How to Become a Jeweler

Jeweler Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $41,940
Avg. Pay / hour $20.16
Education 3-4 Years
Job Outlook -6.6%

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.

Jewelers of America is an organization that offers four types of bench certification.

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.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
New Hampshire$51,980
New Jersey$47,670
New Mexico$33,850
New York$51,110
North Carolina$42,690
North Dakota$46,350
Rhode Island$45,120
South Carolina$40,720
South Dakota$37,810
West Virginia$30,100

The top earning state in the field is Massachusetts, where the average salary is $54,330.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Massachusetts - $54,330
Virginia - $52,080
New Hampshire - $51,980
Connecticut - $51,980
Arkansas - $51,780
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers, OCC Code 51-9071, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a jeweler do?

Jewelers are artisans who create jewelry using gems, metals, and other materials.

A jeweler can make rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.

Usually, these artisans can also clean, adjust, and repair the pieces.

The majority of jewelers are self-employed; however, some work in manufacturing plants, repair shops, and retail stores.

The typical tasks of a jeweler might include designing different pieces of jewelry; making the pieces; restoring, cleaning, and repairing jewelry; evaluating the worth of a piece, and so on.

A lot of jewelers still work at a workbench and use the tools that have been used hundreds of years ago; however, nowadays, specialists can also use lasers and computer-aided design technology to create exquisite pieces.

How much do jewelers make?

On average, a jeweler can make a little less than $40.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $23.500 and $66.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on your overall experience, whether you are self-employed or work for a company and the geographical area.

Jewelers in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, for example, have higher average salaries than the specialists that work in other states.

An entry-level jeweler can make around $11 per hour; while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can earn over $31.

How much does it cost to become a jeweler?

Usually, aspiring jewelers would need only a high school diploma.

However, to become a true artisan, one would certainly need to pick up the skills.

You can apply for a jewelry-making program in a vocational or technical school; be prepared to pay anywhere between $700 and $43.500 in total to complete the course.

Aspiring jewelers can go for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts; the average cost of a 4-year degree is around $182.000.

You can also choose to become a graduate gemologist; the courses will cost you between $165 and $1500.

What is the demand for jewelers?

Between 2016 and 2026, the jeweler job market is expected to decrease by 6.6% in the United States.

The field is going to be providing poor job employment opportunities in the future.

The market is in decline because of the fact that the majority of jewelry is created outside the United States, in order to lower the cost of the production.

Independent jewelers will be facing great competition from mass manufacturers.

Bear in mind that the industry is mainly concentrated in California, Texas, and New York.

How long does it take to become a jeweler?

It will take you 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Various certificate programs can be completed in 1-3 years.

In case you decide to upgrade your skills even more, a master’s degree will take you 1-2 years to obtain.

You can become a graduate gemologist in only 8 months at the Gemological Institute of America.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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