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Top 15 Gunsmithing schools in the USA 2021 | Cost, Requirements, Accreditation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation stated that there are over 400 million estimated firearms in the United States of America. Firearms have always been in existence and the history of firearms could be said to be older than that of America. Hence there’ll always be a need for gunsmiths.

There’ll always be a need for gunsmiths and the market will always be on the rise leading to high demand for gunsmiths.

Gunsmiths design, repair, maintain, customize, and modify firearms. Gunsmiths ensure the safety of firearms owners and others by using their knowledge of gunsmithing to ensure that all parts of the firearm are functioning properly, hence the need for gunsmith training, programs, and schools.

Gunsmith Schools are institutions that provide all the necessary knowledge and tools you’ll need to turn your passion into an exciting career.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the top 15 accredited schools that offer gunsmithing programs in the USA. Included in the article are the tuition fees, students to faculty ratio, and the links to each site.

What Is Gunsmithing All About?

Gunsmithing is an occupation that deals with the designing, modification, building, and repair of firearms.  It involves the routine check, modification, and maintenance of firearms. It is all about identifying the worn_out parts of firearms and replacing them with new ones.

There are lots of good career prospects for gunsmiths. In as much as most countries don’t support the use of firearms by citizens, this doesn’t stop you from pursuing a career in gunsmithing.

A gunsmith is someone that specializes in the design, building, modification, repair, and maintenance of firearms. They could either specialize in specific types of firearms like pistols, rifles, etc, or specialize in a particular manufacturer like Glock, Colt, Winchester, Berreta, etc. 

If you’re very good at it, you can get jobs working for the government. The Bureau of Labor does not report data information for gunsmiths, however, they’re categorized as one type of installation, maintenance, and repair workers.

What is Gunsmithing School Like?

Gunsmithing schools are practically educational institutions that specialize in training and educating aspiring gunsmiths on how to create, design, build, customize, and repair firearms using the right materials and techniques. 

When searching for the best gunsmithing school, you should look out for things like the programs offered, their facilities or workroom, the kind of materials used both for teaching and practice, the experience of the tutors and the school, and other important factors.

Why Study Gunsmithing in the USA?

Gunsmithing has always been part of American history. The United States of America has played a huge role in the technological advancement of firearms.

The firearm industry is on the rise and it is expected to increase more, there’s no other time than now to study gunsmithing.

 Millions of dollars are budgeted yearly for firearms and being a good gunsmith will earn you a spot in the nation.

The United States of America has some of the best accredited schools that offer gunsmithing programs, including world-class equipment to aid your learning process.

How Much Does A Gunsmiths Earn In The USA?

According to Payscale, a gunsmith earns an average salary of $40,617 per year, which is $17.13 per hour. 

While ZipRecruiter reports an average salary of $38,704 yearly, which is $19 per hour. 

How Much Does A Gunsmithing School Cost In The USA?

The total cost of the money you’ll spend on tuition and other expenses depends on the gunsmithing school you applied for and the location.

If you applied for gunsmithing schools in your location then the expenses involved will be reduced because you’ll be offered a discount.

The prices range from $8,000_$10,000 or above that and if you’re an indigene of that location you’ll get up to 50% discount or more.

If you opt for online gunsmithing schools then you’ll pay $700- $900 and above, it could also be lower than that. But, keep in mind that for online gunsmithing programs you’ll have to provide all the necessary equipment you need.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Pennsylvania Gunsmith School?

The cost of going to Pennsylvania Gunsmith school is currently $27,144, 50% of the students get grants and scholarship aid. The average aid amount is $3,725 and it could be higher than that.

Asides from tuition fees, there are other expenses for books and materials you’ll need for the program which could amount to $7,900. It could also be higher than this. Bringing it to a total cost of $35,044 or higher.

How Much Does Penn Foster Gunsmith School Cost?

Penn Foster Gunsmith School has different flexible payment plans you can select to start your online gunsmith program with them.

The payment plans include Full Pay at $849, Monthly Auto Pay at $999, and Monthly Mail Pay at $1,029. The last two plans have monthly payments as low as $55.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Gunsmithing Program in the USA?

