The jewelry industry is booming, with consumers purchasing more finely made items such as diamond rings and bracelets than ever before. Jewelers retail in stores and online, showcasing jewelry from their own inventory or sourcing it from manufacturers and distributors. Jewelers also handle repairs and restoration of worn or damaged pieces, using their expertise to repair broken clasps, replace missing stones, resize rings, and solder metal components. Many jewelers work closely with customers to design custom jewelry pieces.
Jewelry is a highly valuable item and requires a high level of professional skill to manufacture and sell, so jewelers must be licensed or certified to sell their goods. Jewelers who have a high school diploma and some formal vocational training may qualify to apply for a job in the jewelry trade at local shops or large retail chains. Other potential job opportunities include working at a wholesale or manufacturing jeweler, where the duties are focused on producing jewelry on a mass scale. These workers are skilled in casting, molding, stone setting, and assembling.
A jewelry store owner or manager must have strong business and customer service skills. They must be able to communicate the value of an item and explain gemstone characteristics to help consumers make informed purchases. Managing a jewelry store involves ensuring that stock is ordered in sufficient quantities and that sales are tracked accurately. Some jewelers use a computerized inventory system to assist them in storing and selling their products. This software interfaces with point of sale systems and can offer features such as digital product imaging and bar coding, pricing, loose stone inventory capabilities, and more. This software is available from many United States suppliers for a wide range of price points.
As technology continues to advance, jewelers must adapt their approach to customer engagement. For example, many of today’s online jewelry retailers offer 3D models and virtual try-on tools to help close sales. This same type of digital experience can be implemented in a brick-and-mortar environment, by placing an interactive augmented reality (AR) kiosk at the jewelry counter, where consumers can view, interact with, and even wear the merchandise before making a purchase.
Many jewelry-related businesses require bonding, which is a form of insurance that guarantees honesty and security within the company. The bonding agency checks a candidate’s background and finances to determine whether or not they are suitable for the position. A prospective jeweler can find information about available positions in the jewelry trade through a variety of sources, including job fairs, industry events, and newspaper classified ads. A jeweler can also contact their trade association or a union for information about open positions. Those who are self-employed often operate small independent jewelry stores and may design their own pieces or work for other independent jewelry stores as associates. Some jewelers choose to specialize in certain types of jewelry or carry a limited selection of products. These stores can be attractive destinations for consumers who want to purchase a specific piece of jewelry or are interested in learning about the craftsmanship of a particular maker or style.