I am facing crossroads and curious what careers piano technicians have transitioned to upon leaving the piano industry. Of particular interest to me are those technicians that had no education and experience outside of pianos. If any of you have friends that have successfully done so, I would appreciate knowing what career they chose as well as why they chose it.
John Hartman quit the piano business. You might reach out to him. This site is mostly frequented by folks planning to stay with pianos. Just curious; You have credentials from Bosendorfer and WNG, why are you not happy with this profession?
I only aware of a handful of fully established techs that quit the business. For most of us, piano tuning is a second career, or even a retirement career. There are only a few who leave to do something else. The few that I've known have left for various aspects of the music industry, only to go back to tuning in a few months.
With that said, reading between the lines of your question, I think your main concern is that you don't have any skills outside of piano work. Please hear me loud and clear, that is a false narrative! It's not true. To start with, you run a business if you're self employed. You have time management and organizational skills. You know how to do project management. I'm guessing you are mechanically minded and can figure out most technical things if you think about it. You have knowledge of materials and how they interact with each other. You're a highly detailed person. Not to mention, but you have x number of years that you've been in the same field for, maybe even the same job. You know how to stick with something.
These are the things an employer is going to look for when you interview with them. These are character qualities. They can teach someone the day to day operational skills, but they can't teach these things. Take confidence in that. You're in a much better position than you feel, I promise.
------------------------------Benjamin Sanchez, RPTPiano Technician / Artisan(256) 947-9999www.professional-piano-services.com------------------------------
------------------------------Kamuela "Sam" Haasenritter, RPTPresident: Haasenritter Piano Service, Inc.Certified Bosendorfer TechnicianCertified WNG Action Installersam@hpianoservice.comwww hpianoservice.com(404) 932-8863------------------------------
My son in law was a manager at an Amazon warehouse in Phoenix. Did not like the duties of that position. Quit. He's now very much happier working at a convenience store/gas station. It's not always about the money.
Kamuela "Sam" Haasenritter, RPTPresident: Haasenritter Piano Service, Inc.Certified Bosendorfer TechnicianCertified WNG Action InstallerRegistered Piano Technicianwww.hpianoservice.com(404) 932-8863 (TUNE)
One of my own assumptions is that, if you are unhappy with your job you aren't charging enough.
One can be happy shovelling manure, its all about attitude.
One reason I like piano tuning: I have 2500 fifteen minute friends (and a few half hour friends too).
I gave up teaching, in spite of the fact that I loved it, but there was too much politics involved and I preferred not to try to fit in.
One of my tuning teachers (Don Morton) said that a piano tuner needs to like themselves, because they will be alone with themselves a lot.
For some a more structured life as an employee or a member of an organization might be a better fit. A piano tuner is often fully responsible for themselves (and their family) and can't rely on others to structure or provide work.
I hope that these comments are related to the actual question asked.
A technician I know is becoming a massage therapist. The program they're doing is part time for one year. Good luck!
If geography is the primary concern, you might want to investigate a CAUT position in the southwest.
New Mexico, Arizona and parts of west Texas are very dry. I transitioned to a university position at the age of 60.
I have been here just over 3 years now. It looked like a pay cut, but the truth is that I keep more of what I earn
so the net income is actually higher. I had to move for the job, so the clientele I built up over 30 years was
divested. I got a little pittance for my assets and a fee for the client base. Not anything I would have liked.
But I also am developing a small clientele from the faculty, local churches and a few referrals under a new
sole prop DBA: Rocky Top Piano. Left my old life behind, but still ply the same skills in another region. Both my family
and I are much happier. Since my kids are still middle school age, finding good schools and a property to
erect a new workshop were high on the list of priorities. Everything worked out better than I could have wished for.
The only thing downside is living far away from my wife's family, but we travel back for the holidays. I hope this
gives you some additional perspective.