Professional gemologists complete a course of study in a gemology school and receive a diploma to become certified. They study diamonds, colored gemstones, jewelry and appraising for their certification.
Many high-quality gemologist programs are available through in-person or online programs. The cost of the programs varies depending on the depth and range of the coursework.
Appraising, for example, includes more in-depth education, training and knowledge than a certification course that includes only identification and knowledge of diamond, colored gemstones and jewelry. The United States offers prestigious programs, such as the Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America, the Registered Gemologist and Registered Gemologist Appraiser programs at the International School of Gemology and the Diamonds or Colored Gemstones courses at the Diamond Council of America.
Once certified, gemologists complete continuing education courses to keep up with changes and new knowledge in the field. They work in a range of environments but mostly in the jewelry retail environment as appraisers, buyers, managers and sales associates.
The insurance industry also employs gemologists, and the average salary for a certified gemologist ranges from about $20,000 to over $80,000 as of 2014. The higher end of the range is generally earned by top sales professionals and appraisers.