Graduates of the Jewelry Making & Repair program work as bench jewelers and designers for companies of all sizes, and are owners of custom jewelry shops. Our graduates have held jobs such as:
- Fashion jewelry designers
- Fine jewelry designers
- Design Directors for jewelry manufacturers
- Retail jewelry store owners
- Studio and gallery owners
- Hand Engravers
- Stone setters
- Gold buyers
According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), job titles for jewelry makers include:
- Precious metal workers: Silversmith, Caster, Goldsmith, Artist, Fabricator, Pewterer, Bench Mechanic, Restoration Silversmith, Platinum Smith,
- Jewelers: Bench Jeweler, Jeweler, Goldsmith, Earrings Fabricator, Gemologist
- Gem and Diamond Workers: Gemologist, Diamond Cutter, Lapidarist, Diamond Setter, Quality Control Specialist, Diamond Picker, Facetor, Diamond Grader, Diamond Polisher, Diamond Sawer
The U.S. Department of Labor uses the classification of “Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers,” which includes bench jewelers, mold and model makers, assemblers, engravers, polishers, gemologists, laboratory graders, and jewelry appraisers. Although jewelry stores and repair shops are found in every city and many small towns, most jobs are in larger metropolitan areas.
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers held about 39,800 jobs in 2014.
- 27% worked in retail clothing and accessory stores
- 16% worked in jewelry manufacturing
- 10% worked with merchant wholesalers
Employment for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers is expected to decline by 11% in the 2014-24 decade. Most opportunities will be for bench jewelers who have design and repair training. Additionally, the need for skilled jewelers will rise as the older generation retires.
SALARY AND WAGE DATA
Most jewelers begin with a base salary, then begin charging per piece as they become more skilled. Jewelers who work in retail stores may earn a commission for each piece of jewelry they sell. Many jewelers also get employee benefits, including reimbursement for work-related courses and discounts on jewelry purchases.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimated the average annual salary for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers as $37,060 in 2015. Average hourly wages were $17.82.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary for jewelers was $40,309 in 2016. The median hourly wage was $15. Wages for more specific positions are as follows:
- Precious stone and metal workers - Median annual salary: $46,996 | Median hourly wage: $15
- Jewelry designers – Median annual salary: $50,081 | Median hourly wage: $19