Precious Stone Worker: Job Duties & Info

Find out the details of working as a precious stone and diamond worker, including the training and job skills needed. See career predictions and salary information, along with alternative careers to consider.

Career Definition for a Precious Stone and Diamond Worker

Precious stone and diamond workers use physical and chemical processes to grade the quality of diamonds and gems. They also use microscopes, polariscopes, and other devices to detect flaws in precious stones and determine fakes. Precious stone and diamond workers use a variety of powerful tools to cut and carve gems and diamonds into classical and creative shapes. Other duties may include making casts, smoothing joints, and repairing jewelry.

Education Degree in gemology, vocational school training, or on-the-job training
Job Skills Knowledge of gems and diamonds, great vision, manual dexterity, attention to detail, dedication to accuracy, creativity, understanding of current trends
Median Salary (2017)* $37,960 (for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -7% (for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Gemology training through a vocational school, a degree in gemology, or on-the-job training from an experienced jeweler is necessary to become a precious stone and diamond worker. Classes in diamond grading and gem identification are common in formal training programs, as are courses in small business management. Additionally, students gain training in computer-aided design and jewelry care.

Job Skills Required

Precious stone and diamond workers must have extensive knowledge about gems and diamonds, as well as great vision and manual dexterity. They must pay attention to detail and have a dedication to accuracy. An understanding of current trends and creativity are needed to create attractive jewelry designs that will please customers.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), few new jobs will be created for precious stone and diamond workers in the near future; in fact, the BLS predicted that employment of jewelers and precious stone and metal workers will decline by 7% from 2016-2026. As in any creative field, those with the most talent and skill will have the greatest career opportunities. In May 2017, the median annual wage for these workers was $37,960, according to the BLS.

Alternative Career Options

Careers that are similar to precious stone and diamond work include:

Craft Artist

A natural progression for jewelers could be to begin a career as a craft artist, which entails creating custom objects (not only jewelry) for sale. Formal education isn't typically required as much as skill. Slower-than-average 4% job growth was estimated for craft artists between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. Craft and fine artists made a median salary of $49,160 as of 2017.

Self-Enrichment Teacher

These instructors teach individuals topics of personal interest, such as art, painting, and photography. Teaching experience is often required, along with expertise in the field being taught. In terms of employment growth, a 16% increase was expected between 2016 and 2026. These teachers made a median salary of $38,440 in 2017.


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