People who design and make jewelry are usually called jewelers. These artisans use a variety of specialized tools to shape the metals they use to create rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants and other pieces of jewelry. The earnings potential for jewelers can be significantly impacted by the type of business they work for and the area of the country they work in.
Across the Nation
The mean hourly wage for jewelers at all levels of experience from across the U.S. was $19.24 and the mean annual salary was $40,010, as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Annual salaries for jewelers ranged from less than $19,950 to more than $62,170. The middle 50 percent of jewelers in American earned between $26,240 and $48,190 per year.
The States Have It
A jeweler's income can be significantly affected by the geographic region of the country where he works. Jewelers who worked in New Hampshire earned the highest mean annual wages in the country, at $61,830. Jewelers who worked in Idaho, Arizona, Massachusetts and Connecticut earned mean annual wages in excess of $48,000. Jewelers who worked in North Dakota earned the lowest mean annual wages in the country, at $22,220 as of May 2013, according to the BLS.
Work Settings Make a Difference
About one-third of all jewelers were self-employed as of May 2013, according to the BLS. Jewelry stores, leather goods stores and luggage stores were a significant source of employment for jewelers. Jewelers who worked for these employers earned a mean hourly pay rate of $20.61 or $42,880 per year as of May 2013, according to the BLS. Wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers offered the highest mean wage opportunities for jewelers at $24.21 per hour or $50,370 per year.
What's In Store
The BLS expects growth in new job opportunities for jewelers to be below the growth expected for all job sectors between 2012 and 2022. Competition for entry-level positions should also be intense. There should still be a demand for skilled bench jewelers in the retail, repair and manufacturing industries. The BLS notes that jewelers who are skilled in repair work should be in higher demand during economic downturns, since people tend to repair rather than replace broken jewelry during those times.