While many of jewelers are self-employed, others might work in retail stores, in jewelry repair shops, or in jewelry manufacturing plants. Those who work in retail jewelry stores often spend a lot of time interacting with customers, either helping them choose pre-made pieces, or taking orders and instructions for custom pieces. Jewelry store employees often earn a commission for each piece of jewelry they sell.
Those who work in repair shops usually spend a lot of time alone, with little or no supervision. While those who work in retail settings often have set schedules, they might also have to work on holidays, when customers often visit jewelry stores.
It is estimated that about 50% of all jewelry artists are self-employed. Self-employed jewelry artists are able to set their own work hours. In fact, many work from their own homes, where they'll usually have a workshop or studio in which they make jewelry. Self-employed jewelry makers often sell their wares at craft fairs and trade shows. Many have also started to sell their work online.
Many artists who make jewelry end up opening jewelry stores of their own. While this is a competitive field, those who are able to build a solid reputation in the jewelry trade are often very successful as jewelry merchants.