Want a career with staying power? Consider this: A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited many occupations expected to decline severely between now and 2014 as advances in technology further eliminate the need for human interaction in the production process. Jewelry is one occupational sector where BLS projects excellent employment. Why?
Jewelry is big. Today’s worldwide jewelry industry is conservatively estimated to be a $120-plus billion business. It employs people in science, manufacturing, distributing, designing, marketing and many other functions.
Jewelry is human. Jewelry is inexorably part of what makes us human, something inherited from our Cro-Magnon ancestors, like art, music or speech. Expression through personal adornment is hardwired into the human psyche.
Jewelry is made by people. In other industries, technological advances can eliminate jobs, but much of jewelry making can’t be automated. Jewelry, like art and music, begins as an idea and requires the skills of designers and craftsmen to bring it to reality.
Jewelry will always be acquired by someone from someone. The retail environment is changing with the Internet, discount stores and shopping networks working with a relatively small sales force. But these same distribution channels also increase demand for jewelry, offering new opportunities for skilled jewelers and gemologists. Many consumers prefer to purchase high-ticket, luxury goods from jewelry professionals they know and trust.
A changing population creates demand for jewelry and jewelers. According to the BLS, the increasing numbers of affluent individuals, working women, double-income households, an upcoming “bling” generation and fashion-conscious men will keep jewelry sales strong. And as more jewelers retire, the need for trained and skilled jewelers will continue.
Jewelry is accessible. Nearly everyone can own a piece of personal jewelry at an affordable price. Everyone is a potential jewelry customer.
Jobs in jewelry are accessible, too. If you’d like to work surrounded by beautiful gems and precious metals and help people celebrate their happiest moments, check out the jewelry industry.
To learn more about your options in the gem and jewelry industry, you can attend the GIA Jewelry Career Fair, the industry’s annual career day, where you can meet potential employers and other industry professionals, as well as attend workshops and seminars on jewelry careers. The event is free and open to the public.