Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers Careers - Guide

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers Career Description

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers use a variety of tools to design and manufacture pieces of jewelry. This will be done using a number of precious metals and gemstones. The Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers duties also include the cut, set and polishing of stones, as well as the repair and adjustment of rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Some people work in jewelry shops, or they might design their own custom jewelry. The arrival of new technology is helping to produce jewelry of higher quality at a reduced cost more quickly. Lasers are now often used for cutting stones and doing engraving on metals. They may also be used to weld metals together, improving the appearance and quality of the finished product. Necessary Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Worker skills include good finger and hand dexterity, hand-eye coordination, patience, and concentration. When designing jewelry, artistic ability and fashion consciousness are major assets. Those who have frequent contact with customers should be neat, personable, and knowledgeable about the jewelry ranges offered for sale.

Work Environment

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers will normally have access to a jewelers’ workbench at their place of work, whether it be a large company or small shop. They will have access to a number of traditional tools as well as modern equipment such as lasers in bigger operations. Safety precautions are often observed as a number of the tools are sharp and potentially dangerous. Where lasers are used, precautions specific to this type of tool are applied. Where Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers interact directly with clients, other fixed security procedures such as locked doors, access buzzers, alarms and occasionally armed guards are needed due to the value of the product.

Employment Opportunities

The Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Worker opportunities are varied. Over half are self-employed, running their own small businesses. Another 22% are in retail trade stores. A further 17% of jobs are in jewelry and silverware manufacturing. The remainder might be found in merchant wholesalers and repair shops. Although jewelry and repair shops are found in most towns, the majority of jobs are in larger metropolitan areas. Promotion in the career of Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers is limited, and depends on skill and initiative. In manufacturing, some are promoted to supervisory jobs, but for most it merely means better pay for the same job. Workers in jewelry stores or repair shops may be promoted to managers or even become self-employed and start their own business. Employment opportunities for Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers are expected to change little in the coming years.

How much do a Jeweler or Precious Stone and Metal Worker make - Jeweler or Precious Stone and Metal Worker Salary and Wages

The Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Workers salary range goes from $15,000 to $46,000, depending on experience and qualifications. Self employed workers can expect to earn more or less than these figures, depending on their success. In the first 1-4 years of the career, artists usually earn between $10.41-$12.79 an hour with$486.05 in annual bonuses. Within years 5-9, they earn an average of $12.25-$17.67 with $974 annually in bonus. Those between 10-19 years earn a median of $13.25-$19.79 and see $996 in annual bonus, while people with 20+ years of experience earn between $16.31-$22.37 and receive $1479 in annual bonuses.

How to become a Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Worker

Education and Training

Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Workers courses are available, and workers usually learn their trade in vocational or technical schools. In addition, on-the-job training and distance learning centers are also a popular means of getting into this career. The organization Jewelers of America offers Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers qualifications ranging from Certified Bench Jeweler Technician to Certified Master Bench Jeweler. Jeweler and Precious Stone and Metal Worker degrees are available at many institutions of higher learning, like bachelor degrees in Metal and Jewelry Arts. Most of the courses involved would be related to the arts, including art history, sculpting, drawing, metal work, and the like.

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