Watchmaker is the traditional name for an individual who made and repaired watches in a small shop, explains The WatchDoc website. Nowadays, although watchmaking has moved to large manufacturing firms, the traditional name remains in use for a person who repairs watches. A watchmaker cleans, adjusts, makes repairs and returns watches to good working condition. Most watchmakers earn at least $27,000 per year, but some have much higher salaries.
The occupation of watchmaker is a small one, with only an estimated 2,350 of these workers employed in the United States in 2009, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average watchmaker salary was $19.62 per hour, or $40,810 per year. The middle 50 percent of watchmakers were earning $27,240 to $48,540 per year. The bottom 10 percent had salaries of $18,330 and below, and the top 10 percent were making at least $65,580 per year.
Employment Per Capita
New Jersey has the most watchmakers per capita, with an estimated 200 of them employed there in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their average salary in New Jersey was $21.13 per hour, or $43,940 per year. The pay rate in New Jersey was second only to New York state, where watchmakers earned $56,400 per year on average.
The job search website Indeed listed a limited number of job openings for watchmakers at the time of publication. A position that ranked in the top 10 percent of watchmaker salaries offered $60,000 to $65,000 per year in an upscale jewelry store in Florida. The individual was required to have experience working on very expensive, high-quality and complex watches and would work behind glass where customers could view the process.
Employment of watchmakers will probably decline rapidly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People commonly replace their watches rather than paying the high cost of repairs, and most watchmakers now work primarily with antique and expensive watches. Nevertheless, the BLS sees good job prospects for watchmakers because many workers in this profession are reaching retirement age.