Engraving Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

An engraver (also called an etcher) works with flat or curved metal, rubber, wood or various other materials by hand or machine for decoration, printing and identification purposes. These range from a short-term certificate in metal engraving to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

How to Choose an Engraving School

Engravers and etchers work with hard and soft metals or other materials. A number of non-profit and for-profit schools in the U.S. offer training programs for aspiring engravers.

  • Prospective students should consider how they intend to use engraving within a relevant program.
  • A consideration of lower student-to-teacher ratio allows for more individualized instruction.
  • Facilities that allow enlarged visual demonstration and after-hour access to machines can aid in additional training.
  • Accreditation may be a factor in engraving school selection, though professional engravers may teach courses independent of accredited institutions.

Overview of Engraving Programs

Metal Engraving Certificate

Metal engraving certificates can be earned in less than one year. These programs may focus on metals such as gold and silver and precious gems and stones. This program includes coursework such as scroll cutting and design, lettering and calligraphy and engraving applications. Other topics may include:

  • Acid etching
  • Inlay techniques
  • Scene work

Associate of Applied Science in Gunsmithing

There are gunsmithing degree programs that put emphasis on engraving. These programs prepare students for entry-level employment in the firearm and metal industries. Coursework covered may include workplace dynamics, management principles and basic engraving. Other topics may include:

  • Firearms repair
  • Aesthetics
  • Design and implementation techniques

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking

Engraving is found within some BFA programs in printmaking or engraving, though engraving degrees are not as common. These degree programs cover coursework in lithography and etching at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Additional courses may include printing in monotype, silkscreen and woodcut. These programs may include portfolio projects, collaborative public art projects and workshops and lectures by visiting professionals. Processes covered include:

  • Plate and stone lithography
  • Etching
  • Engraving
  • Aquatint

10 Schools With Engraving Programs

College/University Institution Type
Montgomery Community College 2-year, Public
Lassen Community College 2-year, Public
Trinidad State Junior College 2-year, Public
Yauapia Community College 2-year, Public
Highline Community College 2-year, Public
Hinds Community College 2-year, Public
Minneapolis Technical College 2-year, Public
Gemological Institute of America 2-year, Public
Gem City College 2-year, Public
GRS Training Center Private for-profit

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