The length of time involved in completing a gunsmithing program in the USA varies across different schools.

Lots of schools offer a certificate in gunsmithing programs which can be completed in six months.

Some schools offer associate degree programs that are more comprehensive and can be completed within 1-2 years.

If you want to learn the skills through apprenticeship then the time you’ll take to complete your training will depend solely on the gunsmith’s skill, speed, and experience and also how fast you can learn.

Which Body Accredits Gunsmithing Schools in the USA?

No Accrediting body specifically has the role of accreditation of gunsmithing schools in the USA. However, the National Rifles Association (NRA) affiliates with short-term courses at any school of their choosing throughout the country. 

Though gunsmiths in the USA are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). They’re responsible for overseeing all gunsmithing businesses with the exception of people who deal with firearms created in 1898 or muzzleloading firearms.

The ATF issues a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to any gunsmith that does business with the public.

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What Are The Top 15 Gunsmithing Schools in the USA 2021?

The following are top accredited colleges offering gunsmithing degrees in the USA, included here are the tuition fees, students to faculty ratio, accreditation, and link to the schools.

  • Colorado School of Trade
  • Montgomery Community College
  • Murray State College
  • Penn Foster College
  • Pine Technical and Community College
  • Flathead Valley Community College
  • Sonoran Desert College
  • Piedmont Technical College
  • Pennsylvania Gunsmithing School.
  • Lenoir Community College
  • Marshalltown Community College
  • Trinidad State Junior College
  • Piedmont Community College
  • Gunsmith Institute
  • Modern Gun School

1. Colorado School of Trade

One of the top accredited colleges offering gunsmithing degrees in the USA is the Colorado School of Trade.

It is a private for-profit school in Lakewood, Colorado. Established in 1947, the school focuses more on gunsmithing with a maximum number of 160 students.

As one of the country’s largest gunsmithing schools, their gunsmithing training offers you the right skills necessary for you to become an Entry Level Gunsmith with an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Gunsmithing.

They don’t take breaks like spring or summer breaks reducing the normal 2 years of learning the program to 14 months.

Colorado School of Trade’s accreditation is through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

They offer four courses which include, the Basic Course, Machine Shop Course, Stock making Course, and Design plus Function Course. The Basic Course teaches you the use of hand tools, measuring devices, safety, shop math, and other relevant knowledge.

The Machine Shop Course gets you familiar with engine lathe and milling machine operations.

While the Stock making Course introduces you to synthetic stocks, here you’ll fit and finish your synthetic stock for your project rifle. And the Design plus Function Course is where you apply all the knowledge from past courses to completing customer firearm repairs in the Repairs 2 Lab.

Tuition and other expenses: $28,950

Students to faculty ratio: 11:1

2Montgomery Community College

Montgomery Community College was chartered in 1967 as Montgomery Technical Institute. It became Montgomery Technical College in 1983 and was Officially changed to its present name in 1987.

It got accreditation by both the State Board of Education Department of Community College and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1978. The college is a National Rifles Association-approved gunsmithing school and shooting program.

They offer different gunsmithing programs which you can select from like Gunsmithing Refining Certificate, Gunsmithing Diploma, Gunsmithing Technology Certificate, Gunsmithing Design and Repair Certificate, and others.

The duration for each program varies and could cover 2 years.

This gunsmithing program teaches students Machine Shop, Stock Making and Finishing, Customs Firearms Making, including laws and regulations guiding firearms and businesses. 

Tuition fees and other expenses: $11,721.68 for in-state students and $25,929.68 for out-of-state students.

Students to faculty ratio: 8:1

3. Murray State College

Another top accredited college offering gunsmithing programs in the USA is public Community College in Southeastern Oklahoma with the main campus situated at Tishomingo. It was established in 1908. The accreditation is by Higher Learning Commission.

They offer a gunsmithing certificate program that covers all you need to know about gunsmithing from an introduction to basics firearms care and maintenance to gun bluing, theoretical explanation of gunsmithing, machine tool practice,  machine metalwork, and lots of others.

