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Jewellery designer-maker

Alternative titles for this job include Silversmith

Jewellery designers plan and create jewellery, silverware and other decorative products.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 variable

You could work

weekends as customers demand

How to become a jewellery designer-maker

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • specialist courses run by a professional body

University

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • jewellery design
  • jewellery and metal design
  • 3D design crafts
  • art and design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You can do short courses in specific types of jewellery making at college, or through a private course provider like a jewellery studio or workshop.

Courses vary in content so it's worth checking carefully to make sure they cover what you need.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to start in this job through a Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Trades Professional higher apprenticeship.

The British Academy of Jewellery offers apprenticeships in jewellery manufacture and design across England.

The Goldsmiths' Company offers apprenticeships to young people aged 16 to 21 in London and the south-east.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Other Routes

You can do short, specialist courses run by organisations like the British Academy of Jewellery .

More Information

Career tips

Jewellery design is very competitive and not all vacancies are advertised. You may find it useful to make contacts within the industry to help find work. You could do this by going to trade fairs and exhibitions.

Further information

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • analytical thinking skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • discuss a design (brief) with your client
  • produce designs by hand or using CAD software
  • make up models of jewellery for mass production
  • source gemstones, precious metals and other jewellery parts
  • use equipment like jewellery saws and soldering irons
  • cut, polish and set gemstones or other materials
  • use different metals in your jewellery making like silver, gold or palladium
  • use materials like polymer clays, resins, wood or glass
  • market and sell your work, if self-employed

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, from home, in a workshop or in a factory.

Career path and progression

You could become self-employed and sell your designs to manufacturers. Or, you could make up the designs and sell them yourself through galleries, in shops and online.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a jewellery designer-maker right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Jewellery Design

  • Provider: HERTFORD REGIONAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 14 January 2021
  • Location: Ware

Jewellery Making

  • Provider: KENT COUNTY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 13 January 2021
  • Location: Tonbridge

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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