How to become a blacksmith
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You can do a degree course in artist blacksmithing at university.
You'll need a portfolio of your work and creative ideas for course interviews.
You'll usually need:
- a foundation diploma in art and design
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could take an introductory college course in working with metal before looking for a trainee position with a blacksmith.
You could also take a Level 2 in Diploma in Blacksmithing and Metalworking though this is only available in a small number of places.
There is a Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding, which may lead you into industrial blacksmith work.
You could also gain some of the general skills needed from a T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control.
A course in general metalwork or art and design may also give you an advantage when looking for a job.
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:
- General welder intermediate apprenticeship
- Blacksmith advanced apprenticeship
- Plate or Pipe welder advanced apprenticeship
You may be able to use industrial welding experience to find a trainee blacksmith job with a specialist metalwork company.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could work as an assistant to an experienced blacksmith and learn the craft on the job. Experience in metalwork and technical drawing can be useful for this career.
You'll find it useful to do a short course in blacksmithing. This will help you decide if it's a suitable career and may be useful if you plan to look for a training position. The British Artist Blacksmiths Association has details of training organisations.
You'll need to show examples of your work and decorative ideas to get onto a design-related course or if contacting blacksmiths about trainee positions.
Professional and industry bodies
You can get more details about working as an artist blacksmith from the British Artist Blacksmiths Association.
You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.