How To Become A Jeweler

Jewelers require minimal education to get started. An apprenticeship or jewelry program can help improve job opportunities in the industry. Career opportunities can include jewelry design, repair, or appraisals.

jeweler fixing watch

What Does A Jeweler Do?

Jewelers work with metals, gemstones, and other elements. They use these to create or repair jewelry like rings or necklaces for customers.

It should be noted that they do not usually work on watches. That would be the job of a horologist.

There are also different types of jewelers that specialize in certain areas including:

  • Bench Jewelers do many tasks including cleaning, repairs, engraving, stone setting, and more. Alternative job titles include goldsmiths, metalsmiths, or silversmiths.
  • Gemologists analyze gemstones to determine their quality, characteristics, and values. Computerized tools or microscopes assist in the analysis process. Gemologists will also create certificates to confirm authenticity. This level requires passing the Graduate Gemologist program.
  • Jewelry Designers create custom designs for new jewelry pieces. The job requires prototyping and model-making. Jewelry designers usually attend some type of art school.
  • Appraisers examine jewelry to determine what the monetary value of the piece is. They will then create certificates of authenticity and proof of value for owners. This type of work requires research both online and in print to determine values. Jobs can be in auction houses, jewelers, pawnbrokers, or even insurance agents.

If you have a passion for metal, then check to see if working with precious metals is a good career path.

How To Become A Jeweler

Becoming a jeweler may vary depending on the specific path you take in the industry. Below are recommendations for getting started in the industry.

1. High School or GED

You will need a high school diploma or GED if you want to get into a trade program or art school.

2. Education and/or Apprenticeship

Jewelers do not need formal education like a Bachelor’s degree. An apprenticeship or jeweler training program would be helpful.

Certifications & Licenses

Getting a license or certification is optional but is recommended. Some of the more popular certifications include:

American Gem Society: Registered Jeweler, Certified Gemologist, Certified Gemologist Appraiser
Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser, Certified Sales Associate

Jewelers of America: Management Professional, Sales Professional, Bench Professional

Continuing education to maintain your certification is highly recommended.

Jeweler Recommended Skills

Jewelers do need a specific skillset to be successful. Below are some of the capabilities you should have to get into this career.

Creativity

As a jewelry designer, creativity and ability will be key to your success. Helping clients transform, or create, custom pieces will help escalate your opportunities.

Honesty

Jewelers deal with some very high-priced items, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. So, honesty and integrity are critical to be successful.

Patience

Working with very small tools and pieces can be challenging. Having patience to work with them, as well as customers is important.

Detail

Having a great eye for detail is critical to be successful. Working with large and small pieces will be a common daily task.

Dexterity

A steady hand for control and precision is important to be able to grasp tools and small parts.

Customer Service

Dealing with customers and clients will be a big part of being a jeweler. Having patience and good people skills will really be important.

Jeweler Pros & Cons

With every job, there are pros and cons and jewelers are no different. Below are some of the high points and low points if this is a career you are considering.

PROS

  • Easy career to get into
  • Opportunity to be self-employed
  • Physical labor is not required
  • Ability to be creative

CONS

  • The need for jewelers is declining
  • Salary is less than many other careers
  • Low level of job security
  • Working with clients can be demanding

Jeweler Salary

The median annual salary for jewelers as per the BLS is $46,640.

This means half make more than that amount and half make less.

Career Outlook For Jewelers

The BLS expects job growth for jewelers to be 1% growth through 2031.

One major impact on growth is the increased importing of jewelry. The decline in retail stores is also affecting the industry.

Aspiring Jewelry Makers Can Start A Business

Starting your own jewelry business will not be an easy path, but it can be rewarding if you have the drive and passion to promote yourself.

You will need exceptional business skills and money to get started and have a product that is unique. Marketing will be key to your success, below are some strategies to get started selling your jewelry line.

  • Exhibit at trade shows and be sure to create an eye-catching display that will highlight the precious stones, metals, and designs of your line.
  • Create a portfolio online where potential customers can see your products, and of course make a purchase.
  • Visit a local jewelry store and see if they would be willing to carry your line in their store on consignment.

The above may sound scary, but the are all a great way to get your product out there and get those sales coming in.