Jewelers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Jewelers fabricate and repair jewelry articles. Make models or molds to create jewelry items.

  • Smooth soldered joints and rough spots, using hand files and emery paper, and polish smoothed areas with polishing wheels or buffing wire.
  • Position stones and metal pieces, and set, mount, and secure items in place, using setting and hand tools.
  • Create jewelry from materials such as gold, silver, platinum, and precious or semiprecious stones.
  • Make repairs, such as enlarging or reducing ring sizes, soldering pieces of jewelry together, and replacing broken clasps and mountings.
Read more about what does a Jeweler really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$43570 per year

Average hourly wage
$21 per hour

Jewelers with little to no experience tend to make between $23530 and $29860 while the more experienced ones can earn over $52210 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
KY $27 $55,840
NJ $26 $54,870
CT $26 $54,280
OR $25 $52,580
ND $25 $52,090

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Jeweler is to move to a higher paying state like KY. Right now, the highest paying states for Jewelers are KY, NJ, CT, OR and ND.

However, a higher pay at KY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at KY might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Jeweler is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Jewelers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Watchmaking and Jewelrymaking
Metal and Jewelry Arts
Read more about how to become a Jeweler and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Jeweler.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants job security and a good working condition
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average
Demand for this career is declining

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

53% of Jewelers said they were satisfied with their job and 28% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Working experience from Rebecca Frederick Green Source: Quora

I am a bench jeweler with over 38 years of experience. I work for an independent jewelry store (not owned by a giant conglomerate, like you see advertising on television). My typical day usually goes something like this:

After arriving at the store, I turn on the lights and equipment (oxygen and acetylene tanks, laser welder, steamer, air compressor, and computer). I organize the day’s work and determine what needs to be started or finished first. I make a list of parts that are needed to complete a project or repair, as well as frequently used parts and supplies that need to be replenished. These include such things as precious metal stock and wire, necklace and bracelet catches, earring backs, various stones, beading cord, cleaning supplies, paper towels, polishing compound, latex gloves, alcohol, acetone, adhesives, and office supplies. If a project or repair comes in that needs an estimate, I research those components and determine a price. Sometimes I will call the customer to discuss the price and completion date.

I work on various repairs and projects during the day and am frequently interrupted by the sales associates to consult with a customer on their specific needs or to do simple adjustments, battery changes, or cleaning and inspection. If the customer has a technical question that the sales associate can’t answer, they come and get me.

When repairs or projects are completed, I price them in the computer program that we use and then log them on a sheet and take them to be inspected for final quality control.

A “simple” ring sizing goes something like this:

The ring is inspected under magnification for chipped or abraded stones, loose stones, cracks, breaks, or thin areas and then measured with a ring mandrel to determine the original size. After a thorough cleaning, which sometimes can take hours and multiple steps and chemical cleaning methods, the ring is again inspected. A cut is made in the metal to remove metal if a ring size is being reduced, or to add metal if the ring size is being increased. If the piece of metal to be added is considerably larger than what is needed, it too needs to be cut down or rolled thinner for a proper fit, as well as to avoid wasting excess precious metal. The piece is then laser welded or soldered with precious metal solder and either quenched or allowed to air cool. After a heated chemical bath, the piece is placed in an ultrasonic cleaner to remove the residue. The piece is ground to remove excess metal, filed, shaped on a ring mandrel, and sanded to remove tool marks. A high RPM buffing machine and various polishing compounds and buffing wheels are used to attain a high polish on the piece. It is cleaned again in an ultrasonic cleaner and then inspected again under magnification. Any loose stones are tightened and the metal is possibly repolished. If rhodium plating is required, the process has its own protocol and takes additional time and expertise. All of these processes are done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and usually, multiple pieces are done simultaneously.

Towards the end of the day, all completed pieces are collected, checked, tracked, logged, priced and the customers are notified.

If a customer wants a piece of jewelry custom made, that is an entirely different process, requiring additional equipment and expertise.

I am not a store owner. I translate what transpires on the sales floor into what gets delivered to the customer. It’s hot, dirty, and dangerous work. We use equipment and chemicals that can kill you if improperly used. We are under constant pressure to get things done quickly and in a cost-efficient manner. To do a job to the best of your ability and to have people appreciate your work is a terrific incentive to keep doing it day after day and year after year.

Working experience from Nicolas Tranchant Source: Direct

I am Nicolas Tranchant, the founder and manager of Vivalatina Jewelry Brand. I manage a team of 4 (including me).

Being a Jeweler is nurturing one’s creativity and enjoying giving life to precious metals, that can be set with gemstones. A jeweler must be able to understand his customers’ needs and transpose them on paper or into CAD software. He/she must also be able to propose alternatives to adapt to the customers’ budget.

One side of the work-life is all about dealing with customers to understand their needs, transpose those on paper or 3D rendering trying to reach their budget goal.

On the other side, there is the making of jewelry which consists of having the right skills, the right tools, and the right machine to be able to complete the task. All these have changed fast ultimately and are bound to change in the future with new technologies.

One important part of the work, very often forgotten by jewelers, is the marketing required to ensure a constant flow of viewers, fans, and customers.

What are the pros and cons?

Being a jeweler is entertaining because you always have to make different kinds of jewelry and face new challenges throughout your career.

You can challenge your creativity and will always find another creative enthusiast to share your passion with.

The comments of your clients, happy with their jewelry, mean a lot for a jeweler, as many jewelry pieces will be part of their life for decades or more and represent a lot of feeling for them, and for us too.

One of the drawbacks is that is very time-consuming and modern jewelry require the jeweler to master quite a lot of skills, from CAD software, casting, 3D printing, different kind of soldering or being able to work as a team with other subcontractors.

Not being able to promote enough of your work can lead you to bankruptcy eventhough your jewelry work is outstanding.

Working experience from Hitesh Patel Source: Direct

Hitesh Patel is the founder of RRPJewellers, a jewelry manufacturing company based in Surat, India.

What is it like being a jeweler?

Becoming a jeweler is an amazing opportunity. You get to craft beautiful pieces of jewelry which once worn by a customer will light up their face and at that moment you will also feel happy for your creation. Given how people consider buying jewelry to be an auspicious occasion and are connected to precious gems and metals deeply. Being a jeweler becomes pleasurable when we get to explain different types of jewelry pieces we have designed or will be designing for them.

What’s the work-life of a jeweler like?

Being a jeweler doesn’t require a degree in any particular domain. All you need to know is what type of jewelry will best suit a person, details about the different metals like gold and platinum; what will make them shine better. Different settings of rings, how to set a stone, and much more. All this will be learned through practice and observing the trend in the markets. You need to be innovative and unique in your designs and thinking, this is what will attract more customers.

What are the pros and cons of being a jeweler?


  • You are delivering happiness
  • The more unique your design and thinking the better return you will attain.
  • You reside in a circle of good and prosperous people thus giving you a positive aura all around.
  • You create a good bond with customers.


  • Timely delivery may not be possible all the time due to not being able to find some specific part of the jewelry, like custom shaped diamonds.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Artists

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Learn more about Jewelers

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