Why become a Watchmaker ?
Rich with Opportunity
(From an article written by Vicki Stavig, a Bloomington-based freelance writer, that appears on the Saint Paul College website)
Citing the aging of the watchmaking industry's workforce, Juaire [Joe Juaire, Department Chair] says the field is rich with opportunities these days. "'There is a desperate need for watchmakers," he notes. "'I have 50 job opportunities for every class of 12 that graduates. Most of them are in major metropolitan areas throughout the country, but we're also seeing high demand from Asian and European countries." First-year salaries, he adds, generally range from $45,000 to $55,000, although he occasionally sees opportunities at the $60,000 level.
Also helping to drive the need for watchmakers is the increasing popularity of high-end watches in the United States. "'We're the number one consumers of high-grade timepieces from Switzerland," Juaire says. "'[U.S. consumers] purchase about 750,000 timepieces annually at a retail price of $1,500 or more. I believe there has been a dressing down of corporate America in recent years, so the way to differentiate yourself is through accessories, including high-grade watches. Men who won't wear a necklace will wear a $5,000 Rolex. I think Americans in general are fascinated by small mechanical miracles."