How to Become a Gemologist

Gemologists are professionals who use their expertise and understanding in the study and science of gems.

Individuals in this profession are extremely detail oriented and have a good eye for identifying a variety of gems and stones.

They are well versed in the intricate details of gems and stones and are able to determine characteristics not visible to the human eye.

Gemologists see beyond the initial appearance that we normally see and analyze and observe intricate, tiny details to help determine the true value of a precious stone.

Individuals who want to become a Gemologist will have a natural interest in gems, stones and jewelry and may also have extraordinary attention to detail as some fine gems and stones will have tiny differences that an average person won’t be able to tell apart.

Education Requirements to Become a Gemologist

Individuals who want to become a Gemologist have two paths to enter this profession.

Although becoming a less used path, individuals can find an opportunity to gain experience in this trade through on the job training.

The second path, which is growing in popularity, is attending a trade school to learn Gemology skills.

For on the job training, individuals will seek an entry level position, most likely, at a jewelry store.

Under the close watch of an experienced jeweler, individuals who want to become a Gemologist will learn the basic skills in order to determine the cut, quality and value of a precious stone or gem.

Under these circumstances, it is typical for an individual to work for a retail jewelry store where they will also perform routine customer service tasks.

Individuals seeking to become a Gemologist can also attend a trade school to become well versed in Gemology.

Although some programs are offered online, it will be advantageous to seek a degree in a traditional school setting since online schools may take away from the hands on experience that older Gemologists had to learn their trade.

Gemology programs typically last under a year and guide the student through the essential information needed to succeed in this profession.

Typical classes include information on the different types of gems, valuation methods, gem grading and jewelry making.

Graduates from this type of program may open other doors for themselves and can apply for similar positions such as: Appraisers, Gemstone Graders or as a salesperson at a retail jewelry store.

Gemologist Job Description

Gemologists are experienced professionals who have been trained in the art of gems and stones.

Using their attention to detail, they analyze and observe stones to determine the quality and retail value of them, as well as give an appraisal price.

This profession can expect to work nontraditional hours such as nights and weekends.

Some self-employed Gemologists get to create their own schedules to be able to showcase their inventory at trade or craft shows.

As for retail employees, they may also work nights, weekends and holidays when the majority of consumers are available.

For the most part, retail employees may also work part time and have the opportunity to earn commission which reflects the inventory they individually sell.

Gemologist Salary and Career Path

Jewelers, Precious Stone and Metal workers, which includes Gemologist professionals, can expect to earn a median wage of $35,350 per year.

Exact wages will heavily depend on experience with the lowest earning wages at approximately $19,600 per year and the highest earners taking home approximately $61,940 per year.

Job projections for Jewelers, Precious Stone and Metal workers are expected to decline by 10 percent through the year 2022.

This decline is related to the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs outside of the U.S.

This decline in job openings will create more competition for available jobs.

However, this competition will mainly impact entry level Gemologists.

Individuals who pursue higher education through trade schools or who have many years of experience should expect less competition for jobs.

Individuals who are detail oriented and have a passion for working with small stones and gems will find it advantageous to seek a profession as a Gemologist.

These professionals are heavily trained and well versed in gems and use this skill in order to determine the true value of a stone.

This skill is important for consumers who seek value when purchasing precious stones and gems.

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