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Become A Jeweler

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Working As A Jeweler

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Getting Information
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Jeweler Do

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers design, manufacture, and sell jewelry. They also adjust, repair, and appraise gems and jewelry.

Duties

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers typically do the following:

  • Create jewelry from precious metals and stones
  • Examine and grade diamonds and other gems
  • Clean and polish jewelry using polishing wheels and chemical baths
  • Repair jewelry by replacing broken clasps, altering ring sizes, or resetting stones
  • Smooth joints and rough spots and polish smoothed areas
  • Compute the costs of labor and material for new pieces and repairs
  • Model new pieces with carved wax or computer-aided design, and then cast them in metal
  • Shape metal to hold the gems in pieces of jewelry
  • Solder pieces together and insert stones

Technology is helping to produce high-quality jewelry at a reduced cost and in less time than traditional methods allow. For example, lasers are often used for cutting and improving the quality of stones, for intricate engraving or design work, and for inscribing personal messages on jewelry. Jewelers also use lasers to weld metals together without seams or blemishes, improving the quality and appearance of jewelry.

Some manufacturing firms use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to make product design easier and to automate some steps. With CAD, jewelers can create a model of a piece of jewelry on a computer and then view the effect of changing different aspects—for example, the design, the stone, or the setting—before cutting a stone or taking other costly steps. With CAM, they can then create a mold of the piece, which makes producing many copies easy.

Some jewelers also use CAD software to design custom jewelry. They let the customer review the design on a computer and see the effect of changes, so that the customer is satisfied before committing to the expense of a customized piece of jewelry.

The following are examples of types of jewelers and precious stone and metal workers:

Precious metal workers expertly manipulate gold, silver, and other metals. They use pliers and other hand tools to shape and manipulate metal. Some may mix alloy ingredients according to metallurgical properties.

Gemologists analyze, describe, and certify the quality and characteristics of gemstones. After using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments to examine gemstones or finished pieces of jewelry, they write reports certifying that the items are of a particular quality. Most gemologists have completed the Graduate Gemologist program through the Gemological Institute of America.

Jewelry appraisers carefully examine jewelry to determine its value and then write appraisal documents. They determine value by researching the jewelry market and by using reference books, auction catalogs, price lists, and the Internet. They may work for jewelry stores, appraisal firms, auction houses, pawnbrokers, or insurance companies. Many gemologists also become appraisers.

Bench jewelers usually work for jewelry retailers, doing tasks ranging from simple jewelry cleaning and repair to making molds and pieces from scratch.

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How To Become A Jeweler

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers can enter the occupation on the basis of their education, which is typically earning a high school diploma, or receive on-the-job training, or a combination of the two.

Education

Although most jewelers and precious stone and metal workers have a high school diploma, many trade schools offer courses for workers who seek additional education. Course topics can include introduction to gems and metals, resizing, repair, and computer-aided design (CAD). Programs vary from 6 months to 1 year, and many teach students how to design, cast, set, and polish jewelry and gems, as well as how to use and care for a jeweler’s tools and equipment. Graduates of these programs may be more attractive to employers because they require less on-the-job training. Many gemologists graduate from the Gemological Institute of America. Trade programs usually require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Some jewelers learn on the job. For example, in jewelry manufacturing plants, workers develop their skills through on-the-job training. The length of training required to become proficient depends on the difficulty of the specialty. Training usually focuses on casting, setting stones, making models, or engraving.

Other Experience

Some workers gain their skills through related work experience. This may include working alongside a bench jeweler or gemologist while performing the duties of a sales person in a retail jewelry store. Time spent in a store with a bench jeweler or gemologist can provide valuable experience.

Advancement

In manufacturing, some jewelers advance to supervisory jobs, such as master jeweler or head jeweler. Jewelers who work in jewelry stores or repair shops may become managers.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Jewelers must have the ability to create designs that are unique and beautiful.

Detail oriented. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers must pay attention to large and small details on the pieces they make.

Dexterity. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers must precisely move their fingers and tools in order to grasp, manipulate, and assemble very small objects.

Fashion sense. Jewelry designers must know what is stylish and attractive and presently in demand by consumers.

Interpersonal skills. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers interact with customers, whether they sell products in stores or at craft shows.

Near vision. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers need the ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Visualization skills. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers must imagine how something might look after its shape is altered or when its parts are rearranged.

