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Salary Range
€18k - €60k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Sells, designs, makes and repairs wearable and decorative or functional objects such as rings, earrings, necklaces, watches and tableware using using both precious and non-precious metals and stones, and other materials such as glass, plastic, paper and fabrics.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

In Summary - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

Career Sectors

Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmiths typically work in the following Career Sectors:

The Crafts Industry
Art, Craft & Design
Design
Art, Craft & Design

Videos & Interviews

Barry Doyle, Jeweller

Barry Doyle Design Jewellers is based in Dublin 2. Barry and Adrianne give an insight into how their handmade pieces differ from mass produced jewellery.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

Jewellers design and manufacture a wide variety of jewellery, silverware and cutlery products. They work with metals such as gold, silver and platinum and with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Craft jewellers also work with materials such as paper, wood, bone, ceramics and plastics. 
 
Most jewellers are self-employed. They work to commission, exhibit in galleries, and at retail trade fairs. They also design ranges of jewellery for production, work as curators, design consultants, lecturers and educators.

Jewellery designers typically begin their careers in industry, designing products for the mass market. They may look at the products their company already make and see how they can change them to suit new styles and trends. They may also be asked to design and develop new products. This usually involves the following:  

    • Looking at products made by their own and competitors' companies
    • Finding out if there are any new ways to make things, or new materials to make them with
    • Thinking about what kind of people are likely to buy the products

Jewellery designers may do this research themselves or with the help of marketing managers. They then prepare detailed drawings.  

Manufacturing jewellers work from these drawings to make the final products. Different companies use different methods of production. Some combine traditional and 'high-tech' methods. Others may use machines for all steps in the production process.

Training can be with an existing jeweller or a relevant Craft Design course.

Most 3rd level courses or apprenticeships are three to four years. If you want to specialise as a gold or silversmith additional training and experience is required.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Smooth soldered joints and rough spots, using hand files and emery paper, and polish smoothed areas with polishing wheels or buffing wire.
  • Position stones and metal pieces, and set, mount, and secure items in place, using setting and hand tools.
  • Create jewelry from materials such as gold, silver, platinum, and precious or semiprecious stones.
  • Make repairs, such as enlarging or reducing ring sizes, soldering pieces of jewelry together, and replacing broken clasps and mountings.
  • Clean and polish metal items and jewelry pieces, using jewelers' tools, polishing wheels, and chemical baths.
  • Select and acquire metals and gems for designs.
  • Compute costs of labor and materials in order to determine production costs of products and articles.
  • Mark and drill holes in jewelry mountings in order to center stones according to design specifications.
  • Examine assembled or finished products to ensure conformance to specifications, using magnifying glasses or precision measuring instruments.
  • Construct preliminary models of wax, metal, clay, or plaster, and form sample castings in molds.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Interests - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Creative

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Enterprising

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.

Qualities

A good jeweller/goldsmith is everything from a miniature sculptor to a mechanical engineer, making small intricate pieces that must fit together exactly. You will need in-depth knowledge of both traditional and modern production methods.  
 
Patience, a good eye for detail and an enjoyment of putting things together would be criteria for a prospective trainee.

Entry Requirements - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

Pay & Salary - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €60k

Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: April, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

Useful Contacts - Jeweller / Silversmith / Goldsmith

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