It took me about 5 years once I started the training to get a gunsmithing shop opened up.
I started 5 years before that saving the capital to be able to purchase top quality machines, mainly my Lathe that was capable of anything a modern gunsmith would ever want to do including 45" 50 BMG barrel work.
In reality it happened pretty fast considering were the shop is today and I have been very happy with my decision ever since.
When I am asked what I think of my job, I respond every day feels like Friday and it truely does.
I love the work, I love building rifles and handguns and I especially love dealing with fine people such as those on this board.
So I guess it depends on what sort of career you are looking for in the shooting sports but if your looking to get into custom gunsmithing, get all teh training you can from the tops in the field and get top quality tooling and machines.
It is far better to wait to purchase tooling then buy lower quality and build something that will have your name on it. Once it leaves your shop, that rifle or handgun is the only thing representing you and your skills.
Do not risk a poor reputation on low quality machines and tooling. Better to wait longer and in the end it will greatly pay off.