Hickory, NC (population: 42,082) has four gunsmithing schools within a 100-mile radius of its city center. Wytheville Community College, the highest ranked school in this group with a gunsmithing program, has a total student population of 3,783. It is the 4625th highest ranked school in the USA and the 93rd highest in the state of Virginia (#1 is Washington and Lee University).
Gunsmithing students from Hickory schools who go on to become gunsmithers, gunsmiths, research and development machinists, machinists, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 1,268,930 people working as maintenance and repair workers, general alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $36,520. Also, Machinists make on average $38,940 per year and there are about 380,720 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area alone, there are 600 employed machinists earning an average salary of $32,450. Maintenance and repair workers, general in this area earn $34,590/yr and there are 1,580 employed.
Hickory lies in Catawba county, which is one of the 64 counties in North Carolina. Overall, the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area has 144,150 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 0.8% unemployment rate, $16.84/hr average worker wage, and a $35,020 average annual salary. Thus, about 10.928 out of every 1000 jobs in Hickory are held by maintenance and repair workers, general, and 4.192/1000 are held by machinists.
Of the 4 gunsmithing schools with a 100-mile radius of Hickory, none have a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Southwest Virginia Community College comes out as the most expensive ($6,355/yr) for gunsmithing students, with Wytheville Community College as the lowest, reported at only $1,335/yr.
|Name||State||Population||# of Schools||Avg School Rank||Total Programs||Distance from Hickory|
|Banner Elk||NC||-||1||22.4512||43||42.1 miles|
|Rock Hill||SC||72,341||5||30.0256||144||57.9 miles|
|Winston Salem||NC||-||7||32.3218||230||65.7 miles|
|High Point||NC||105,064||3||31.8326||88||76.4 miles|