Working At Seymour Duncan

Posted on by Kat King

adadadadaMany people often ask how what it’s like to work at Seymour Duncan. The first major perk is that unlike some companies that are located where the labor is cheapest, Seymour Duncan is located right where it started in Santa Barbara, California – commonly referred to as the American Riveria. It’s about a 20-minute walk to the Pacific Ocean and the factory is quietly tucked into a grove of eucalyptus trees.

The first daily tradition is the dance: twice a day employees dance to a selection of tunes as way to unwind, stretch and exercise. If it’s your birthday you’d better watch out since you will be wearing the birthday crown and having all the girls dance with you.

Chances are good that on any given day there’s free food somewhere, whether it be donuts, cupcakes or if there is a special occasion, full catering during lunch.

If you’re a pet lover, you can bring your dog to work. Just don’t be surprised when you’re talking about Alnico 5 magnets or bucket brigade chips with someone and suddenly a blur of dogs go running through your legs at full chase.

Dog interrupts band shoot.

Dog interrupts band shoot.

There are other special occasions you can enjoy too, like the company picnic where Seymour W. Duncan gets on stage and jams, and there’s usually tons of food and prizes to go around. Or the holiday picnic that occurs in December and recently featured prizes (guitars), and ping pong balls to throw at people. Engineering is also famous for its themed parties, including a Margarita day that apparently has some history to it…

Holiday dinner presentation Short5 Holiday dinner presentation Short

You might even get a chance to get tickets to see one of your favorite artists in concert.


Many people here play in bands, and Seymour Duncan is considered a flexible work environment: if you need to leave for an early gig or if you stayed up to 3am playing songs at a local bar and you need to sleep in a bit, that’s alright: just make up that time later. Everyone here is extremely talented and works as hard as you could possibly imagine, but the Seymour Duncan tradition is that everyone is treated well as a result.

It's like free admission to a Stratocaster Sizzler.

It’s like free admission to a Stratocaster Sizzler.

131125-046If you want to test out a new or existing pedal or pickup, head down into the soundroom and use one of a dozen different guitars or amps. Not to mention the employee discount which shall not be made public lest it be spoiled.

Employees of Seymour Duncan get paid sick and vacation leave, which is especially helpful so you don’t end up like this guy:

This is what over a decade spent thinking only about guitar wiring: phase, polarity, switches and pickups will do to a man.

This is what over a decade spent thinking only about guitar wiring, phase, polarity, switches and pickups will do to a man.

This is ughhh... Gatorade.

This is ughhh… Gatorade.

Everyone at Seymour Duncan makes a fair wage, gets health benefits and 401K matching contributions. The best part of it is, well, working for Seymour Duncan. A place known for quality and excellence, and surrounded by history. Don’t be surprised when you hear someone walking up to you and you turn around to see Joe Bonamassa, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dino Cazares, Eddie Van Halen or Steve Miller.

MJ with the great Steve Miller

MJ with the great Steve Miller

Nels Cline of Wilco came by and had lunch with us on this day.

Nels Cline of Wilco came by and had lunch with us on this day.

Yngwie Malmsteen showing off some pickups at Seymour Duncan HQ.

Yngwie Malmsteen showing off some pickups at Seymour Duncan HQ.

One of our employees is a huge EVH fan (well most of us are actually) but he happened to be gone the day Eddie came by. When told this, Eddie sat in his chair and wrote a note for the employee which said “Ed VH here (Van Halen). I did your job today. -Eddie Van Halen.”

So how does one go about getting a job at Seymour Duncan? Keep this link bookmarked and make sure to join the forum so you can keep up with the latest openings. Even if they aren’t any jobs available, you can still pre-apply for openings here.

Written on January 6, 2014, by Kat King

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  • JoeySchmidt

    I love the glare Yngwie is getting there!!

    • Sigfredo Mendez

      She’s like did i tell you to touch those?

      • Oaois Wylde

        hahah yeah!

