Many jewelers don't have formal training. Instead, they learn the craft on the job, often after being hired by a jewelry manufacturer. During these informal apprenticeships, they learn the basics of jewelry making, including setting stones and engraving.
Many trade schools offer training in this field. These programs can last anywhere from six months to a year, and can greatly increase an individual's job prospects. There is formal training available to those who want to pursue careers as jewelry makers. Many colleges and universities offer Associate's Degrees in Jewelry Design. In these two year programs, students learn the basics of designing and creating custom jewelry. Students might also take courses in gemology, design history and silversmithing.
An aspiring jewelry artist can also pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals and Jewelry Design. In these four-year programs, students learn more about the art of making jewelry. They also learn about the jewelry industry and professional practices. After completing a Bachelor's Degree, those who are interested can also pursue a Master's Degree in jewelry design.
There are many traits that can help a jewelry maker find success in this industry. Artistic ability will allow them to think of new and creative designs that will appeal to consumers. A keen fashion sense will allow them to keep up on the latest trends, and create jewelry pieces that will compliment new styles. A lot of jewelry work is very intricate and detailed, so a jewelry maker should be very patient, and should have a good an eye for detail. And, since these artisans work with their hands quite a bit, finger dexterity is also important. The intricate and detailed nature of this work requires excellent hand-eye coordination. Good eyesight is also a plus.
Good interpersonal skills are another important trait, especially for those who work in retail stores or who are self-employed. Those who work in jewelry stores must interact with customers and coworkers on a daily basis. And those who are self-employed will be better able to sell their wares to potential buyers if they have good people skills.