If I were considering getting into guitar making as a career, I would approach things a little differently. Yes, some schools like the LADO one do allow you to build one guitar (and from talking to a former student, you do not even get to do the spraying of the finish) and they are not cheap. And I cant see how you could get a lot of experience by attending a course for a few months.
I would consider this...
Go to a good woodworking program, like Connestoga College's wood working center of Ontario (I did the three year in dustrial woodworking program back in the early 90's there.. great school!). You will learn about WOOD WORKING.... general stuff that is the basis for ALL wood work. How to run machinery, how to use hand tools. How to design and build stuff from wood! You learn all about finishing and other imoprtant things that all directly relate to wood work, regardless if you want to build furniture, wooden boats or guitars. After college, find a job like working for a place like mine. A smaller, custom furniture shop. You can now earn a living during the day and you have access to a shop (I allow my employees to use the shop on their off time for whatever they want to make) to build guitars without spending any of your own $$ on tools, etc. Once you get good enough at guitar making, then you can decide to go at it on your own. IN the mean time you are supporting yourself AND developing your wood skills.
I think getting into luthier work would be very difficult if you are starting with nothing (in terms of both equipment and a shop, and the skills). By getting a good base in woodworking first, it will make your guitar building much easier.
I am only speaking from my experience. But wood is wood - whether you are making a custom dining room set, or a, entertainment ceneter or a guitar, the fundamentals are the same....
If you are anywhere near Cambridge, ON there is a specialty wood store, A&M Wood SPecialties, that I believe has an employee that does guitar making as a side buisiness. May be worthwhile to take a drive down on a saturday and talk to him.
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