The course practically covers everything you need to know about gunsmithing and having a successful career as a professional gunsmith.

The program started in 1979 and provided training on custom firearms making and gun repair. It runs for 2 years.

Admission is currently ongoing for new intakes for the 2022/2023 session, do if you’re interested in pursuing a career in gunsmithing then now is the best time to apply at Murray State College.

Tuition fees and other expenses: in-state students pay $18,690 or more while out-of-state students pay $24,800 or more.

Students to faculty ratio: 15:1

4. Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College was established in 1890. It is a private, for-profit online College headquartered in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It is not licensed and accredited by the state of Pennsylvania but regionally and nationally.

Penn Foster’s accreditation nationally is by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and regionally by the Arizona State Board for Private Post-secondary Education. The commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), as a national accrediting body.

They offer an online diploma in gunsmithing program that will introduce you to all the foundational knowledge of gunsmithing, you’ll get skills in metalworking techniques and design, repairs, etc.

You’ll cover topics like gun safety, firearms assembly and disassembly, customizing gun stocks, antique firearms restoration, custom loading ammunition, mounting telescopic sights, etc. You’ll also learn the history of rifles and handguns.

This online gunsmithing program covers 3 months. They have different payment methods you can select from and there’s also a refund option in case you’re not satisfied with the course. 

Tuition fees: full pay $849, monthly auto-pay $999, and monthly mail pay $1029.

Students to Faculty ratio: since it’s an online educational platform, there are no exact students to faculty ratios.

5. Pine Technical and Community College

One of the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA is also the Pine Technical and Community College, formerly called Pine Technical College. Established in 1965, the public community college is in Pine City, Minnesota.

The institution’s accreditation is by Higher Learning Commission. They go through a comprehensive assessment every 10 years and the last accreditation was in 2018. 

Their gunsmithing program is the Gunsmithing and Firearms Technology which lasts for 2 years.

The first year of the program covers topics such as the fundamentals of functions, disassembling, reassembling, maintenance, and repairs of the different designs of firearms and their accessories.

The second-year covers areas such as blueprinting and rebarrelling rifle actions, making 1 and 2-piece gunstocks, performance-enhancing shotguns, and learning the act of finishing.

They teach the traditional as well as the modern gunsmithing techniques, respecting the history as well as looking towards advanced techniques for firearms. 

Tuition fees and other expenses: $21,594 as of the last session.

Students to Faculty ratio: 20:1

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6. Flathead Valley Community College

Flathead Valley Community College is a public community college located in Kalispell, Montana. It was established in 1967. The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The college offers a gunsmithing training program called the Firearms Technology. It is designed to build your knowledge about the design and functions of modern firearms. It expands your knowledge on gunsmithing, metal finishing, and stock finishing techniques. Asides from the theoretical aspects of the program you’ll also design, build, and complete several firearm projects using hand and machine tools. 

Tuition fees: charged on per credit basis.

Students to Faculty ratio: 12:1

7. Sonoran Desert College

Sonoran Desert Institution is one of the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA that was established in 2000. It is an online educational platform that focuses more on gunsmithing.

It was approved as a learning institution by the Arizona State Board for Private Post-secondary Education in 2001 and was finally accredited by Distance Education Accrediting Commission in 2004. 

The institution started offering gunsmithing programs in 2004 and later expanded to including armorer courses, they have over 2000 students enrolled in their programs.

The gunsmithing program helps students learn all the skills and techniques they need in pursuing a successful career in gunsmithing. Their tutors are professionals with lots of years of experience.

They combine modern learning tools with hands-on training options to deliver a comfortable learning experience for students. 

The program covers 4 months which is also flexible as students can learn the program at their convenience.

They offer two programs in gunsmithing, the Associate of Science in Firearms Degree Certificate which covers 2_3 years, and Certificate in Firearms Technology- Gunsmithing which covers 1 year. 

Tuition fees and other expenses: $20,680 and $10,950 depending on the course you select.

