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Gunsmith Technology

– Offered at Iowa Valley Grinnell –

Gunsmith Technology

Deadline for Fall 2019 registration is April 1, 2019

The craft of gunsmithing has been a part of American history and culture since our country was founded, and it continues to be a unique and highly specialized area of professional expertise. Gunsmiths possess a combination of technical and mechanical skills, but those who master the artistry of gunsmithing are among the most highly sought after by gun collectors. Hunters, sportsmen, collectors, and firearms enthusiasts around the world need the services of experienced Gunsmiths to repair and customize their favorite firearms. Millions of dollars a year are spent on guns in the U.S. alone, which means there’s a big demand for skilled professionals to keep the firearms working well! 

Iowa Valley Grinnell’s Gunsmith Technology Program

Since 2013, IVG’s Gunsmith Technology program has been preparing individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to make, repair, maintain, and modify firearms according to blueprints or customer specifications, using specialized hand tools and machines. This 2-year program provides highly sophisticated training to students interested in pursuing careers as technicians in the firearms manufacturing and distribution industry and for businesses working with the U.S. military. Graduates may become a Gunsmith working in a variety of gun shops, sporting goods stores, gun manufacturers, and their own businesses.

Our students work in a state-of-the-art gunsmithing lab that was developed with encouragement and support from Brownells, an international leader in the gunsmithing supply industry located here in Grinnell. In addition to learning the gunsmithing trade and building their own firearm as part of the training, students also perform repairs on a multitude of firearms that are brought in through the IVG Gunsmith Tech Repair Shop. The Repair Shop gives students invaluable hands-on experience with a nearly limitless number of firearm makes and models.

This Gunsmith Technology program is the only one in Iowa, and one of just a very few in the Midwest and beyond. IVG’s Gunsmith Technology program:

  1. A two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree

The link under Degrees Awarded (below) specifies our program course requirements.

Gunsmith Technology Careers & Job Outlook

Millions of dollars a year are spent on firearms in the U.S. alone, which means there’s a big demand for skilled professionals to keep the firearms working well! Salaries of Gunsmiths vary by employment setting. HigherSalary.com lists the range of $25,470 to $48,605 a year, with the average salary of $36,267 annually. Successful self-employed Gunsmiths earn the highest income, as do Gunsmiths who are longtime employees in gunsmithing shops.

Our Admission Requirements

Admission into the Gunsmith Technology program is separate from admission to the College. The first step students must take is to complete an admissions folder. All of the following items must be submitted to the MCC Admissions Office. Click here for a complete list of tools required.

NOTICE: Applicants must fill out BOTH forms below.

  1. Completed application for College admission
    1. Apply to Marshalltown Community College/Iowa Valley Grinnell (online form)
  2. Completed application for the Gunsmith Technology program
    1. IVG Gunsmith Tech Applicant Form (online form)
  3. Official high school transcript or high school equivalency diploma required (send to MCC Admissions Office, 3700 South Center Street, Marshalltown, Iowa 50158).
  4. Official transcripts from other colleges you have attended, if applicable (send to Admissions Office).
  5. Take or submit ACT or ACCUPLACER; fax scores to 641 236-0036 or email scores to MaryAnne Nickle. To determine scores needed for remediation, consult a Student Success Specialist.
  6. Prospective students shall submit a letter of application for admission to the Gunsmith Tech program. The letter should be a maximum of 1,000 words, double spaced in times New Roman font, size 12. This letter will be used in the review process by the admissions committee for the selection of students for admission. The letter should include the items listed in the Gunsmith Tech application.
  7. Have three letters of recommendation sent to: Beth Hotchkin, 123 6th Avenue West, Grinnell, IA 50112. These letters should be recommendations from employers, teachers or other professionals who are not related to the applicant and have a personal knowledge of the applicant’s work ethic and background.
  8. Iowa law forbids any person under the age of 18 to possess a handgun. Prospective students shall be eighteen (18) years of age or older on or before the first day of the first Gunsmith Tech course in which they are registered.
  9. Students selected for moving forward in the process will be notified, and sent a link by email to complete the background check. Students will pay for the background check. Students must prove their eligibility to own and possess firearms. This includes all project guns, receivers, etc. that the student needs to procure while enrolled.

NOTE: If felony and/or misdemeanor charges are found on a background check after the student is enrolled, the student could be dismissed and the student would be liable for any tuition already paid if beyond drop date.

Our Gunsmith Tech Repair Shop

The Iowa Valley Grinnell Gunsmith Tech Repair shop is open throughout the year. Click here for important information/requirements before attempting to bring a firearm to our campus.

Faculty Contact

Eric Kiesler

Eric Kiesler

IVG Staff Contact

Beth Hotchkin

Beth Hotchkin
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