Photographic Equipment Technicians
Approximately 3,620 camera and photographic equipment repairers are employed in the United States. Many photographic equipment technicians in the United States work in shops specializing in camera adjustment and repair or in the service departments of large camera stores. Quite a few technicians work for camera manufacturers, repairing cameras and photographic equipment that customers have returned to the factory. Some camera dealers have their own in-house repair departments and sometimes hire technicians to adjust cameras on site. Technicians specializing in motion picture cameras and equipment may work for motion picture or television studios or companies renting such equipment to studios.
Individual shops looking for technicians usually advertise online. The best way to start is to call camera repair shops and ask to meet with the owner and drop off a resume.
Advancement in a photographic equipment repair facility is usually from trainee to worker to supervisor. Many manufacturer's technicians also open their own shops, perhaps starting part time on weekends and evenings. Although technicians who have worked for a manufacturer usually know only one line of cameras well, they can learn other manufacturers' models on their own.
Independent technicians advance as their reputation grows for doing quality work. They must become familiar with all the major brands and models of camera equipment. In recent years, major camera manufacturers have been offering more training courses and seminars to inform independent technicians about their newer models, particularly covering which repairs can be done efficiently in the technicians' shops and which repairs need to be handled at the factory. Because of this increased cooperation, technicians who decide to open independent businesses are now much better able to provide quality services for the cameras they service.
Some independent technicians expand their activities into selling small "add-ons" such as film, accessories, and used equipment. Some photographic equipment technicians also work as professional photographers during their off-hours.
Tips for Entry
Participate in information interviews with camera repair shop owners. Ask them for tips on breaking into the field.
Read books on camera repair and maintenance, particularly those written by Thomas Tomosy. Experiment with an old or broken camera.
Find an experienced camera repair technician and see if he or she will train you.
Set up an automated online job search for camera repair positions. Reading job announcements will help you learn about in-demand job skills.