Students to Faculty ratio: 50:1

8. Piedmont Technical College

Piedmont Technical College was established in 1966. It is a public community college with its main campus in Greenwood, South Carolina. It serves other additional counties like Abbeville, Edgefield, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, and Saluda.

Piedmont Technical is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

The college’s gunsmithing training will teach you all the skills you need to have a successful career as a gunsmith. The gunsmithing program will provide you with complete knowledge on gunsmithing. It goes from the introductory level to the advanced level.

Exposing you to all the basic knowledge and theoretical aspects of gunsmithing to the practical level. At the end of the program, you’ll have acquired the necessary skills need to start up your own professional gunsmiths business or get employment with a gunsmithing company. 

You’ll be able to make custom modifications to Firearms, work with hand tools and basic machine tools, utilize metal refinishing and metal polishing techniques, test and compare completed products with specifications. The program is taught in not less than two years.

Tuition fees and other expenses: Tuition is charged per credit hour and each campus have their tuition charges. The rates also differ for out-of-state, out-of-region, and International students.

Students to Faculty ratio: 16:1

9. Pennsylvania Gunsmithing School

Pennsylvania Gunsmithing School started training gunsmiths in 1949. The gunsmithing school is located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Avalon, Pennsylvania.

The institution was founded to reeducate World war II veterans who wanted to start a career in gunsmithing. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

They’re also a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA). 

They deliver the best knowledge on gunsmithing through the use of a combination of traditional and modern gunsmithing techniques.

Students learn how to design, modify, customize, repair, and polish firearms, operate drill presses, lathes, etc, and weld or fit chamber rifle barrels. They provide all the necessary skills and techniques you need to pursue a professional career as a gunsmith. The course can be completed in 16 months. 

Tuition fees and other expenses: $35,474

Students to Faculty ratio: 15:1

10. Lenoir Community College

Lenoir Community College is one of the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA located in Lenoir County, North Carolina. It was founded in 1958. These classes are offered at the campus, online, and off-campus sites. They also have evening and weekend classes.

This colege’s accreditation is by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They also have approvals from other bodies.

They offer different gunsmithing programs such as Gunsmithing I, Gunsmithing Tools, Modern Sporting Firearm, Basic gunsmithing skills certificate, Advanced Gunsmithing Skills Certificate, Diploma, and AAS.

The gunsmithing programs cover everything from an introduction to gunsmithing, the theoretical aspects, blueprints, hand tools, manufacturing, repairs, customizing, etc. They use both traditional techniques and modern techniques to deliver the best knowledge to aspiring gunsmiths. The course covers a period of 1 to 2 years.

Tuition fees and other expenses: Tuition fees vary on the type of gunsmithing training you select.

Students to Faculty ratio: 15:1

11. Marshalltown Community College

Formerly known as Mars Junior College, it is a public community college located in Marshalltown, Iowa, established in 1927. They offer 55 diploma and degree certificates. The college is accredited by Higher Learning Commission. 

Their gunsmithing program has been tailored to train students on how to apply technical knowledge and skills to design, repair, maintain, customize, and modify firearms using specialized hand tools and machines.

The 2-years program will provide in-depth knowledge and students interested in pursuing a career in gunsmithing, a firearms industry, or working for the military. The repair shop provides students with world-class hands-on experience working with sophisticated firearms models. 

Tuition fees and other expenses: 10,712

Students to Faculty ratio: 13:1

12. Trinidad State Junior College

Another top accredited gunsmithing school that offers gunsmithing training is the Trinidad State Junior College. It is a public community college in Trinidad, Colorado, with a satellite campus at Alamosa. It was established in 1925.

Since 1962, they have been consistently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They offer different courses and programs including gunsmithing programs. 

The gunsmithing training at Trinidad is a short-term course designed for students interested in pursuing a career in gunsmithing. Courses are available for amateurs and professionals.

The courses are designed in such a way that you can get a new gunsmithing skill, refine a technique, or increase your knowledge with modern techniques.

You can either apply for one course or multiple courses depending on your goal. The college is in partnership with the National Rifles Association, therefore they get lots of gunsmiths experts to teach the students.

