Jewelry Making & Repair
The two-year, comprehensive Jewelry Making & Repair program prepares students to become professionals in the industry. The program attracts students from around the world who share a love of materials, artistic expression, and working with their hands to make jewelry that transcends time.
Jewelry fabrication and stone setting requires exceptional hand skills, focus, and a thorough understanding of materials. Throughout your studies, you’ll continuously challenge yourself and fine-tune your skills. You’ll create and repair jewelry of lasting value using traditional techniques and modern technology.
You’ll work on increasingly complex projects to develop proficiency in using a full range of jeweler’s hand-tools, identification of metals and stones, metal forming techniques, polishing, soldering, engraving, laser welding, wax model making, jewelry repair, advanced jewelry construction, stone setting, and silver, gold, and platinum fabrication.
Schedule & Curriculum
- Students are admitted in September and February.
- The maximum enrollment is 13 students.
- Classes meet from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday – Friday, September through May.
- The program length is two, nine-month academic years (72 weeks or 2340 class hours*).
- Students who complete the program receive a Diploma of Jewelry Making & Repair.
* Class hours equals clock hours.
Graduates of the Jewelry Making & Repair program work as bench jewelers and designers for companies of all sizes, and are owners of custom jewelry shops.
Our graduates have held jobs such as:
- Fashion jewelry designers
- Fine jewelry designers
- Design Directors for jewelry manufacturers
- Retail jewelry store owners
- Studio and gallery owners
- Hand Engravers
- Stone setters
- Gold buyers
According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), job titles for jewelry makers include:
- Precious metal workers: Silversmith, Caster, Goldsmith, Artist, Fabricator, Pewterer, Bench Mechanic, Restoration Silversmith, Platinum Smith,
- Jewelers: Bench Jeweler, Jeweler, Goldsmith, Earrings Fabricator, Gemologist
- Gem and Diamond Workers: Gemologist, Diamond Cutter, Lapidarist, Diamond Setter, Quality Control Specialist, Diamond Picker, Facetor, Diamond Grader, Diamond Polisher, Diamond Sawer
The U.S. Department of Labor uses the classification of “Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers,” which includes bench jewelers, mold and model makers, assemblers, engravers, polishers, gemologists, laboratory graders, and jewelry appraisers. Although jewelry stores and repair shops are found in every city and many small towns, most jobs are in larger metropolitan areas.
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers held about 32,400 jobs in 2020.
- 24% worked in retail clothing and accessory stores
- 15% worked in jewelry manufacturing
- 9% worked with merchant wholesalers
Employment for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers is expected to decline by 1% in the 2020-30 decade. Most opportunities will be for bench jewelers who have design and repair training. Additionally, the need for skilled jewelers will rise as the older generation retires.
Most jewelers begin with a base salary, then begin charging per piece as they become more skilled. Jewelers who work in retail stores may earn a commission for each piece of jewelry they sell. Many jewelers also get employee benefits, including reimbursement for work-related courses and discounts on jewelry purchases.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimated the average annual salary for jewelers and precious stone and metal workers as $41,900 in 2020. Average hourly wages were $20.14.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary for jewelers was $42,667 in 2022. The median hourly wage was $17.61. Wages for more specific positions are as follows:
- Precious stone and metal workers – Median annual salary: $60,000 | Median hourly wage: $19.89
- Jewelry designers – Median annual salary: $58,673 | Median hourly wage: $18.53
Meet Our Alumni
Baleigh Acebo JM ’14
“I chose NBSS over MFA programs because I wanted a strict focus on technique and hand fabrication. Before, I was imagining objects that were out of my league technically, but with a foundation of hand-skills and fabrication, the sky is now the limit.”
Colleen Matthews JM ’12
“The amount of precision and the quality of work the program demands was like nothing I had ever encountered. I completed projects that I never thought I could make.”
Explore the Facilities
Our Jewelry Making & Repair program prepares you to become a professional in the industry. The space includes a dedicated bench for each student and equipment for polishing, soldering, engraving, metal forming, laser welding, stone setting, and silver, gold, and platinum fabrication.
- Jewelry Making & Repair brochure: Download at-a-glance details.
- Admissions Info: How to get your application started and what you need to apply.
- Financial Aid: We’re dedicated to helping you afford the cost of your education. Learn about our financial aid options.
2021 Jewelry Making & Repair Graduate & Employment Report
- 7 Jewelry Making & Repair students started the program in September 2018 and had an intended graduation date of June 2020.
- 57% of this student cohort graduated in 2020.
- 100% of these graduates are employed in the field.
- This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2021.
2022 Jewelry Making & Repair Graduate & Employment Report
- 2 Jewelry Making & Repair students started the program in February 2019 and had an intended graduation date of February 2021, and 2 students started the program in September 2019 and had an intended graduation date of June 2021.
- 25% of this student cohort graduated in 2021.
- 100% of these graduates are employed in the field.
- This data was officially reported to ACCSC in October 2022.
This disclosure is required by our accreditors, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges (ACCSC).
For each of our career training programs, we consult with a group of top professionals in the field to ensure our curriculum continues to meet industry needs and trends.
The Jewelry Making & Repair Program Advisors are:
- Ilah Cibis JM ’05
- Alan Leavitt
- Colleen Matthews JM ’12
- Chris Ploof
- Craig Rottenberg
- George Simpson