Jewelers are experienced professionals who use their skills in order to create a variety of decorative jewelry.
These professionals use their artistic abilities to draft, design and create a variety of jewelry including rings, necklaces, bracelets and other types of charms.
Bench Jewelers use very specialized techniques, equipment and metals in order to create their designs.
In some cases, Jewelers must also create jewelry from designated designs drafted by other professionals.
Jewelers require the ability to concentrate and use highly developed attention to detail in order to work on designs.
They must also be able to use highly dangerous techniques, materials and equipment in order to perform functions such as soldering.
Education Requirements to Become a Jeweler
There are a couple of ways a candidate can become a Jeweler .
Traditionally, candidates learn all the necessary skills while on the job.
However, candidates are relying more on formal education programs that provide the necessary training.
Employers also prefer candidates who have completed a school program because they are less likely to need on the job training.
Candidates who opt to become a Jeweler through on the job training are more likely to be hired by jewelry manufacturing plants.
These professionals can be a part of an apprenticeship or get hired as an entry level employee and gain experience on the job.
Jewelry apprenticeships typically take an average of a year to complete.
During this time, students will learn how to perform castings, engravings, model making and stone setting.
Candidates attending a program through a college or vocational schools will take a variety of courses to prepare them for the field.
Students can expect to take courses that prepare them to perform settings, castings, designing and stone polishing.
In addition, some programs may offer courses in shop theory, mathematics and blueprint reading.
Students will also learn how to use the machinery, equipment and tools used to make jewelry.
Certification is optional for Jewelers but it can help candidates show their proficiency to potential employers.
In addition, the Jewelers of America website is a great resource to find information about the industry as well as job opportunities in the field.
Jeweler Job Description
Some Jewelers may be able to create and use their own designs depending on the organization they work for.
Jewelers who work for larger companies may work off a predetermined design and create several pieces of jewelry according to these instructions.
Jewelers will use specialized equipment in order to take metal and solder small pieces together to form objects such as rings, brooches or other jewelry.
Because they use high heat to solder jewelry, they must also use safety precautions to avoid injuries.
Jewelers must be fully knowledgeable regarding the types of metals they use.
In addition, they must know the different types of gems and be able to cut, set and polish these types of stones.
Jewelers should also be able to perform appraisals, repair and adjust a variety of jewelry such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
Jeweler Salary and Career Path
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median wage in 2008 for Jewelers and other related professionals was approximately $32,940 per year.
The salary range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $19,000 to 55,100 per year.
Some Jewelers begin their career by earning salary and begin to charge by the quantity of jewelry they make as their career takes off.
Professionals employed in sales at retail stores will make their wages based on commissions depending on the amount of jewelry they sell.
In addition to their wages, Jewelers can expect to receive handsome benefits including discounts on jewelry and reimbursement for educational courses they take.
Employment opportunities for candidates who want to become a Jeweler will be limited to slower than average growth.
The projected growth for this profession through the year 2018 is estimated at 5 percent.
Professionals who specialize in bench jewelry or highly talented designers will have the best prospects due to consumer demand requesting jewelry that is personalized and unique.
Another factor affecting growth is due to a reliance on imported designs.