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
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
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 Michael@PianoTechnicianAcademy.com.