Experts predict that the jewelry industry is going to grow at a steady 5 to 6% each year for the foreseeable future. That’s great news for those working in the industry!
Selling jewelry is also one of the hottest niches for those looking to create a profitable eCommerce store.
With so many opportunities, it’s no wonder that the career is increasing in popularity.
Want to know how to become a jeweler? Here’s what you need to know in order to begin crafting and selling your own jewelry.
Understand the Steps of How to Become a Jeweler
First, it’s important that you understand the steps of becoming a jeweler.
The first of these steps is understanding the difference between owning a jewelry store and being an actual jeweler.
Being a jeweler means that you’re going to be the one who actually designs and crafts the jewelry. This is more of an artistic profession than anything, but you’ll still need to gain practical experience in the industry if you want to succeed.
If you want to become a jeweler without attending school first, then you’ll likely have to start out at the bottom like everybody else.
Usually, this means becoming a polisher at a jewelry store. Sure, it might sound easy, but this is going to teach you a lot about the ins and outs of the design and care of precious jewels, gemstones, and more.
Why is this such an important part of your future career? Jewelers first need to smooth and polish gems and stones to produce a single piece of jewelry.
From there, you’ll be able to move on to learn about sizing and then work your way up to crafting beautiful accessories.
Watch and Learn All About Jewelry
During your time as a rookie, it’s important to take on as many apprenticeships as you can. Find a local jeweler in your town who you admire and offer to work for them.
Choose someone with a style similar to yours. This will help you cultivate your own unique style while gaining helpful tricks from someone who has more experience in the industry.
If you can, try to sign up for a course. Most technical colleges offer courses on jewelry making and they’ll teach you the basics of:
- Laser Welding
- Stone Cutting
The last one is pretty important. If you don’t have the time or money to receive formal training, then it’s worth at least learning how to work a computer-aid design (CAD) program.
Becoming a jeweler that everyone wants to buy from means learning how to design great jewelry. If you are able to master CAD programs, then you’ll be one step closer to creating stunning designs that are creative and unique.
Learn as much as you can about the craft and watch as many videos online as you can in order to see how others craft their jewelry.
As part of your formal training, it’s likely that they’ll ask you to complete an apprenticeship. This is a great way to earn hands-on experience instead of working in retail.
Pair Up with a Great Mentor
Have you completed your training? Great! Now you’ll probably be headed off to an apprenticeship.
How do you become a jeweler? You learn from the best.
So, take this time to find a great mentor to learn from. As an apprentice, you’ll be forming your own style and making all of your early-career mistakes.
Because this industry is so competitive, working with a well-respected and widely-known jeweler could help you later down the road when you need references or a foot in the door.
Whoever you choose to work with, ensure that it’s someone who is a great teacher, as this is largely the point of an apprenticeship.
For example, they’ll be able to help you learn the difference between different types of stones and how to cut them. They’ll also likely teach you about carats, even though you can learn more about that here and many other places online.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take advice. This is what’s going to help you become a jeweler that everybody respects and admires. It will also help you find your own unique style.
Consider Getting Certified
Once you’ve learned how to be a jeweler, you’ll need to market your skills and show off just how much you’ve learned in order to set yourself apart from the rest.
If you’re struggling to find a position that really makes you feel passionate about jewelry making, then consider getting certified.
You can get a professional certificate from the Jewelers of America association. Here, you can choose from four professional certificates:
- Certified Bench Jeweler Technician (CBJT)
- Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ)
- Certified Senior Bench Jeweler (CSBJ)
- Certified Master Bench Jeweler (CSMJ)
If you only have about a year of experience with jewelry repair, then you’ll want to start with the CBJT, as it’s the most basic.
The CBJ certification is for people with about two years of experience, and the CSMJ is the highest level certification that you can achieve and it shows off your mastery in all jewelry making skills.
To pass these exams, you have to take a written and a practical exam, so prepare yourself beforehand and go into it willing to work hard.
Develop a Unique Jeweler Style
Learning how to become a jeweler takes time and a lot of hard work and dedication, just like any other career.
If you’re passionate about what you want to do and are willing to start from the bottom and work your way up, then you’ll find yourself succeeding in a very profitable career.
However, make sure that throughout all of you’re training you’re dedicating time to finding and developing your own unique style.
There are thousands of jewelers all around the country. Having a unique style is going to really set you apart and allow you to thrive in the industry.
Need some inspiration in developing your own style? Head over to our fashion section. You’ll find tons of style tips and tricks that will help give you a lot of great ideas for crafting attention-grabbing accessories.