How to Become A Jewelry Designer

People who work with valuable metals, gemstones, diamonds and beads etc. to create pieces of art that can be worn as jewelry are called Jewelry Designers. They create jewelry designs that are one-of-a-kind.

Should I Become a Jewelry Designer?

Jewelry Designers may work for high-end jewelers or for a particular fashion designer to create a complete line of artistic pieces. On the other hand, they may also become their own boss and sell the jewelry pieces to the customers on a large or small scale as desired. They have the capability of not only creating the designs but most of them have the skills to even create those pieces by hand. Many jewelry designers make their designs using famous computer software such as AutoCAD. Jewelry Designers also choose to work as freelancers or for other employers.

Education Required

At least a High School Diploma/GED; or a bachelor’s degree

Major Requirement

Fine Arts, Jewelry Design


Not required


Field experience is favored but not necessary

Key Skills

Artistic Capability, Attention to Detail, Dexterity, Knowledge of Latest Fashion Trends and Interpersonal Skills etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019)

$45,950 (Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers)

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

-7% decline

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for Jewelry Designers

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, all Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers earned an annual mean salary of $45,950 in 2019 which approx. amounts to $22.09 mean wage per hour. Moreover, the BLS predicted a 7% decline in the employment for this career between 2018 and 2028. This percentage is decreasing mainly due to an expected rise in import of jewelry as well as the high production and labor costs in the US. In addition to that, jewelry designers may not be employed in traditional jewelry stores as online retail is booming.

Apart from that, the BLS reported Non-depository Credit Intermediation as the top paying industry for this occupation with an annual mean salary of $58,820 in 2019. While, New York was listed as the state with the highest employment rate (4,500), North Dakota was named as the top paying state with an annual mean salary of $69,710 for this career.

Steps to Become a Jewelry Designer

Do you feel passionate about the artistic nature of jewelry designing? If you think that this is the career for you, then follow this guide to get started.

Step-1: Completing Formal Training  

Even though jewelry designing does not require a formal degree, many designers opt for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts to gain an edge in the competitive market. A bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts equips students with fundamentals of sketching, casting shapes, sculpting, metal work, costume jewelry as well as the basics of fashion history.

Step-2: Preparing a Portfolio

Every artist creates a portfolio to showcase their unique talent. Therefore, you must pay special attention when it comes to preparing your portfolio. It must present your best work in a way that portrays a strong work ethic along with a unique artistic flair.

Step-4: Getting Acknowledged

To get hired by big designers in the industry, you can participate in various jewelry designing competitions such as, the American Jewelry Design Council New Talent Competition. This competition is held annually and is often judged by the leading designers of the industry. On the other hand, you can get exposure by serving as an intern with expert artists to make a name of your own. Through these means, you can get the opportunity to make valuable connections in this industry.

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