Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers use a variety of common and specialized handtools and equipment to design and manufacture new pieces of jewelry; cut, set, and polish gem stones; repair or adjust rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry; and appraise jewelry, precious metals, and gems. Jewelers usually specialize in one or more of these areas and may work for large jewelry manufacturing firms, for small retail jewelry shops, or as owners of their own businesses.
Hours: They usually work about 40 hours a week
Opportunities: About 51 percent of these workers were self-employed; many operated their own store or repair shop, and some specialized in designing and creating custom jewelry.
Pay: Median annual wage-and-salary earnings for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers were $29,750 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,390 and $40,160.
Training: Jewelers usually learn their trade in vocational or technical schools, through distance-learning centers, or on the job. Formal training enhances employment and advancement opportunities.
Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos222.htm (visited July 28, 2009 ).
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