Should I Become An Engraver?
Engravers carve and etch into metal, wood, glass and other materials for purposes of identification or to create illustrations and printed materials. About one-third of engravers are self-employed while others might be employed by retail shops or wholesale establishments. Due to the potential dangers that exist while working in this profession, care must be taken when working with sharp tools and chemicals to ensure safety. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a $37,060 median annual salary for jewel and precious metal workers in May 2015.
|Education Level||High school diploma; may benefit from attending trade school|
|Training||Fine art, jewelry, or related program|
|Experience||Experience is not always required; may be gained on the job|
|Key Skills||Artistic capability, ability to use related tools, sense of fashion, attention to detail, dexterity, visualization, and interpersonal skills|
|Salary||$37,060 (2015 median for jewel and precious metal workers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2014), O*Net Online
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Steps to Become an Engraver
Step 1: Explore Educational Options
Although there are no strict formal education requirements for engravers, related postsecondary programs are available. A curriculum that includes art history, drawing, and illustration concepts can provide a solid educational foundation for those pursuing a career as an engraver. Community colleges and local art centers may also offer courses for specific engraving techniques, such as hand, intaglio, and laser engraving.
Completion of a certificate or diploma training program in engraving techniques from a vocational school may also enhance employment opportunities. Colleges with a degree program in jewelry or gemology can feature engraving as part of a curriculum that typically also includes metal casting and polishing, computer-aided design, jewelry design, and stone setting.
Complete an Internship
For aspiring engravers who take courses through a community college or trade school, there may be opportunities to secure an internship and gain experience.
Step 2: Gain Professional Experience
Individuals typically receive on-the-job training, a process that can last up to a year. Job titles that may feature engraving duties or knowledge of engraving include caster, jewelry bench technician and etcher. Individuals can expect to train in one or more specialized types of engraving, based on technique or material. Professionals seeking to add industry-related skills can elect to take continuing education and training courses offered by professional organizations, such as the Jewelers of America.
Step 3: Advance Your Career
Consider becoming a specialist in some area of engraving such as luggage, glassware, jewelry, or even guns. A good many engravers are self-employed and must build a clientele on their own. Look into Internet advertising for specialized engraving services. Market yourself to people who might occasionally want engraving services like wedding planners, gunsmiths, luggage makers, or luxury goods makers.
To become an engraver, you might consider training programs in related fields, but usually training offered on the job will teach you everything you need to know.