The life of a piano tuner is an interesting one. You meet great people, clients fuel you with plenty of coffee. If you are anything like my brother Richard, you might event get offered room, board, and a meal with the family.
Tuners make as good an income as their professionalism, ability to service pianos well, their organization of client contact, and their learning curve. The more you know, etc.
In Houston, at the time of writing, tuning average around $200 a tuning, we are slightly higher than this rate. If you organize 2-3 tunings at peak time = 52 x 10 x $200 can add up to a good salary. However, you must account for down seasons such as the summer months of June – August as families are on holiday. As families with young children will be your most active clients.
When it comes to tuning pianos, you need some basic tools to start. A tuning lever to alter the pitch, and wedges to isolate certain strings. However, when you find your first broken string, you soon learn how to order them correctly. When a key sticks, which lubricants work on wood, vs felt. Then you need parts, pianos have 10,000. If you live in a centralized city, you can organize to return with the parts. If you live in a large city like Houston, you need to carry as many essential parts as possible in your vehicle.