Piano Technology as a Career

  • Are you interested in musical instruments?
  • Do you like to solve problems?
  • Would you like to be your own boss?

Consider entering the field of piano technology. The Piano Technicians Guild has a guide to Becoming a Piano Tech. View current job openings for piano technicians.

A career in piano technology is unique and very rewarding. With a solid education in piano tuning, repairs and regulation you will be able to work in concert halls, colleges and universities, recording studios, retail stores and in many other exciting settings. You may work primarily as a piano tuner, or provide additional services in repair, regulation, voicing, etc. Some of our members specialize in rebuilding and reconditioning.

Already a piano technician? Learn more about the benefits of PTG membership.

The Registered Piano Technician (RPT) Credential

Registered Piano Technicians are professionals who have committed themselves to the continual pursuit of excellence, both in technical service and ethical conduct. The Piano Technicians Guild grants the Registered Piano Technician (RPT) credential after a series of rigorous examinations that test skill in piano tuning, regulation and repair. Those capable of performing these tasks up to a recognized worldwide standard receive the RPT credential.

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About PTG

The Piano Technicians Guild is the largest organization of its kind in the world. Its mission is to promote the highest possible standards of piano service by providing members with opportunities for professional development, by recognizing technical competence through examinations, and by advancing the interests of its members.

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Skills Required

Normal hearing, patience, average finger dexterity, and a willingness to learn are needed in this field. A musical background is not required. Skills and knowledge in cabinetmaking and piano design are important for those who are interested in piano rebuilding.

Piano technology involves physical work, so general physical fitness is important. An individual of any age, sex, or background can find success in this field.

Skills in operating a small business are necessary for self-employed technicians. Successful technicians have good organizational skills and enjoy working with the public. Some piano technicians use computers and other electronic devices to assist them in their work, so comfort with technology is beneficial.


People learn to become piano technicians through enrollment in residential schools, correspondence or self-study courses, and apprenticeships. You can learn through full-time academic programs, or part-time customized programs at your own pace.

A list of piano technician training programs is available from the Piano Technicians Guild. Entry-level training usually requires from six months to two years, but allow two to five years of practice to develop competence in piano tuning and repair.

Tuition and supply costs can range from approximately $1,000 (correspondence) to more than $11,000 (academic programs).

Opportunities for professional development are available through piano manufacturers, some of the schools that offer entry-level training, and the Piano Technicians Guild. Classes are offered at conventions, seminars, and at the PTG home office.

The Piano Technicians Guild also publishes the only trade-specific magazine in the field, the Piano Technicians Journal. Various technical books and reference materials are also available from the Piano Technicians Guild.

Income Potential

Income for full-time, experienced technicians employed in the trade can average between $50,000 and $100,000 or more a year depending on location and initiative. Most technicians are self-employed and can build a good business within three to five years.

Additional income may come from accessory sales, rebuilding, piano rentals, and retail sales. There are over 17 million pianos in the U.S., and the need for qualified piano technicians will continue to grow.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and 2017 PTG; Member Survey.


A Registered Piano Technician (RPT) has earned the only certification available in North America for those who tune, regulate, maintain, and repair pianos.

Administered by the Piano Technicians Guild, a series of three knowledge and skill examinations challenge even the most experienced and well- trained technician. No other organization has done more than the Piano Technicians Guild to upgrade and validate the profession of piano technician.

Registered Piano Technicians are professionals who have committed themselves to the continual pursuit of excellence, both in technical service and ethical conduct.

Through affiliation with other technicians, manufactures, suppliers, and teaching associations, Piano Technicians Guild members continue to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Working Conditions

The majority of piano technicians are self- employed. Others work for music stores, other technicians, manufactures, school systems, colleges and universities, or in other institutional and performance settings.

Piano technology is a good profession for those who like to work independently. Because most work is done in private homes, it offers a flexible schedule and a large amount of local travel.

Piano technicians report a high level of job satisfaction, a low stress level, and a serious commitment to continued personal and professional growth.

What You Will Learn in a Piano Technology Training Program

Whether you enroll in an established school, apprentice with another technician or choose to study on your own, a core curriculum in piano technology typically includes the following subjects.

  • Tuning Theory and Technology
  • Tuning Procedures
  • Piano Parts and How They Function
  • Common Field Repairs
  • Action Regulation
  • Tone Regulation
  • Business Practices
  • Piano History and Design

Advanced training may include the skills and knowledge needed for concert tuning, specialty repairs, reconditioning, and rebuilding.

If you decide to start your own business as a piano tuner, you may want to seek training in the operation of a small business, financial management, marketing and customer service.

Opportunities for Advancement

Piano Technicians Guild members can be certified as Registered Piano Technicians by passing a series of exams covering technical knowledge, tuning and repair skills.

Technicians who enjoy teaching or writing have a variety of opportunities to share their skills and knowledge.

Some technicians use their training and experience to operate a piano or music store where they sell new and used pianos. Others go into the specialty business of reconditioning and rebuilding used pianos.

Technicians may also design and build pianos, tools, or parts for resale to other technicians.