How Much Money Do Piano Tuners Make? November 22, 2017 16:53

Hello! Michael Stilwell here (one of the instructors). So how much money do piano tuners make? This is a question we get asked all the time and one we never really know how to answer. I know some techs who make well over six figures and others who struggle every month. Building a solid tuning business can take years and is not usually something that happens overnight. 

The Established Piano Technician Business

Let's start off by doing some basic math. We will assume that the average price of a piano tuning is $115. Most professional piano tuners will do about 3-5 tunings a day if they are working in home. This usually comes out to a 7-8 hour day with driving. Let's assume they spend about $400 a month in advertising and about driving about 50 miles a day with a 5 day work week. Assuming that their car gets about 18 mpg and gas is around $2.50 a gallon, this means they will be spending about $140 in gas a month. 

Monthly Income- $6900-$11,500

Monthly Marketing- $400

Gas- $140

Total Monthly Income $6360-$10,960

Now these numbers assume you are a professional charging full price with a full workload. This is obviously not going to be the case when you are just starting off. We also did not take into account insurance and other smaller business expenses. 

The Beginner Piano Technicians Business

Again, let's make some assumptions (and keep in mind, these are just assumptions, not actual numbers). Let's assume you charge $70 for a tuning and do about 6 a week. Assuming you drive about 60 miles a week to do this and spend $400 a month on marketing, the price breakdown would be as follows;

Monthly Income - $1680

Monthly Marketing $400

Gas $35 

Total Monthly Income- $1245

Again, these are just rough estimates but if you can get your tunings done in about 2.5 hours and assume each house is 20 minutes away you will only be working about 18-19 hours a week and earning $1245. That comes out to about $69.16 an hour. Not bad for a beginner! 

Keep in Mind...

Assuming you will be doing 6 tunings a week is fairly ambitious when you are first getting started and will certainly require that $400 marketing budget unless you are in an area with very few other tuners. I have had students struggle to get 4 tunings a week while others don't even finish the course because word got out in their area that they were for hire and they get so booked, they don't have time to study. Obviously we don't recommend this but I say it to over emphasizes, every market is different. If you want to get a more solid understanding of what you may be able to make in your local market, try calling a few other technicians and ask what they charge and how busy they are. Maybe even attend a Piano Technicians Guild meeting in your local chapter (click here to find your local chapter). 

I hope this helps some of you in your decision of whether or not to get into this trade. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please email me directly at


New Piano Tuning Film Studio June 17, 2017 13:57

Hey everybody! We at PTA just wanted to update you on everything happening here and what is in the pipeline for 2017. As many of you know, we moved to a new location about 2 years ago and we FINALLY just finished building a state of the art film studio to film our piano tuning and repair videos. The space turned out great and the plan is to start filming some videos for the piano tuning and repair course as well as two other courses we have cooking this summer. 

Also, we have hired on another piano technician who will be helping develop a course on concert piano prep. This tech has a very impressive resume and has a lot of knowledge to share. We will be announcing all of this in future blog posts. 

Again we are hoping to launch two new courses in 2017. As mentioned above, one will be on piano concert prep and the other will be on polyester/finish repair. These are great classes for piano tuners who are already working built would like to expand their list of services or brush up on skills they have had for years. We will be sending you all emails as well as writing a blog and posting on facebook when these courses are available (hopefully around November 2017)! 

Thanks for reading guys! As always, please contact us if you have any questions about our piano tuning course or anything else! 

How to Market after Piano Tuning School March 22, 2015 00:07

After piano tuning school, you need to market your services

A while back I had a student tell me that they were havingtrouble getting piano tunings.They had not finished the course yet but wanted to get a few piano tunings under their belt (at a very discounted) price but nobody was calling them after they put a few flyers up at a local Starbucks. Like I said in my previous post, owning a piano tuning business requires a lot more than knowing how to tune a piano. We as piano tuners need to know how to market our services in an effective way if we expect to get any piano tuning clients. This means knowing our target audience – the piano owners in our city. Before we go on, please be aware that lesson ten in our piano tuning course covers this topic in more detail and provides links and resources to help you get started.
Target Audience- The Piano Owners in Our City

Most piano owners these days are families with children taking lessons, or life long piano players. They typically are “computer savvy” and search for service professionals online. Over the last 4 years, Yellow Pages has gone from printing 13 billion directories a year to 8 billion a year and one of their main “partners” filed for Chapter 11 just a couple years ago… This change is very important for us to note. While Yellow Pages does have an online directory (and a pretty good one), most people use

