Is Jewelry designing a good career option?

Is Jewellery designing a good career option?

Here we will see the answer to the question ‘Is Jewelry designing a good career option?’.


Every individual anticipates that his style complements his personality. Such abstract concepts are visualized by artisans and they bring them into reality. Jewelry designers’ day-in-day-out strive to bring life beautiful concepts that tell various stories right from ancient times. As a result, it is one of the most creative and Promethean fields of practice.

The booming fashion and design industry has made jewelry designing one of the most thriving careers for passionate artisans. It is an Applied Art form that deals with creating a piece or a set of pieces of jewelry for an entire fashion line with skilfully designed jewelry made with precious metals and gems. It mainly includes the skills of artistry, imagination and passion, and technical skills of- molding, sculpting, sketching, the science of fashion and trends, and lastly knowledge of metals and instruments. Modern applied artists require (Computer-Aided Design) CAD – adobe photoshop, adobe illustrator, and other design software since they have become more convenient and provide greater perfection.

Types and methodology in jewelry designing

Jewelry designing can be classified into two main categories:

  • Tradition methodology- This style of designing is handed down from one generation to another. The most dominant cultural impressions are from Egypt, India, Europe and central America. They are popular handmade jewellery that uses ancient designs and techniques such as-

Filigree jewelry – wires of cooper gold silver are winded in different shapes of animals, birds, flowers, etc.

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

Cloisonne jewelry-pieces of glass heated and then melted upon the open gaps of metals- has various vibrant colors and is mostly used in China and Japan.

Wax casting- an ancient method substituting the modern-day silicon and rubber molds with wax. Hold melted metal is poured in these wax casts to create designed shapes

  • Modern Methodology – They are basically polished and standardized methods replacing old techniques with tools such as rolling mill, anvils, centrifugal and vacuum casting equipment, sandblaster, resin 3D printer, hydraulic press, pulse arc welder, etc it predominantly features the technical drawing and drafting methods with computer-aided programs such as Matrix and Rhinoceros 3D, etc.

Modern-day jewelry designing is an amalgamation of these two different strata and the creation of ingenious designs.

Salary and market value of a jewelry designer:

According to the statistics provided by the  US National Bureau of Labour report 2020, the median income of a jewelry designer is between $46k-$50k. Average pay is about $30K even those living in Michigan, Alabama, and Virginia (as these states are moderately equipped with basic facilitation). The highly qualified Jewellery designers earn 10% more than $71K, especially those living in New York and other metropolitan areas. He/she earns approximately $22.7 per hour. However, the growth rate of these jobs is 3%, and if every woman earns 94 cents compared to a man who earns $1. Top sectors of income are mostly non-profits, retail, and manufacturing

What are the career paths for a jewelry designer?

A jewelry designer can fit into various different shoes-

  • Jewellery designer can work for whole sale manufacturing companies- One can work as a supervisor for the production company or as head designer matching the current trends. 
  • Can open a private studio and work as an independent contractor-This opportunity helps one to work on contract base leases with multiple companies. Some of the designers act as advisers or chief designers. Independent designers also work co-ordinally in partnership for multiple projects.
  • Analyst in manufacturing companies – advising the company on the basis of sales and popular trends.
  • Gallery owner- displaying various pieces and arranging auctions. 
  • Curator in museum- Since ancient designs and historical backgrounds also add to the career prospectus of a jewellery designer, one can be an expert and curator on historical jewellery in museums. During the course of undergraduate degree programme apart from practical learning, students also learn about culture, language and specialise in theoretical aspects of making jewellery.
  • Arts writer/critic in magazines.-There are thousand of designs which are appealing to a common mans eyes, but they need to de distinguished in order to sells an individual’s ideal choice. No one other than an art-critic can jot down the likes and dislikes in trends and critically praise designs by manufacturing companies. Thus, this job becomes high profiled.
  • Fine artist/ sketch artist in custom-made jewellery- last but not the least, a fine artist/ sketch artist may not be an expert in moulding, sculpting or smouldering, but his/her designs can worth a million meeting the ideal needs of a customer. Thus, jewellery designer- as a sketch artist can work individually or at manufacturing companies or as retailers.

How can one become a jewellery designer?

After completing high school, 

  • One can pursue undergraduate degree course: Bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in metals and jewellery design- studio arts. The course comprises of 6-8 semester and the duration is estimated to be 3-4 years or a diploma course of 2-3 semesters.
  • Further one can pursue Masters in fine arts (MFA) in metals and jewellery design, or a doctoral specialization. The course consists of 2-4 semesters and lasts for 1-2 years. 

Average Cost of program $25k-$ 40k and financial aid based on university policies. Most of the universities provide federal financial aid and scholarships and scholarships for international students. During the course of pandemics, various different universities and e-learning platforms have provided short-term programs and cash courses for jewelry designing.

Top universities for jewelry designing according to the Federal rankings are:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester RTI, NY USA
  • California College of Arts
  • University Of Kansa
  • Temple University
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.

To conclude, with the rapid growth of the fashion industry, the level of designers participating has increased the level of competition. However, this is a field of talent and determination-based practice, promoting the artisans and their skills in various different walks of Jewellery making and its relative fields. There are different complementary fields such as graphic design and style management which keep up with modern trends and thus elaborate the field of practice. One can definitely expect greater opportunities with time and training and recognition for one’s passion.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the different software used to design jewellery?

There are various software programs used for jewelry design such as AutoCAD, Rhinoceros 3D, SketchUp, and Zbrush, etc. These help in boosting fine details and have various different features and tools for professional experience.

  • Is CAD necessary for jewellery design?

Modern-day jewelry design is mostly computer-based. Handmade sketches are used in ancient methods and hence very hardly used. With the help of CAD, the outcome of the design is much articulated and precise plus it’s convenient. Lately, Resin3D has taken the casting process to another level.

  • Are there any online course for jewellery design?

Various public schools and universities provide cash courses and short-term online courses for jewelry designing. Some art schools provide certificate courses. Online sites such as the international career institute (ICI) provide small sort short-term training courses. Apart from this people can also participate in online courses offered by international institutions and universities for example: – Milano fashion institute etc.

Is Jewelry designing a good career option?

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