What does a jeweler do?
Jewelers design and manufacture many different types of jewelry such as rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and other pieces. They cut, set, and polish stones and perform the necessary repairs such as fixing broken clasps and resetting stones. Some jewelers design and create their own jewelry and others fulfill specific requests from customers. They shape the material and create models and then solder parts together. They then may mount a gemstone or engrave a design into the piece of jewelry. Many jewelers use lasers and computer-aided design to assist them in their work. Jewelers often specialize in a specific area and they work for small retail jewelry shops, large jewelry manufacturing firms, or own their own business.
What kind of training does a jeweler need?
Jewelers typically need at least a high school diploma. Many employers prefer candidates with some formal training and related work experience. Some technical and vocational schools and community colleges offer programs in jewelry design and manufacturing or related fields. Prospective jewelers usually take classes in chemistry, mechanical drawing, art, mathematics, and computer-aided design (CAD). Many jewelers learn their skills through informal apprenticeships and on the job training. Training often provides instruction on casting, making models, setting stones, and engraving. Jewelers often participate in additional training and workshops and seminars to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a jeweler?
Employment of jewelers is projected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased demand for a variety of jewelry will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for jewelers with advanced training and extensive experience. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace jewelers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do jewelers make?
As of January 2010, the middle 50% of jewelers earn annual salaries between $28,660 and $44,072. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $51,998 (2).
A career as a jeweler is a great choice for people with a strong interest in designing and creating a wide variety of jewelry. Jewelers must have a solid understanding of jewelry design and manufacturing and be able to work with a variety of materials. Good artistic ability, finger and hand dexterity, patience, a keen fashion sense, detail orientation, and good eye-hand coordination are necessary characteristics. Jewelers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often work with a variety of other professionals and customers. They must be able to create unique pieces of jewelry that are attractive and stylish.