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How to become a jeweller in Australia: careers in design

Jewellers design and manufacture jewellery and small decorative objects. They are often involved in every step of the process from the initial design draft through to the finished project. Other times they may just be involved in design or manufacture, depending on their area of expertise. They need to have both creative and technical abilities, and devise new ideas for jewellery while knowing which tools, techniques and processes will bring their designs to life.
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Being a jeweller: daily duties

Jewellers formulate new designs for jewellery from traditional types such as necklaces and rings through to avant-garde wearable pieces. They begin the process with initial design sketches and plan the details of their finished pieces. They select materials, resources and manufacturing processes of prototypes, and decide on buffing, polishing and finishing of the pieces once manufactured. There are a number of different processes, materials and techniques involved in jewellery making, and often jewellers specialise in specific skills such as enamelling or stone-setting.

Tasks:

  • Engraving words on jewellery
  • Buffing and polishing jewellery
  • Designing detailed drafts
  • Setting stones
  • Soldering metals together

Being a jeweller: skills for success

Jewellers need to have a flair for design as well as creative thinking and problem-solving skills in order to design jewellery and then bring it to life. Good hand-eye coordination is necessary as well as good vision and attention to detail, as jewellery design and manufacture often involves small-scale, intricate work. They need good communication skills and the ability to work with others to take suggestions on board and meet client expectations when working on commissioned pieces.
Skills/attributes
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Good eyesight
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative flair
  • Able to collaborate with others

Specialised roles within design

A number of specialisations are available to jewellers, each with its own set of skills.
  • Stone setter
    Stone setters, also called gem setters, mount valuable stones to jewellery. They determine the best method of setting the stone depending on the type, size and cut of the stone. They also repair older pieces of jewellery.
  • Engraver
    Engravers mark pieces of jewellery with decorative or written inscriptions. They use hand tools and specialised machinery to mark items at the request of their owners.
  • Enameller
    An enameller works with glass powders and oxides to create shiny coatings on jewellery and decorative objects. They add colour and shine without using precious stones.

Educational pathways for jewellers

Your studies can be tailored towards your preferred specialisation, or you can receive a broad training in jewellery-making, depending on your own strengths and tastes.
  • Start your career
    Get your career as a craftsperson underway with these courses.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Study jewellery design and object design basics and learn useful technical skills.
  • Build your resume
    An accredited course will gain you both recognised skills as well as a professional advantage.
  • Industry requirements
    Join a professional association to boost your chances of employment.
  • Finding Work
    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.
  • Employment Prospects
    Strong growth in employment opportunities is predicted for jewellers over the next five years.

Resources for jewellers

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