If you like working with your hands and seeing your ideas come to life, becoming a bench jeweler could be a good choice for you. Bench jewelers make and repair jewelry, doing work like fixing chains, sizing rings, setting diamonds and other gemstones, and hand crafting jewelry for their customers.
Some bench jewelers are also designers and create one-of- a-kind pieces. Others specialize in repairing intricate antiques. Some bench jewelers work for manufacturers, making the jewelry you see in many retail stores. Others work for jewelry retailers, and some go on to start their own businesses.
Is this a career for me?
Bench jewelers have an aptitude for tools and machines and are good at
figuring out how to make things. They are detail-oriented and patient. Most
jewelry work involves completing a series of small, careful steps. Common
sense and the ability to plan is important for bench jewelers, and many find
creative satisfaction in solving repair problems or in working out exactly how to fabricate a piece of jewelry to detailed and specific standards.
Many bench jewelers have a strong interest in art and design, particularly sculpture and other three dimensional media. Others have a “handyman” inclination, always looking for things to build or fix.
Bench jewelers may specialize in repair work, create their own lines of jewelry, or do custom work for their clients. Whether you prefer the challenge of doing many kinds of jewelry work, or you choose to specialize or start your own business, your ability to stay focused and prioritize your time will help you be successful.
An ability to communicate with your customers will enable you to meet their needs, and in turn help your business grow.
What do you do as a Bench Jeweler?
Manual skills and the ability to work with tools and machines are obviously critical for bench jewelers. Beginning bench workers perform tasks like sawing, filing, soldering and polishing. As your skills grow, repair work can involve fabricating parts, sizing rings, and setting stones, while a busy shop in a retail store may take in work that requires wax carving, casting, working with gold, silver and platinum, and crafting jewelry by hand. Bench jewelers working for large manufacturers may specialize in one of many bench related fields. Some highly skilled jewelers become experts in mold making,
stone setting, hand engraving or platinum casting. Tasks performed by master -goldsmiths also include specialized techniques like granulation, chain making and platinum fabrication.
Organizational and time management skills are very important to bench jewelers. Bench jewelers are responsible for maintaining their tools and equipment and for managing the supplies of precious metal parts (called findings) and stones needed for completing jobs. Supervisors and independent contractors will need to master basic business skills,
Including, the ability to estimate and control costs.
Many bench jewelers enjoy working directly with their customers. Your ability to listen, to get information from clients and present yourself in a positive light will have tremendous benefits for you. Jewelers report that learning to manage their time, and accurately estimate the time it takes to do a job, is difficult at the beginning. Later on, making the time to learn new skills and techniques can be a challenge. But pride
in your workmanship, and seeing success come from the work of your hands, provides tremendous satisfaction.
How do I grow in the industry?
Most beginning bench jewelers work in shops in retail stores or with jewelers who contract work to manufacturers, designers and retailers. Factory positions are also available for polishers, casters and setters. The increasingly sophisticated machines used by larger manufacturers may require special training.
Career advancement usually involves upgrading your technical or management skills and can involve becoming a master jeweler, supervising production for a manufacturer, becoming a jewelry instructor or even starting your own business.
What are the different paths to success as a Bench Worker?
- Formal training supplemented by a period of apprenticeship
- Many jewelers specialize in areas like repair or stone setting
- Continuing education and master classes for advanced techniques
- Some gemology training is helpful l
- Classes in accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship for business owners
What salaries can one expect as a Bench Worker?
- Entry Level – Rs.48,000/- to Rs.1, 24,000/-
- Qualified/Experienced – Rs.1,25,000/- to Rs.2,40,000/-
- Career Potential - Rs.6,00,000/- to Rs.9,00,000 /-