The jewelry industry is as competitive as it is diverse, requiring jewelers to remain alert and responsive to market changes. The good news: it’s still possible to land a retail jewelry job with on the job training for sales and administrative positions and apprenticeships for jewelers and gemologists. The bad news: it’s even more competitive to make the leap into the jewelry business from another field, and you may have a tough time gaining entry if you don’t already have some retail experience under your belt.
Regardless of your background, the key to success as a jeweler is understanding the ins and outs of retail: how customers shop, what motivates them to buy, and what challenges they face while making their purchases. With these insights in mind, you can create a retail jewelry plan to help you reach your goals and grow your business.
Most jewelers rely heavily on in-store visits to sell fine jewelry and watches. The pandemic, however, has accelerated what’s already been a major shift in the way that consumers interact with and purchase their jewelry.
If you’re looking for a retail job in the jewelry industry, your best bet is to focus on the sales and marketing functions. This includes everything from managing customer relationships to executing promotions and sales strategies. You’ll also need a high level of customer service skills, excellent attention to detail, and an ability to work well under pressure.
The average salary for a jeweler in the United States is $39,836. The top 10% earn more than $60,590, while the bottom 10% make less than $24,409. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is helpful for getting a job in the jewelry industry, and it can improve your chances of earning the highest pay grade.
To get started, consider pursuing a degree in accounting, marketing, or business administration. These degrees will give you the tools you need to succeed in the jewelry industry. If you’re a jewelry maker, it’s important to have knowledge of computer programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Excel. These software programs will allow you to create jewelry designs and help you communicate with your clients.
Smart jewelers are embracing digital technology. A recent BriteCo survey revealed that, in the wake of COVID-19, two out of three jewelers are changing their digital strategies to better connect with their customers online. Some of the biggest changes have been in the area of social media, where the majority of stores increased their postings. Other significant changes have been in the areas of website updates and offering e-commerce purchasing options on their websites.
Many successful jewelers have launched their businesses as side projects or from their kitchen tables. For those seeking to become entrepreneurs, it can be a rewarding career path with the right planning and dedication. The jewelry industry can be intimidating for those with little experience, but you can build up your portfolio slowly by selling at local markets or through consignment agreements before taking the plunge.