Jewellery designers need:
- creative flair
- accuracy and the ability to undertake detailed work
- good hand-eye co-ordination
- a patient and persistent nature
- an understanding of metals and other materials.
Jewellery designers working for larger organisations in the jewellery industry usually work regular business hours (9-5), but those who work for themselves are able to create their own hours, depending on the amount of work they have. They usually work in a studio or workshop, which they may share with other designers. Their work may also involve travel to trade fairs or exhibitions.
On average, fashion, industrial and jewellery designers can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a jewellery designer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Many jewellery designers are self-employed. Earnings for small business operators will depend on their level of skill and experience, the level of demand for their services, as well as the amount of work completed.
Most jewellery designers work in studios where they may use specialised computer software to design pieces, or this may be done by hand, using technical drawing and sketching equipment.
Jewellery designers employ a wide range of specialised tools in the creation of their products. Most work with metals, so metal smithing tools such as blades, saws, pliers, soldering equipment, and brushes and files are part of their everyday tool kit. Those who work with gemstones may also use microscopes, computerised tools, and other grading instruments to examine gemstones or finished pieces of jewellery.
You can work as a jewellery designer without any formal qualifications. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in jewellery design or a related area.
The Advanced Diploma of Jewellery Design is offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a degree majoring in product, furniture and jewellery design.
Some universities in Western Australia offer degrees in jewellery design or related fields. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.