Jewelry Design & Repair Degree
If you love jewelry, have great aesthetic tastes, and are good at working with small materials a career in jewelry design and repair might be a perfect fit for you. There are many varying types of job opportunities in the fields of jewelry design and repair. Many opportunities are available at retail companies with jewelry stores. Specialists working in jewelry stores are usually known as bench jewelers. They are responsible for repairing damaged jewelry, setting stones, and polishing diamonds and precious gems. Jewelry specialists employed by large jewelry production facilities usually have specialized duties. For example, one set of jewelry specialists could be responsible for developing molds; whereas, another group of employees could be responsible for assembly and engraving finished pieces of jewelry. More than 50 percent of jewelers run their own businesses, which could include repair shops or jewelry retail outlets. Many jewelers running their own businesses specialize in certain types of jewelry.
Degrees for Jewelry Design and Repair
Some people working in jewelry repair and design do not earn college degrees. However, many people benefit from completing formal training programs. Those enrolled in online college degree programs in jewelry design and repair will learn about jewelry repair instruments, technology built to design and polish jewelry, and the basic fundamentals of jewelry design and repair. Students will learn these concepts by completing courses in casting, setting, CAD technology, and designing. Many companies will train new employees how to use CAD technology. It usually takes students enrolled in jewelry design and repair programs one year or less to complete a program. Certain colleges or universities sponsor Bachelor's of Master's of Fine Arts programs in jewelry design. Most jewelry retailers and repair shops do not require potential employees to have a bachelor's or master's degree. Many people learn the skills of the trade by completing an apprenticeship or receiving on the job training.
Career Training for Jewelry Design and Repair
It takes about one year to complete an apprenticeship program in jewelry design and repair. Many people completing apprenticeships are also required to complete courses in jewelry carving, fabrication, and gemology. Some jewelry retail outlets and repair shops will pay the tuition costs for people committing to work for them. The Jewelers of America sponsors four professional certification programs. Before a certification can be completed, students are required to pass a written and hands-on test.
Employment Outlook for Jewelry Design and Repair
Even though a large percentage of jewelry production now occurs in foreign countries, there are still plenty of domestic job opportunities available for jewelry specialists. Additionally, since a large percentage of Americans purchase jewelry, there should be constant demand for trained jewelry design and repair specialists. There should also be an influx of new job opportunities in this field since many jewelers are expected to retire during the next few years. People considering this career should be aware that many jewelry specialists working for retail outlets usually earn a commission determined by the amount of jewelry they sell. Those planning on developing their own unique jewelry lines should be aware that it can be difficult finding a market for their products when they first attempt to sell their jewelry. During 2007, the median yearly earnings for precious stone and jewelry specialists exceeded $31,000. Jewelers earning salaries in the upper 10th percentile made over $53,000 a year, while those in the bottom 10th percentile earned under $18,000 a year. Driven and skilled individuals can enjoy very successful careers as jewelry design and repair specialists.
Jewelry Design and Repair Programs