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How to Choose a School with a Glass or Metal Engraving Program

Glass or metal engravers, also called etchers, work in gold- or silversmithing, gunsmithing, jewelry or glass trades. Engravers must be detail-oriented and able to perform systematic and meticulous work. Read on to learn more about how to choose a school in this field and the types of programs available.

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Some engravers are self-employed, while others work in retail shops, jewelry stores, sporting goods stores and trophy shops. A number of schools in the U.S. offer training in glass or metal engraving.

Top Glass or Metal Engraving Schools

These schools offer a variety of programs related to glass and metal engraving, including gunsmithing and jewelry programs at varying levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2015-2016*
Montgomery Community College Troy, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,074.40 in-state, $6,682.40 out-of-state
Lassen Community College Susanville, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,127 in-state, $5,903
Austin Community College Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate,Associate's $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,423 in-state, $8,567 out-of-state
Mesalands Community College Tucumcari, NM 2-year, Public Certificate $2,874.00 in-state, $4,432 out-of-state
Catawba Valley Community College Hickory,NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,195 in-state, $7,571 out-of-state
Johnston Community College Smithfield, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,401 in-state, $8,545 out-of-state
Piedmont Technical Community College Greenwood, SC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,601 in-state, $5,801 out-of-state
Pine Technical and Community College Pine City, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $4,066 in-state, $7,742 out-of-state

Sources: *School websites and National Center for Educational Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students should keep these important considerations in mind:

  • Prospective students may want to look for programs that provide training in specific tools, such as lasers or chisels, or that focus on certain materials, such as metal or glass.
  • Aspiring engravers also might find associate degree programs in gunsmithing that emphasize metal engraving or gemology certificate programs that focus on glass etching.
  • A low student-to-teacher ratio can be beneficial.
  • Students should consider which program is most helpful for the career they want, such as positions in the silversmithing, gunsmithing, jewelry or glass trades.

Courses or Workshops in Glass Etching

Courses and workshops typically last one day and teach students glass etching fundamentals, while also providing a basic understanding of the trade. Students typically produce one product, such as an engraved bottle or decoration. Students also might explore fusing, using a kiln and applying etching cream.

Metal Engraving Certificate

An individual can earn a basic or advanced certificate in metal engraving. Students usually learn about cutting, design, tools and inlay procedures. An advanced certificate program might cover more specific engraving techniques.

Gemology Certificate

A gemology certificate program typically is comprised of 10-15 credit hours and is appropriate for those seeking entry-level work in the field.

Associate of Applied Science in Gunsmithing

An associate's degree in gunsmithing usually takes two years to complete and is suitable for individuals who want a career in gunsmithing.

Programs in glass and metal engraving are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels. Students should look for programs relevant to their desired careers that provide training in specific tools or materials.

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