They have summer courses and full-time gunsmithing courses. The school offers students the opportunity to attend short summer courses, which will earn them credits towards attending the full gunsmithing programs.

Tuition fees and other expenses: $20,124

Students to Faculty ratio: 11:1

13. Piedmont Community College

Piedmont Community College is a public community college based in Roxboro, North Carolina. It was established in 1970. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In addition to the regional accreditation, individual programs have accreditation. They offer different programs and courses in diverse fields including gunsmithing programs.

They have a diploma in gunsmithing program where you can turn your passion for firearms into a professional career through their well-detailed and organized gunsmithing training. 

It is tailored in such a way that students will acquire the right skills need to refurbish metal and woods, repair, maintain, customize firearms including stock making. You’re also given an opportunity to practice what you have learned in a hands-on environment.

Tuition fees and other expenses: $21,500

Students to Faculty ratio: 8:1

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14. American Gunsmith Institute

The American Gunsmith Institute was established in 1993, located in Napa, California. It is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. 

The gunsmithing training is designed to suit those who want to use it to get a professional career and those who want to work on their guns safely. It is one of the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA. You can earn the professional certificate within 3 months. There are online 180 hours instructions that deal with everything you need to know about gunsmithing from the basics to the advanced level.

 The online courses are broken down into separate lessons, each of them taught by an industry expert. You can join to specialize in one field. One benefit of this online gunsmithing program is that you can learn at your convenience and it saves money. You can decide to do the full gunsmithing program or select a field to specialize in. 

Tuition fees:  individual programs have their cost but getting the professional gunsmithing certificate will cost about $5,000_$15,000 if you intend to do the whole course.

15. Modern Gun School

Modern Gun School is one of the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA that specializes more in firearms. It is one of the best oldest distant learning gunsmithing schools established in 1946, located at Marshfield, Wisconsin. One of the benefits of this school is that the courses are taught online, so you can learn at your convenience giving you a flexible learning experience. 

The gunsmithing training takes you from a basic level of experience to an advanced level giving you all the necessary skills and techniques needed to succeed in the competitive gunsmithing industry.

The school normally reviews and updates its course contents adding modern gunsmithing techniques to deliver quality content to you. The school is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. 

Tuition fees: Basic Gunsmithing  Plan A $1,690, Plan B $1,790, and Plan C $1890.

Advanced Gunsmithing Plan A $1,999, Plan B $2,099, Plan C $2,199.

FAQs

What Is Gunsmithing All About?

Gunsmithing is an occupation that deals with the designing, modification, building, and repair of firearms. 

How Much Does A Gunsmiths Earn In The USA?

The average salary earned by gunsmiths in the USA is $38,000 and above. The salary depends on the area you decide to specialize in.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Gunsmithing Program in the USA?

It takes about 1-2 years to complete a gunsmithing program, however, the duration depends on the program of study you chose.

Which Body Accredits Gunsmithing Schools in the USA?

 No accreditation body is specifically assigned for the accreditation of gunsmithing schools in the United States of America.

What are the top accredited schools that offer gunsmithing programs in the USA?

  • Colorado School of Trade
  • Montgomery Community College
  • Murray State College
  • Penn Foster College
  • Pine Technical and Community College
  • Flathead Valley Community College
  • Sonoran Desert College
  • Piedmont Technical College
  • Pennsylvania Gunsmithing School.
  • Lenoir Community College
  • Marshalltown Community College
  • Trinidad State Junior College
  • Piedmont Community College
  • Gunsmith Institute
  • Modern Gun School

Conclusion

If you’ve ever been passionate about firearms and how they function then this is the best time for you to turn your passion into a career and earn money from it. Firearms will never go out of fashion, the industry will keep booming. 

Have you been finding the best school to get accurate and in-depth knowledge in gunsmithing? then here’s your chance to pursue your dream career. 

This article contains all you need to know about the top accredited gunsmithing schools in the USA, some of the programs are offered online providing you with a flexible and comfortable learning experience.

Tuition fees are not constant, it depends on the school. There’s also a discount offered to in-state students therefore the tuition fees for international students, out-of-state, and in-state students are not the same.

References

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