Jewelry Repair Training Programs and Degree Information
Jewelry repair training programs not only benefit aspiring bench jeweler technicians, but also jewelry designers and appraisers. Typically, jewelry repair training programs and degrees are offered through vocational and community colleges at the undergraduate certificate and degree levels.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
Many times, jewelry repair technicians learn skills while on the job. However, formal jewelry repair training is also offered through a short series of trade school classes resulting in a certificate of completion. Individuals seeking jewelry repair training through a degree program can look to an undergraduate degree in jewelry design, which generally incorporates jewelry repair training. Jewelry repair technicians should be detailed and patient and have good hand-to-eye coordination.
Jewelry repair training programs are very experiential, allowing students to participate in field trips and gain practical jewelry techniques through hands-on labs. Certificate programs can range from six months to one year; there are also related 2- and 4-year degree programs available.
Jewelry Repair Certificate
A certificate program is usually geared toward aspiring bench jeweler technicians. Students learn an overview of the jewelry business, including appraising, gemology, metalsmithing and stone setting. They also learn to work with jewelry repair tools, such as wax molds, clasps, soldering accessories, drivers, drills, blades, pliers, magnifying lenses and measuring devices.
An associate degree program in jewelry design typically includes coursework in jewelry repair. Students learn to work with fine and costume jewelry, as well as materials sourcing and identification, metal forming, casting and soldering.
Often conferred as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, these jewelry design and repair programs emphasize the creation of jewelry as a work of art. Students usually learn to work with beaded, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, brass and aluminum jewelry. Computer-aided design (CAD) training is also incorporated.
More than formal training, experience in jewelry repair is vital. Individuals who have completed a formal training program may have participated in a work experience. Additionally, informal apprenticeships may be available through independent jewelry repair technicians or jewelry manufacturers. Jewelry repair technicians can work as employees or independent contractors at retail jewelry shops, repair kiosks or creative plants.
Licenses and Certifications
There are no license or certification requirements for jewelry repair technicians, but voluntary certifications are available through the Jewelers of America. Credentials include the Certified Master Bench Jeweler, Certified Senior Bench Jeweler, Certified Bench Jeweler and Certified Bench Jeweler Technician. Applicants must pass a practical and written exam in order to qualify.
Workshops and Seminars
Metal guilds, art centers and schools may offer jewelry repair workshops, which often last for a couple of days. Instruction is geared toward beginning or experienced technicians and topics can range from tool modification to soldering techniques.
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