Most modern watchmakers receive their initial training in watchmaking schools where the comprehensive curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the workplace. Training consists of micromechanics, basic watch service, case and bracelet proficiencies, complicated watch service, and real life repairs.
While there are no specific licensing or certification requirements for watchmakers in the U.S., high-end watch brands require SAWTA, WOSTEP or AWCI CW21 certification to open parts accounts. Consequently, employers have become increasingly interested in hiring certified watchmakers.
SAWTA is an entity created by Rolex to ensure standardized curriculum design, implementation, proficiency testing and certification primarily for the Rolex-funded watchmaking schools in the United States.
Many watchmakers take advantage of factory training through an employer, AWCI seminars or WOSTEP courses for continuing education.
Experienced, certified employees may advance into supervisory or management positions, open their own shops or become faculty members in training programs.
NSC provides the opportunity to get an A.A.S. degree along with the industry certification. The A.A.S. degree can be used to transfer to several applied baccalaureate degrees.