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Train to be a Horologist (Watchmaker or Clockmaker)

Your Step-by-Step Guide

Horology is a combination of art, science and engineering. Mechanical clocks and watches are delicate instruments that require repair, servicing, restoration and conservation. There is a high demand for skilled horologists and clock and watchmakers are on the Heritage Skills at Risk Register. As a career, it is financially rewarding with an ever-increasing demand for these skills.

Step 1. Join the BHI

Join the BHI as an associate which is available to everyone and entitles you to benefits including access to all our courses. Membership also includes:

  • Our monthly publication The Horological Journal (HJ)
  • Access to the members’ area of our website which includes back issues of the HJ, forums, research resources and members’ updates
  • Access to a world-class on-site horological library

The annual cost of joining the BHI is currently £160 (UK), and £185 (Overseas).

Join the BHI

Step 2. Access BHI Training

As an associate member you will have access to all the BHI courses and further training, whether you wish to pursue a career in clock and watchmaking, improve your knowledge as a collector or enthusiast. Details of all our training can be found by clicking the link below.

If you wish to gain accredited qualifications in horology, the first step is to purchase the Technician Grade distance learning course. This course is supported by optional Tutor Feedback and short practical courses here in our workshops at Upton Hall. These courses are designed to develop your practical skills at all levels. All our courses and examinations are flexible and are designed for you to study at your own pace. The following options will also benefit you enormously:

  • Take up the DLC option for Tutor Feedback on the exercises
  • Select the relevant workshop courses to develop your practical skills at all levels

If you are unsure about the choice of course we can provide verbal assessment of your equivalent prior skills on request.

Short Courses

Step 3. Pass Examinations

The BHI offers accredited vocational qualifications for clock and watchmakers. Our awarding body EAL is the UK’s leading industry specialist. All our diploma qualifications are accredited by the UK’s regulatory qualifications body, Ofqual. Exams are held in May each year.


Step 4. Become a Professional

Professional Horologists follow our level 4 and 5 courses and achieve the diploma qualifications. This qualifies you for the postnominals MBHI/FBHI respectively. Our Armorial Bearings and postnominals are used to advertise your details on the BHI register of repairers which is consulted daily by the public.

BHI Accredited Lists

Step 5. Gain Employment

The BHI is a recognised training body setting high standards in the worldwide watch and clock industry. Having completed the Diploma Award at level 3, you are trained to work as a technician  within the industry or as a sole trader. Levels 4 and 5 qualifications, the Diploma in the Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Clocks/Watches, can lead to employment as a professional clock or watchmaker, in other sectors including museums, high end retailers, research and as a sole trader.

Current Vacancies


We have a new education training prospectus.

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