Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers held about 39,800 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most jewelers and precious stone and metal workers were as follows:
Clothing and clothing accessories stores
Jewelry and silverware manufacturing
Merchant wholesalers, durable goods
About 4 in 10 were self-employed in 2014. Some work from home and sell their products at trade and craft shows on weekends. Online sales are also a growing source of sales for jewelers.
Most wage and salary workers in this occupation are employed in jewelry stores, repair shops, and manufacturing plants.
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers spend much of their time at a workbench, although computers are also becoming an increasingly important tool in the jewelry industry as computer-aided design (CAD) can save workers time and resources. Many tools, such as jeweler's torches and lasers, must be handled carefully to avoid injury. Polishing processes such as chemical baths also must be performed in a safe manner.
In retail stores, jewelers may talk with customers about repairs, perform custom design work, and sell items to customers. Because many of their materials are valuable, jewelers must follow security procedures, including making use of burglar alarms and, in larger jewelry stores, working in the presence of security guards.
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers have varied work schedules. Self-employed workers often decide their own hours, and many work weekends, showing and selling their products at trade and craft shows. Retail store workers might also work nonstandard hours because they must be available when customers are not working, such as on holidays and weekends. About 1 in 4 worked part time in 2014.