Engraving Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 13, 2019

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.

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.

Schools With Engraving Programs

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition and Fees*
Montgomery Community College Troy, NC 2-year, Public Certificate $2,537 in-state, $8,681 out-of-state
Lassen Community College Susanville, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,127 in-state, $5,903 out-of-state
Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad, CO 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $5,160 in-state, $8,162 out-of-state
Gem City College Quincy, IL 2-year, Public Certificate $22,225 (For largest program)
GRS Training Center Emporia, KS Private for-profit Certificate Varies according to course type
Mesalands Community College Tucumcari, NM 2-year, Public Certificate $1,812 in-state, $2,916 out-of-state
Emporia State University Emporia, KS 4-year, Public Bachelor's $6,758 in-state, $20,675 out-of-state

Sources: *NCES and school websites

School Selection Criteria

Anyone interested in an official engraving program should keep the following in mind:

  • Prospective students should consider how they intend to use engraving within a relevant program.
  • Courses with 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.

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.

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.

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 also have portfolio projects, collaborative public art projects and workshops and lectures by visiting professionals.

In summary, stand-alone engraving programs are uncommon, but several types of degree programs include engraving as part of the curriculum such as gunsmithing and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Accreditation opportunities and access to good engraving facilities are two things to keep in mind when searching for an engraving program.

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