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Arts & crafts

Jewellery designer-maker

Jewellery designer-makers create jewellery and decorative products, using materials like gemstones, precious metals, acrylics and enamels.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 variable

You could work: weekends; as customers demand

0.5%
Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Jewellery designer-maker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a jewellery designer-maker, you would:

  • discuss design ideas with your client
  • produce designs and scale drawings by hand or with CAD software
  • cut, shape and set precious stones and metals with hand and machine tools
  • repair or restore jewellery and silverwork to its original condition
  • finish items by polishing, enamelling and engraving
  • check the quality of finished products

You would also market and sell your work, if you're self-employed.

Working environment

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

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 silversmithing
  • design crafts
  • art and design
  • fine art

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
For more information
College

You can do a college course to start your career in jewellery making, such as:

  • art and design
  • design crafts
  • T Level in Craft and Design

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

Short courses vary in content, so it's important to check details carefully to make sure they cover what you want to do.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information
Apprenticeship

You may be able to start in this job through a Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Trades Professional Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

The British Academy of Jewellery also offers apprenticeships in jewellery and silversmithing in Birmingham and London.

The Goldsmiths' Company offers apprenticeships for young people aged 16 to 24 in London and the south-east.

For more information
Other routes

You could do short, specialist courses run by organisations like the British Academy of Jewellery and Goldsmiths' Foundation Programme.

Courses like these can lead on to apprenticeships or training in further or higher education.

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 a trainee position or work. You could do this by:going to trade fairs; attending jewellery and craft exhibitions; joining online craft and design forums

Further information

You can get more information about working in jewellery design from Discover Creative Careers.

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If you're working for a jewellery design or jewellery-making company, you could become a:lead designer; merchandiser; buyer; creative director

You might become self-employed and sell your designs to manufacturers or directly to clients. You could also create products from your designs and sell them through galleries, craft centres, in shops and online.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • 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
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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