CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 29, 2014
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How to Become a Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairer in the US

Cameras and photographic equipment such as lenses and viewfinders are delicate and require an expert touch to repair them when they malfunction. Camera and photographic equipment repairers specialize in just this kind of work. They apply the specialized knowledge acquired from their training and experience to do so.

What Does a Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairer Do?

Repairers perform a host of functions in ensuring that the camera and photographic equipment is restored to good working order. Their specific duties are to:

  • Examine the cameras and related equipment to diagnose the source of the problem and determine whether or not to attempt repair on the delicate and expensive devices.
  • Give the client an assessment of their findings
  • If appropriate, they proceed to dissemble the equipment to get to the defective parts and repair or replace them as necessary
  • Calibrate and test the equipment before re-assembling it, to ensure that it is properly restored
  • Clean and lubricate all the moving parts to facilitate efficient operation
  • Maintain detailed logs of their findings during repairs to make recommendations on upgrades that need to be made to the equipment and their component parts

Qualifications

To qualify for this job, you will need to receive training from a vocational or trade school since the knowledge and skills required for the job are technical rather than academic. However, you can also undertake a certificate or associate degree course in electronic technology or electro-mechanical engineering, where you will be trained in foundational courses such as:

  • Digital electronic systems and circuitry
  • Electronic sequences
  • Robotics and motor controls
  • Operation of precision instruments and hand tools
  • Interpretation of technical drawings and schematics

Additional qualifications are:

  • Relevant experience from apprenticeships and on-the-job training
  • Working knowledge of computer software that operates modern digital devices
  • Ability to read and understand technical manuals
  • Obtain liability insurance to cover any damage caused during the repair process

 

Skills

You will also need the following skills for this job:

  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Information gathering and problem solving skills
  • Control precision, arm-hand steadiness and manual dexterity
  • Critical thinking and excellent judgment skills
  • Ability to pay keen attention to detail and to work meticulously
  • Excellent vision
  • Ability to work independently with minimal or no supervision

Salary

Camera and photographic equipment repairers are paid according to their level of expertise. The salary could also vary depending on whether you work as an independent contractor or for a camera company in the after-sales department. The average per annum salary range is:

Entry Level 

 

$23,000

Mid Career

 

$37,430

Senior level

 

$59,030

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Work Environment

Camera and photographic repairers work alone for long hours sitting or standing and holding their positions steady so as to avoid interfering with the delicate repair process. They operate in repair shops and workshops that have to be properly lit and ventilated to facilitate the repair process while avoiding any damage to the equipment. They work regular hours and schedule client appointments to give adequate attention to each item to be repaired.

Career Prospects

To enhance your job outlook and career growth prospects in this career, you need to engage in a lot of self-learning to stay up to date on all the latest technologies. Attending workshops sponsored by the various camera and photographic equipment manufacturers will help you in this endeavor. You will also need to have business acumen alongside your technical skills to get the word about what you do. Clients tend to refer repairers who know when to repair a camera and when to advise them to just replace it and those who have an excellent reputation.

If you have steady hands, display great dexterity, like to investigate and solve problems and are fascinated by the inner workings of cameras and photographic equipment, then a job as a camera repairer offers you the best chance of making use of these skills and interests in a job setting.

Image Source: http://www.precisioncamerarepairs.com

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