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Occupational Profile

Watch Repairer

Watch repairers clean, oil, adjust and repair all types of mechanical and electronic clocks and watches.

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Watchmaker

NOC & Interest Codes
The Watch Repairer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Watch Repairers
NOC code: 7344.2
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working when using watchmaking instruments to examine, fabricate, repair and replace timepieces and to test, adjust and regulate timepiece movements

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to identify the causes of malfunctions and to fabricate and fit parts

METHODICAL

Interest in cleaning parts of timepieces using special cleaning and rinsing solutions and ultrasonic and mechanical cleaning machines to remove dirt and dried lubricants

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Watch repairers may specialize in either watch repair or clock repair, or work on all types of timepieces. They may provide retail services in a jewellery store or repair shop, or provide wholesale services (retail companies send time pieces to them for repair at wholesale prices).

In general, to locate and correct defects, watch repairers follow a set routine that involves:

  • asking the customer about the timepiece's past performance
  • examining the mechanism sometimes using a magnifying glass or loupe
  • taking the timepiece apart, checking for defective parts, rust or misalignment of parts
  • replacing or repairing worn or broken parts
  • cleaning all parts using special cleaning and rinsing solutions and ultrasonic or mechanical cleaning machines to remove dirt and dried lubricants.

Watch repairers also may:

  • test and change watch batteries
  • make parts for old or discontinued time pieces
  • keep records of serial and model numbers, work performed and charges for repairs.

After re-assembling a timepiece and before returning it to the customer, watch repairers use a timing machine to check timekeeping accuracy.

Working Conditions
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Watch repairers sit most of the time at well lighted benches. In retail shops such as jewellery or repair shops, they may work in a room at the back of the store or on an upper floor. They may be required to work some evenings and weekends. In wholesale establishments, hours of work may be shorter but the work may be less varied.

Watch repairers who repair large timepieces may make house calls.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Watch repairers need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical aptitude
  • good eyesight, with or without glasses
  • good form perception
  • steady hands and good finger dexterity
  • good organizational skills and neat work habits
  • patience.

They should enjoy using tools and instruments to perform tasks requiring precision, analyzing information to identify the causes of malfunctions and taking a methodical approach to their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Oct 21, 2014

The recommended way to become a watch repairer is to takea course in horology, the science of measuring time by mechanical means.It is possible to train as a watch repairer by working with an experienced watch repairer for at least four years but this practical training should be supplemented by study of the theoretical aspects of watch making.

Prospective watch repairers should discuss their career plans with experienced watch repairers before enrolling in a training program. Horology courses are offered by the British Horological Institute in the United Kingdom and the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors in the United States. For current information about courses, admission requirements and mature student admission policies, please check their calendars or websites.

Watch repairers are required to provide their own tools.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Watch repairers are employed in:

  • jewellery stores
  • department stores
  • repair shops that cater to the public or are associated with a factory
  • wholesale repair shops.

Experienced watch repairers may specialize in unusual types of repair or advance to supervisory positions. In small shops, there is limited opportunity for advancement. Some experienced watch repairers set up their own watch repair shops or retail stores.

Watch repairers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6344: Jewellers, Jewellery and Watch Repairers, and Related Occupations. In Alberta, 91% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Watch repairers' earnings vary tremendously. Experienced watch repairers may be paid an hourly wage or work on a commission basis, or a combination of both. The profits made by self-employed watch repairers (who may also sell watches and jewellery) depend on market conditions and their business skills.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 21, 2014

British Horological Institute website: www.bhi.co.uk

National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors website: www.nawcc.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated May 15, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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