    • Aceman

      MJ is thinking ‘Yeah, whatever, here is what you are really gonna do Mr. Shredder dude…..”

      And if he is smart that’s what he’ll do!

  • D Wholey

    I can’t imagine there’s many openings.

    • SeymourDuncanBlog

      Yes, you are right. There’s only one right now, but they do come up on the site for a couple months at a time.

  • CorkyP

    When you gonna open a place in the UK so some of us over here can work for our favourite pick-up company??

  • James Flanagan

    I love pickups you guys are making there. It makes a big difference in the way a guitar sounds. To be a part of that would be fantastic, talk about loving the job you have. wow

    • SeymourDuncanBlog

      Thanks James!

  • JimmyDaLock

    Cancer has taken me out of the work force but I feel like there’s got to be something I could still do to feel like I’m not a burden on my family. I just get out of breath fast. Looks like a great family you have there and I know the pickups are awesome. keep kicking ass.

    • boldaslove

      Sorry for your struggle, Jimmy. God bless you and yours.

    • SeymourDuncanBlog

      Hey Jimmy, you too! Keep up the fight and making great music.

  • Chris West

    Has anybody ever swapped out G&L pups [MFD’s] on an ASAT Special for Seymour Duncans?

  • Giovanni Serratos

    i would love to work with you guys, that would be really awesome, looking forward to join your work team one day!

  • Aceman

    Hey – I’m available for a Process Improvement / Operational Excellence gig, contract or permanent. Send me a PM on the forum…

    • SeymourDuncanBlog

      Hey Ace, we don’t have anything except accountant right now but do stay tuned to the jobs page, we do occasionally have process jobs open.

  • Douglas H Lang

    I’d work there, even if all i did was make coffee and sweep the floors. Looks like a good work environment.

  • Michael D’Antoni

    I want to work for Seymour Duncan !

  • whammybardivebomber

    I’m a urologist. I’l be retiring in a few years. I don’t have any electronic technical skills but I can get my hands on a lot of Viagra samples so… maybe I can be the resident “candy man” at Seymour Duncan.

  • Skeets

    Any age limit ? I’m 66 & retired from playing full time 2 years ago. For more than 20 years, I’ve purchased, played, & enjoyed your pickups. I play 3 instruments, teach guitar & mouth harp, can solder like a bandit, sell like my life depended it, and organize & display like a pro. I come from an art & design background, having grown up with 2 artist parents, so I have some ideas for product design that you may find interesting. Having been self-employed for most of my life, I’ve had to scratch & claw for most every gig I played. My work ethic is 2nd to none [as are many from our generation]. I would dearly love to work for a company that appreciates, encourages, & values it’s employees. I still have a few good years left, & feel what I have to offer could be mutually beneficial to both of us. If you’re at all interested, please e-mail or inbox me…….. thanks for your consideration ……. Skeets Chappell

  • Gil Carlson

    I bought my first Duncan pickup a Sh6 zebra coil back in the 80’s and I’ve been hooked ever since. I atill have that same SH6 and it sounds as amazing today as the day I bought itt. I love duncan pickups and replace stock pickups that just dont cut it with Duncans.
    Im hooked on the TB4 anf the Sh5. working at Seymour Duncan would be andream come true.

  • i ws a computer programmer at the gap in 1988-1989 and this work environment sounds just like the gap. and more work gets done. fantastic !! i gotta stop in, icepack

  • Joe Gabbard

    If you ever need an insanely talented fix-it guy, give me a yell.

  • CrazyForDuncan

    If only I didn’t live halfway accross the world. Work places like this are just impossible to get into here. That’s because there are none. :'(

  • Daniel Ambriz

    what’s the best way to learn how to make pick ups? I’ve been curious in the process of building a pick up

  • Bill

    That picture should say “Steve Miller with the great MJ”. LOL (I love Steve Miller, BTW)

  • José Manuel Sánchez