Being trained as a jewelry designer, repairer, or salesperson can be as simple as taking a few courses online to get a diploma or certificate. While programs do exist fully online, it is more common to find training in this field in person or as a hybrid. Take a look at some of the considerations in choosing the right school, and explore specific online programs offered at a couple of institutions.
How to Select an Online Jewelry School
Students considering online jewelry schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Online jewelry education schools are differentiated by the particular purpose and focus of an institution's program, by what credentials they provide for students and by how well regarded their program's credentials are in the industry. Most of the online jewelry diploma programs available are offered through for-profit, online career colleges. Students will also want to consider their career goals before committing to a program.
There are several types of courses available to those who wish to study jewelry. The programs that are available online are normally trade-focused, teaching students how to design or repair jewelry, or how to recognize, grade and use various types of gems and metal. Other programs offer training in jewelry crafting, repair, gemology and retail jewelry sales.
Credentials and Program Results
Very few jewelry programs are available fully online, and hybrid programs are similarly rare. Those that are available are normally diploma programs focused on a trade education for those who wish to work their way into a jewelry-related profession. Full degree programs are rarely available, but some jewelry programs offer credits that are transferable to full degree programs. Others provide only course certificates. Those who wish to use their certificate as a credential to find a job in the jewelry business may find that the certificates granted by more authoritative institutions are more useful in the job market.
Online Jewelry Program Options
Jewelry Design and Repair Career Diploma
Students who choose an online jewelry design and repair career diploma can expect an online class with many different lessons that must be completed hands-on at home with the help of textbooks and study materials. Personalized instruction is usually offered via e-mail, instant messaging and online voice chats. Normally, the institution offering a course will provide all necessary materials or tell students how to obtain the required materials. Students will periodically be required to upload assignments and tests for instructors to review, and will receive feedback on their progress. Students learn about:
- Anatomy of a gem
- Stone setting
- Duties of jewelers
- Fabrication and forging
Accredited Jewelry Professional Diploma
This program is designed to teach students the skills and knowledge necessary for retail jewelry sales. Students communicate with instructors via the Internet, primarily through e-mail and forum use, and complete tests and assignments either online or on their computers for submission via e-mail. Topics include:
- Diamond value metrics
- Jewelry design and style
- Stone types and values
- Customer communication
- Clarity, color, cut and carat weight
Schools with Online Jewelry Programs
While uncommon, some fully online diploma programs or courses do exist in the jewelry field. For example, Ashworth College has an online jewelry-making diploma program perfect for those wishing to become trained in jewelry design or engraving, among other skills. The program can be completed in as little as four months, and students are provided with a tool kit, textbook, and study guides. The Gemological Institute of America has several courses in jewelry, including colored stones, diamond grading, and gem identification. The courses allow students the opportunity to receive a gem and jewelry credential.
Accredited diploma and certificate programs in jewelry are available online, although most programs are either available in hybrid or fully in-person formats. Most online career or professional diploma programs are trade-centered, with some requiring you to do hands-on jewelry lessons using a textbook.