The field of jewelry making requires a combination of academic and practical training; at a minimum, most jewelers need a high school diploma and formal training at a trade school, and find jobs after serving as apprentices. Educational requirements and experience required for jewelers varies depending on the specific type of job performed. Some jewelers adopt supervisory or management positions, which emphasize formal academic training, while those working in the manufacturing side acquire requisite skills through on-the-job training, which teaches casting, setting and engraving.
For non-manufacturing positions, high school diplomas generally suffice. However, jewelers striving for advanced careers and seeking skilled work typically enroll in trade schools. These schools offer certificate programs and run for approximately 6 months to 1 year.
During their course of study, students learn to identify the many types of gems and gemstones. Then, programs offer tutelage in gem casting, setting and polishing. Students also learn how to use tools and equipment commonly found in the jewelry profession.
Many schools offer trade programs, but the Gemological Institute of America is a popular choice for many budding jewelers. When beginning a career, most jewelers start by working in stores owned and operated by other jewelers. Eventually, those wishing to open their own stores do so after building a good reputation. Having a background in marketing, business administration and customer service helps in this advanced career stage.