Jewellery designer-maker

Alternative titles for this job include Silversmith

Jewellery designers plan the style and pattern of 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

University

A lot of jewellery designers have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree.

Useful subjects include:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

College

There are short courses available in specific types of jewellery making. You can do these at a 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.

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to start in this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in:

  • jewellery silversmithing and allied trades: manufacturing
  • jewellery silversmithing and allied trades: silversmithing

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:

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

More information

More information

Career tips

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

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a jewellery designer-maker from Creative Choices.

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
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day to day tasks may include:

  • discussing a design (brief) with your client
  • producing designs by hand or using CAD software
  • making up models of jewellery for mass production
  • sourcing gemstones, precious metals and other jewellery parts
  • using equipment like jewellery saws and soldering irons
  • cutting, polishing and setting gemstones or other materials
  • using different metals in your jewellery making like silver, gold or palladium
  • using materials like polymer clays, resins, wood or glass
  • marketing and selling your work, if self-employed

Working environment

You could work from home, in a workshop, in a studio 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.

Training 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

Foundation Diploma Jewellery Design and Manufacturing

  • Provider: BAJ British Academy of Jewellery
  • Start date: 01 February 2019
  • Location: London

Jewellery: design lab

  • Provider: CITY LIT
  • Start date: 01 May 2019
  • Location: London

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