What does a jeweller do?

Jewellers come up with new designs for jewellery all kinds from traditional forms such as rings and necklaces to avant-garde wearable creations. Beginning with initial design sketches, they plan every detail of the finished piece, selecting materials, resources and processes for the production of a prototype through to the buffing, polishing and finishing of the piece. There is a huge variety of different processes, materials and techniques to draw on in the various cultural traditions of jewellery-making; most often a jeweller will specialise in certain skills, such as stone-setting or enamelling.

Tasks:

  • Engraving written information on to jewellery
  • Buffing or polishing a finished product
  • Drawing detailed plans
  • Setting stones
  • Soldering metals together

What skills do I need to be a jeweller?

Jewellery designing requires a person with a flair for both problem-solving and creative thinking. Jewellers must be able to take the designs they have developed and bring them to life using their technical knowledge. Jewellers need superb hand-eye coordination, good vision and a great attention to detail to complete their small-scale, intricate work. Jewellers must also have good communication skills, taking in the suggestions and design ideas of their clients when working on a commissioned piece. 

Skills/attributes
  • Minute attention to detail
  • Superb hand-eye coordination
  • Good eye-sight
  • Willing to collaborate with clients
  • Creative and design-oriented

Specialisations

Jewellery design opens up the possibility of a lot of potential types of specialisations as there are so many different kinds of jewellery, each requiring its own set of skills. Figuring out what type of jewellery you would like to make is a great place to start honing your skills as a skilled craftsperson. 

Stone setter

Stone setters (also known as gem setters) are responsible for mounting valuable stones to pieces of jewellery using the method of setting best suited to the stone type, size and cut. They often work in repairing older pieces of jewellery, as many modern jewellers receive training in how to set their own gemstones.

Engraver

Engravers are responsible for marking pieces of jewellery with decorative or written information. Engravers use hand tools and specialised machinery to mark items of jewellery at the owner’s request, for example engraving a bracelet with a dedication or important medical information of the wearer.

Enameller

Working with glass powders and oxides to create a lustrous shiny coating on jewellery and decorative objects, enamellers add colour and shine without using precious stones. Enamelled jewellery can involve intricate applications of various colours, designs and textures for an impressive finished piece.

Study pathways for industrial designers

Depending on your own strengths and tastes, you can tailor your studies to guide you towards your preferred specialisation or receive a broad training in many jewellery-making skills. 

Getting Started

Explore courses that will help you get underway in your career as a craftsperson.

Skill Building

Learn useful and technical skills as you study jewellery and object design basics

Professional Development

Choose an accredited course for recognised skills and a professional advantage

Industry Recognition

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, traineeship or course of tertiary studies you may wish to join a professional association to boost your chances of employment.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your design career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

The forecasted future employment growth for jewellers over the next five years is expected to be strong.