We already provided some insight into whether precious metals is a good career path or not, so if you have not read that yet, you should start there!
In this article, we are going to dive in with some data on just how many jobs are in the precious metals industry.
With an estimated $182 billion market size, the global precious metal market is large, but the number of jobs in the industry is rather small in comparison. The industry is only expecting average growth, so there will not be a lot of new opportunities in the coming years.
In this article we will break down the industry segments and jobs available in precious metals to help you decide if this is the market for you.
Number of Jobs Available in Precious Metals
Precious metals employs a number of people in many different industries as you can see below. This means it is hard to define the number of people working in the precious metals industry.
Statistics Not Available For Precious Metals Careers
There are no formal studies or statistics available on the number of jobs in the precious metals industry. Below is some data that can give you an idea of jobs, but no hard data is available.
The information we are providing below is based on general job outlooks that might not be specific to precious metals, but include workers in different industries as well.
- The jewelry industry employs about 48,500 workers, many which may specialize in working with metals. But the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes all jewelers, so some of these workers may work with gems, be designers, or have other non precious metal jobs.
- The gold & silver mining industry in the United States employs about 15,949 workers as of 2022. This is expected to stay flat or show a small decrease in employment.
This video offers some insight into just how many different people are needed to make the mining of precious metals effective.
Precious Metal Market Demand + Job Types
While the precious metals industry may be smaller than some others, like consumer non-durables or energy industries, there is still some opportunity for some great jobs. There are job opportunities for skilled trade workers as well as those with college degrees.
We talk more about these jobs in our precious metals salary guide. But here is a list of some of the more common areas you can work in.
The industrial market is where you can find skilled trade jobs. These are the workers out in the fields or in the factories working with their hands to and tools to get the metals – and transform the metals. It is estimate that the industrial demand for precious metals is approximately 44% as of 2019.
Industrial jobs may include:
- Manufacturing. Once the metals are mined and read to be transformed, workers in manufacturing will be needed to make it all happen. From creating parts to cleaning facilities, manufacturers need a lot of manpower to produce the products.
- Mining. Getting the metal is no easy process. It takes planning, digging, and a variety of experts to find where the precious metals are and remove them without damaging them.
The second largest market demand for precious metals is the jewelry industry which is an estimated 40%. This segment includes jewelers, watchmakers, and repairers. These are typically those that work in jewelry stores or in a jewelry manufacturing facility.
The investment market demand comes in at about 26% and is the market that is expected to see the highest level of growth. Investing in precious metals is a big area, so those who work in the investing sector will help investors understand what is a good investment. They will analyze trends, do some due diligence and recommend to clients what is the best investment to make.
Other jobs precious metal workers might do are listed below. These are jobs that might work in all of the above market areas. Marketing, sales, and finance people are needed whether you are in the investment, jewelry, or industrial markets.
- Marketing. A variety of companies will need help marketing their products or services that were created with these metals. They may do B-to-B or consumer based marketing depending on the products they are selling.
- Sales. Salesman are needed to find the buyers for metal being obtained. They may need to go to other big industrial companies to make them aware of their current inventory and convince them why their precious metal is what they need.
- Finance. Whether you work as an accountant for a precious metals company or help in the evaluations of the precious metals, finance plays a big role in the industry as well.
Top Precious Metal Companies Employment Numbers
If you are looking for a career in the precious metals industry, below are some of the top companies to consider looking at for work. We are also providing data on the number of employees each of these companies employ to help you understand the opportunity levels.
Coeue Mining is a public company that owns five of their own mines. They are based out of Chicago, Illinois but has mines in Mexico, Nevada, Alaska, South Dakota, and Canada. These mines source precious metals including silver and gold.
Estimated number of employees: 2,100
Although they have facilities in Mexico and Canada, they call Reno, Nevada their home base. They are known for their gold production which in 2020 was equal to 203,483 gold ounces.
Estimated number of employees: 1,400
Hycroft Mining produces gold and silver out of their Hycroft mine locating in Nevada. In 2020 they produced an estimated 27,392 ounces of gold and 178,836 ounces of silver.
Estimated number of employees: 240
Another public company, Golden Minerals is primarily focused on gold and silver production.
Estimated number of employees: 248
Gatos Silver has mines in several cities in Mexico and is also a publicly traded company in the United States.
Estimated number of employees: 51-200
Grandview Research Precious Metals Market:
Bureau of Labor Statistics: