Musical Instrument Making & Repair

There are opportunities in the guitar making industry in Victoria and with independent makers nationally. NCAT consults with industry and has established relationships with Maton Guitars, Cole Clark Guitars & many independent instrument makers. The college also has a relationship the Australian Music Association (the National Retailer’s Association).

The Certificate IV in Musical Instrument Making and Repair students learn to make a bolt-on electric guitar and a dreadnaught style acoustic guitar. Upon successful completion of these instruments, students design and may construct a custom made instrument of their choice. The college will provide the materials to build your own custom built instrument. The hardware must be supplied by the student. The course covers an introduction to the computer controlled cutting and milling machines and laser cutters. Students are instructed in the use and maintenance of hand and power tools necessary for construction and gain vital hands-on experience.

Musical Instrument Making & Repair enables you to:


Generate and transfer complex computer-aided drawings and specifications.


Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices.


Develop, trial and evaluate prototypes.


Learn how to manufacture and repair acoustic and electric guitars.

Certificate IV Musical Instrument Making and Repair student making acoustic guitar

A career in guitar making is possible by studying Musical Instrument Making and Repair. We offer the only qualification of its kind in Australia.

TestimonialsMark Russel (Folio Preparation & Guitar Making Teacher)

“NCAT is known for its equality and giving everybody a fair chance at succeeding at what their love is. If you give people the chance to pursue a passion they're going to naturally succeed in it.”

(1 / 5)

Course Structure

Students begin by completing an extensive OH&S program, incorporating theory and workshop induction. Over the year, students learn to make a bolt-on neck electric guitar, a dreadnaught style acoustic guitar and design a custom instrument of their choice. The course covers hand carving and the use and maintenance of hand and power tools necessary for construction, and gives vital hands-on experience.

You can read more about our Online Service Standards, relating to the Online and Remote Delivery of Training and Assessment.

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.

Activities & Tasks

The Certificate IV in Music Instrument Making and Repair program is delivered over four days a week by a team of highly experienced teaching staff. A variety of guest speakers present to students throughout the year on specialist topics. In recent years this has included professionals such as, Ian NoyceJack SpiraRuben BeckerAndy Thomson (T Guitars), Jeremy Clingan, Benedict Stewart and David Searle. Tours to industry locations, including Maton Guitars Australia and Cole Clark Guitars are an integral part of the course. As a professional component of the program, students are given the opportunity to complete a five day work placement with one of our industry partners. This is organised by NCAT. This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth government funding.

The program is delivered as a “hands on” model, with an emphasis on experiential learning.

Subjects include: Instrument Construction, Repair & Setup, Design & Documentation, 3D Modelling Technology, Business Planning and Occupational Health & Safety


Successful completion of the course requires 95% attendance. Students will be required to complete two instruments and all set work as well as the work placement. The assessment of overall competence at this certificate level will be undertaken by a qualified assessor and your competence judged using all of these criteria. All training resources will be provided upon payment and enrolment.

Eligibility & Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites but completion of 22563VIC Certificate III in Musical Instrument Making & Maintenance would be an advantage.


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