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Summary of occupation

Silversmiths design and make silver jewellery, including jewellery with precious and semi-precious stones. This may involve cutting, filing, hammering, turning, spinning, bending and casting silver or other metals. They may use different methods to secure stones and engrave jewellery. They may also make other small silver objects such as containers and ornaments. They may repair or remodel jewellery and sell jewellery to the public. They may work making pieces for commission, for a jeweller or mass producing pieces.

ANZSCO description: Makes and repairs jewellery such as rings, brooches, chains and bracelets, crafts objects out of precious metals, or cuts, shapes and polishes rough gemstones to produce fashion or industrial jewels.
Alternative names:
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A silversmith needs:

  • to be creative, artistic and have an eye for design
  • good eyesight and vision for detail
  • to enjoy making things
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • to be able to work carefully and accurately
  • patience and perseverance
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Working conditions

A silversmith would normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday in air-conditioned rooms. Some silversmiths work on Saturdays. Silversmiths who are self-employed or create jewellery for commission may work longer hours.

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Salary details

On average, silversmiths, classified under jewellers, can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.  

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Tools and technologies

Silversmiths need to be able to use tools, often very fine and specialised, for casting, bending, cutting and spinning gold and other metals. They may also need to use specialised lathes and tools for grinding and finishing silver jewellery.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a silversmith you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The jewellery tradesperson apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

You can also complete the Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture or the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery Design, offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Alternatively, you can complete a degree majoring in jewellery design.

Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant degrees. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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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.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

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.

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