How Much Do Gunsmiths Earn?

Updated April 17, 2017

If you want to repair a gun or sell a gun in the United States, then you have to be a certified gunsmith. A gunsmith repairs firearms, and his salary varies depending his career focus. A gunsmith may begin his career as an apprentice, work as a salesman in a sporting goods store, work for the military, work for a law enforcement agency or be self-employed. A gunsmith must also have a dealer's license.

Gunsmith Training and Apprenticeships

It important that a gunsmith knows what she is doing because guns can be deadly, if they are not repaired properly. The National Rifle Association offers a gunsmith education course, local colleges offer degrees and some speciality gunsmith colleges offer formal training. You can also serve as an apprentice for a master gunsmith or join a gunsmith apprenticeship program such as the one the Association of Gunsmiths & Related Trades offers. The average salary for a gunsmith apprentice, at the time of publication, is £17,901, according to CBsalary.

Gun Salesman

A gun salesman assists customers in selecting and purchasing firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition. He stocks shelves, cleans merchandise and answers customer questions regarding firearms. A gun salesman is familiar with current firearm procedures and knows the local, state and federal laws specific to firearms. The gun salesman can operate and demonstrate the product as well as explain the proper use, care and maintenance of the gun. The average gun salesman salary, at the time of publication, is £24,700 per year, according to Simply Hired.


A gunsmith repairs and modifies firearms according to the customer's specifications. She installs and polishes parts. She discharges the firearm to determine the strength, alignment and assembly of the gun. She may install a choke device on a shotgun or refinish rifles and shotguns by hand sanding them. A gunsmith also protects the piece by immersing it in water to give it a rust-resistant finish. The average salary for a gunsmith, at the time of publication, is £31,724, according to CBsalary.

Master Gunsmith

A master gunsmith has years of experience and can offer a range of gunsmithing services including milling and finishing virtually any type of gun. Master gunsmiths may also specialise in a specific type of gun or have the skills to custom build firearms. A master gunsmith may work as a consultant for a major gun manufacturer or open his own business.

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About the Author

Aminah Paden began writing professionally in 1992. She has been published in "Mahogany" magazine and "Outreach," a youth newsletter. Paden also blogs for Gold Rush Illinois and Remembering Your Spirit. She has a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.