Piano Tuning Training May 23, 2013 14:22

The Online Piano Tuner As a piano tuner and a professor at The Piano Technician Academy, I get asked “is it really possible to learn how to tune a piano in an online piano tuning training course?” about once a … Continue reading

Piano Tuning Course May 15, 2013 12:27

Why Become a Piano Tuner? Nearly every day we get emails or phone calls from piano teachers and music majors who are looking for a way to make some extra money in the industry that they love. They have always … Continue reading

Piano Tuning School March 04, 2013 13:56

It has been a long time since we have updated our blog at our online piano tuning school. We have been so busy teaching our online piano tuning course that we have totally neglected our blog! The Piano Tuning School … Continue reading

Online Piano Tuning School Success Story December 21, 2012 04:18

Meet Daniel Kendrick- One of our recent Piano Tuning School graduates. Daniel is the proud owner of Kendrick Pianos in the Nashville Tennessee area. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, Daniel finished our online piano tuning course in less than 2 months! Kendrick … Continue reading

Why I went to Piano Tuning School December 21, 2012 04:17

I figured its about time to tell you why I personally went to piano tuning school. I am a second generation piano tuner and the owner of a mid sized used piano shop in Arizona. I attended piano tuning school when I was 20 years old in hopes of starting my own piano tuning business. My grandfather was a piano tuner for his entire life and since he was winding down in a nursing home, I decided to pick up the family business and learn to tune pianos. 

Piano Tuning School

I cant tell you what school I went to for legal reasons but I will say they are one of the most popular correspondence based piano tuning schools in the country. It took me just a few months to finish the piano tuning course and begin practicing my new piano tuning trade on my

Learning How to Tune a Piano December 21, 2012 04:16

How to Tune a Piano

Learning how to tune a piano can be a very fun experience if you learn how to tune a piano the right way. Like everything else in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to tune a piano. The wrong way involves taking your piano apart yourself and using some sort of socket wrench to turn the tuning pins. This is not the write way to tune a piano by any means. You may not believe this but most piano tuners attend some sort of piano tuning school before starting their piano tuning business. You also may bot believe how cheap piano tuning school can cost!

Online Piano Tuning School December 21, 2012 04:14

Choosing Online Piano Tuning School

There are many choices when looking for a piano tuning school. Unfortunately there are not too many piano tuning schools that offer online classes. In fact there were none until a year ago! The Piano Technician Academy is currently the only completely online piano tuning school in the country. As far as we know, we are the only online piano tuning school in the world as well!

How do you Learn Piano Tuning?

Choosing what piano tuning school you are going to attend is not an easy task. First you need to know how you work best. Since most piano tuning schools are correspondence, you need to figure out whether you would rather learn from a work book or an online class room. At The Piano Technician Academy we use a unique online learning environment that allows you to go through each lesson as a slide show, a online webpage reading or print it out as a PDF. This gives our piano tuning students freedom to study in any way they like.

How to Pay for Piano Tuning School December 21, 2012 04:12

Welcome to the first blog post for The Piano Technician Academy, the first and only online piano tuning school in the country!

About Me

First off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Michael Stilwell and I am one of the professors here at the I am a second generation piano technician and the owner of Stilwell Pianos located in Tempe Arizona. Stilwell Pianos has been in business since 1956 and was started by my grandfather Ralph Stilwell. I took over the tuning and repair business about 6 years ago and have since turned it into a “brick and mortar” used piano shop in Arizona.

As a professor at The Piano Technician Academy, I believe learning how to become a piano tuner can not be done by simply taking a course at our piano tuning school. That may shock some of you but becoming a piano tuner has to involve hands on practice in the field. Our course is designed to prepare you to enter the field. OUr students are encouraged to practice on as many pianos as possible while taking the course AND after taking the course. It is also advisable to contact other tuners in your area and ask if you can “shadow” one of their work days.

Why do Pianos Need to be Tuned? December 21, 2012 01:58

In piano tuning school you will obviously learn how to tune a piano but it is very important to understand why pianos need to be tuned. At the Piano Technician Academy we feel that knowing how a piano falls out of tune is the first step in learning how to tune a piano.

The average piano has around 230 strings, each pulled to around 50 -100 pounds of pressure. This pressure totals around 18 – 20 tons and is placed on the Iron Plate and the Wood Frame.  This alone is enough to make a piano go out of tune but the atmosphere also plays a role as far as tuning is concerned.