Gemologists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Gemologists analyze, describe, and certify the quality and characteristics of gemstones. After using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments to examine gemstones or finished pieces of jewelry, they write reports certifying that the items are of a particular quality. Most gemologists have completed the Graduate Gemologist program through the Gemological Institute of America.

Education Required
Although most jewelers and precious stone and metal workers have a high school diploma, many trade schools offer courses for workers who seek additional education. Course topics can include introduction to gems and metals, resizing, repair, and computer-aided design (CAD). Programs vary from 3 months to 1 year, and many teach students how to design, cast, set, and polish jewelry and gems, as well as how to use and care for a jeweler’s tools and equipment. Graduates of these programs may be more attractive to employers because they require less on-the-job training. Many gemologists graduate from the Gemological Institute of America. Trade programs usually require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Training Required
Many jewelers learn and develop their skills on the job. The length of training required to become proficient depends on the difficulty of the specialty, but often lasts at least a year. Training usually focuses on casting, setting stones, making models, or engraving.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: -3% (Decline)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Advancement
In manufacturing, some jewelers advance to supervisory jobs, such as master jeweler or head jeweler. Jewelers who work in jewelry stores or repair shops may become managers.
Median pay: How much do Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers make?
$38,200 Annual Salary
$18.37 per hour

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