone whose story you know!
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340477 10/23/14 05:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
The piano downturn has been going on since 1980, but there's still work for the well rounded technician.

Look at the sales chart at:
http://howtotunepianos.com/2014/05/04/why-you-may-want-to-learn-how-to-tune-your-piano/


Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340605 10/23/14 01:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
M
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
M
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies.

Does age matter so much in entering the trade? Is 50 years old too old to bother since I know it takes so long to get good?

Seems like a lot of old timers stick with it well into old age.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340616 10/23/14 02:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,656
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,656
If your health and hearing are good, 50 is not too old. Most people can get up to speed in a couple of years.

A good mechanical aptitude is a must, and the ability to interact well with clients is paramount.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340665 10/23/14 05:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
One negative thing as far as future which has not been mentioned is that many well established piano technicians don't simply quit at age 65 and pack it in. Instead they "wind it down" slowely and maintain a steady income based on their ability to physically keep up. it is not unusual to see some tuners over 70, heck we even have one "tooner" over 80.....I figure if I asked him how work is he would likely answer "Depends". (Some Europeans will likely not get that).


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Emmery #2340674 10/23/14 05:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 306
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by Emmery
One negative thing as far as future which has not been mentioned is that many well established piano technicians don't simply quit at age 65 and pack it in. Instead they "wind it down" slowely and maintain a steady income based on their ability to physically keep up. it is not unusual to see some tuners over 70, heck we even have one "tooner" over 80.....I figure if I asked him how work is he would likely answer "Depends". (Some Europeans will likely not get that).



Shoot, I think I'll be ready to start at 65; you know, second career. LOL


HW


"Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment."
-Lao Tzu
Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340747 10/23/14 08:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
M
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,087
For what it's worth, I would strongly discourage anyone from getting into piano tuning purely as a career path. It must be a passion first; a serious hobby. Grow your love of piano technology, acquire skills, share your talent, and then as time passes, your demand will increase. This will confirm if you have the required mix to make it work. If things don't improve, you still have a hobby that can pay you a few buck now and then.

With that in mind, any age is a good time to start learning a new hobby.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Morrisos #2340858 10/24/14 08:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
As a piano technician, I can no other than encourage people to become a piano technician. If I thought otherwise I should follow my own advice and take another job, shouldn't I?

It is a wonderful job. It's your own business. You can start with a very little investment, only a few tools and from there you can grow as you wish.

You are your own boss. You decide on your time. You decide what jobs you accept and refuse. You have plenty of ways and places to learn. Usually big companies as WNG, Pianodisc, Dampp-Chaser, Yamaha and many others are willing to train you for free to know, install and use their products and services which makes you a better technician. You decide on your work hours. You choose your clients, your colleagues, your vendors and your employes.

You know lots of interesting people. You have the oportunity of playing wonderful pianos. You need to buy no piano! I always have a nice piano in my home without paying for it.

You can help others to get the instrument of their dreams!

It's always rewarding when you finish a tuning and your customer says his piano has never sounded so good!

This is a wonderful job.


Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Emmery #2340874 10/24/14 08:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 627
E
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by Emmery
One negative thing as far as future which has not been mentioned is that many well established piano technicians don't simply quit at age 65 and pack it in. Instead they "wind it down" slowely and maintain a steady income based on their ability to physically keep up. it is not unusual to see some tuners over 70, heck we even have one "tooner" over 80.....I figure if I asked him how work is he would likely answer "Depends". (Some Europeans will likely not get that).


On top of that, some of these older technicians are just looking for a few more bucks to supplement their social security so they charge very low. This makes it harder for a younger technician to compete when someone is charging $60 a tuning.

Re: Piano tuning career prospects 2014
Gadzar #2340887 10/24/14 09:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 306
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by Gadzar
As a piano technician, I can no other than encourage people to become a piano technician. If I thought otherwise I should follow my own advice and take another job, shouldn't I?

It is a wonderful job. It's your own business. You can start with a very little investment, only a few tools and from there you can grow as you wish.

You are your own boss. You decide on your time. You decide what jobs you accept and refuse. You have plenty of ways and places to learn. Usually big companies as WNG, Pianodisc, Dampp-Chaser, Yamaha and many others are willing to train you for free to know, install and use their products and services which makes you a better technician. You decide on your work hours. You choose your clients, your colleagues, your vendors and your employes.

You know lots of interesting people. You have the oportunity of playing wonderful pianos. You need to buy no piano! I always have a nice piano in my home without paying for it.

You can help others to get the instrument of their dreams!

It's always rewarding when you finish a tuning and your customer says his piano has never sounded so good!

This is a wonderful job.



@Gadzar:

Thank you so very much for your inspiring and honest declaration.


HW


"Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment."
-Lao Tzu
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Estonia L225 loses tune very quickly
by M_albert - 10/20/20 01:49 AM
Piano Safari Christmas collection
by ebonykawai - 10/19/20 08:59 PM
Another "beginner" piece w/twist
by MilesAbbott - 10/19/20 08:58 PM
Sostenuto Pedal....in an upright?
by Duaner - 10/19/20 06:38 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,315
Posts3,015,355
Members98,949
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4