JEWELERS design and make new pieces of jewelry. They mold and shape metal, and cut, set, and polish precious and semiprecious stones. They repair and adjust rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry. Typical repairs include enlarging or reducing rings, resetting stones, and replacing broken clasps and mountings. Some jewelers repair watches or do hand engraving. In small stores, jewelers may be involved in all aspects of the work including sales. Some are trained gemologists who appraise the quality and value of diamonds, other gemstones, and gem materials. Owners of stores hire and train workers, order and sell merchandise, and take care of paperwork.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $44,000 average per year ($21.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (23,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.4% per year)
JEWELERS usually learn their trade in vocational and technical schools, through correspondence courses, or informally on the job. Colleges and art schools also offer programs leading to a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts in jewelry design. Formal training in the basic skills of the trade enhances employment and advancement opportunities. Many employers prefer jewelers with design, repair, and sales skills. Many jewelers are trained gemologists.