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Do you work as a Jeweler?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
DCS
Highest Paying City
Omaha, NE
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
5.3 years
How much does a Jeweler make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Jeweler in the United States is $80,476 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Jeweler Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Jeweler Pacific Jewelry, LLC Woodbridge, NJ Apr 06, 2010 $57,309
Jeweler Chain Corner Ltd. New York, NY Jun 01, 2015 $55,598
Jeweler Chain Corner Ltd. New York, NY Jan 06, 2016 $53,789
Jeweler Chain Corner Ltd. New York, NY Sep 22, 2016 $53,789
Jewelers J S Jewelers Inc. Fairfax, VA Dec 12, 2011 $53,581
Jewelers Malka Jewelers Inc. D/B/A EFFY Jewelers Feb 07, 2012 $53,000
Jeweler R. Gems, Inc. NY Apr 04, 2011 $50,151
Jeweler Gold Breeze Jewelry Store, Inc. Plainfield, NJ Dec 15, 2009 $48,585
Jeweler Abdo Jajati New York, NY Aug 05, 2015 $48,418
Jeweler Clarus Jewelry Inc. NY Dec 07, 2016 $44,387
Jeweler M.C. Ginsberg Jewelers, Inc. Iowa City, IA Feb 01, 2011 $42,992
Jeweler Jeff's Jewelry Conroe, TX Jun 01, 2011 $42,851
Jewelers J S Jewelers Inc. Fairfax, VA Jun 09, 2011 $42,723
Jeweler J S Jewelers Inc. Fairfax, VA Apr 08, 2011 $42,723
Jewelers Trianon Collection Inc. New York, NY Oct 03, 2007 $35,963
Jewelers Aznavour Jewelry Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 02, 2010 $35,225
Jewelers Marathon Pizza D/B/A New York Gold Exchange Cherry Hill, NJ Apr 26, 2010 $34,936
Jeweler Malakan Diamond Co. Fresno, CA Oct 19, 2010 $34,299
Jeweler Mythos Designs Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 12, 2015 $34,216
Jeweler Diamonds International of Alaska Ltd. Ketchikan, AK Apr 14, 2016 $34,081
Jeweler Diamonds International of Alaska Ltd. Juneau, AK Apr 14, 2016 $34,081
Jeweler Repairer VMR Inc. Clarksville, TN Mar 09, 2010 $34,000
Jewelers Seamen Shepps & Co., Inc. New York, NY May 29, 2008 $29,682
Jeweler Structure Manufacturing Los Angeles, CA Sep 29, 2010 $29,560
Jeweler La Creations, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 28, 2010 $29,557
Jeweler Diamonds International of Alaska Ltd. AK Apr 15, 2014 $29,135
Jeweler Lee's Watches, Inc. Lauderhill, FL May 15, 2009 $29,000

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Top Skills for A Jeweler

  1. Repair Jewelry
  2. Customer Service
  3. Jewelry Sales
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Repair jewelry, polish, size rings, set stones, etc
  • Provided excellent customer service by communicating with clients and assessing their merchandise needs.
  • Store opening and closing procedures Jewelry repair and finishing Jewelry sales Purchased jewelry and gold from customers at a fair market value
  • Store set ups mostly, a lot of cleaning castings and installing heads and setting stones.
  • Examine and grade diamonds and other gems.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Jewelers

  1. Kentucky
  2. Kansas
  3. New Jersey
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Virginia
  6. Maryland
  7. Wyoming
  8. Arizona
  9. Maine
  10. Nevada
  • (4 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Jeweler Demographics

Gender

Male

43.8%

Female

43.0%

Unknown

13.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.5%

Black or African American

10.1%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.2%

Russian

13.2%

Portuguese

5.3%

French

5.3%

Chinese

2.6%

Vietnamese

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Armenian

2.6%

Korean

2.6%
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Jeweler Education

Schools

Gemological Institute of America

15.2%

Fashion Institute of Technology

10.9%

University of Phoenix

7.6%

Paris Junior College

7.6%

University of Georgia

5.4%

Ashford University

4.3%

Bowling Green State University

4.3%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.3%

Miami University

4.3%

University of Akron

3.3%

Ohio University -

3.3%

State University of New York College at Buffalo

3.3%

Rhode Island College

3.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.3%

Troy University

3.3%

State University of New York College at New Paltz

3.3%

Gem City College

3.3%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

Northern Arizona University

3.3%

Miami Dade College

3.3%
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Majors

Fine Arts

33.7%

Business

13.7%

Psychology

6.6%

Graphic Design

5.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.6%

Accounting

3.6%

Nursing

3.3%

Communication

3.3%

Marketing

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Medical Assisting Services

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Education

2.4%

Management

2.1%

Biology

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

Elementary Education

1.8%

Pharmacy

1.8%

Information Technology

1.8%

Cosmetology

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

35.6%

Bachelors

35.4%

Associate

13.8%

Certificate

6.6%

Masters

5.5%

Diploma

1.9%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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