A Jewellery Designer creates and designs jewellery accessories using a range of different materials including gold, silver, metals and precious stones.
Depending on the company and project requirements, jewellery may be produced as a one-off, in small batches or for mass production.
Day-to-day activities and responsibilities
- Holding meetings and consultations with clients
- Designing and making specially made earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces
- Creating unique jewellery sets for clients
- Polishing, welding and engraving jewellery
- Conceptualising prototype products and presenting it to the clients
- Using SolidWorks and other design software to produce 2D and 3D images
- Exploring new materials and following the latest trends in the industry
- Reworking designs based on customer feedback and consultation
- Pitching product ideas to potential manufacturers
- Checking stock and ordering in items and materials when required
- Conducting market research
Workplace and working hours
Employed designers often work the standard working hours; 9-to-5, Monday to Friday.
Self-employed or freelance designers set their own hours and may work considerably more to create and market their products and services. They may also be working from home or from a small studio.
The starting salary for a role within this sector is normally around £15,000 with the salary increasing up to and in excess of £25,000.
The income of self-employed individuals – who make up the majority of people in this role – can vary on a yearly basis depending on demand, work availability and project specifications.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
There are no formal entry requirements for this position.
A degree in design or related subject will support a strong application but is not a requirement. Relevant work experience, backed by proven craft and design skills, is considered to be more desirable than having a degree.
Job likes and benefits
- Not a desk job: This is a hands-on job, giving the individual the opportunity to design and create appealing jewellery from scratch. Meeting clients, travelling to various events, sourcing materials, and working in the studio or workshop makes this job highly interesting and dynamic.
- Always changing: Fashion is always changing and developing and designers are expected to anticipate these changes and adjust their products accordingly. As a consequence, professionals working in this role will always be designing new, exciting and innovative jewellery with less repetition than many other jobs.
- Self-employed: This role gives individuals the opportunity to become self-employed, start their own company and be their own boss. This gives a greater level of control and flexibility over one’s own work commitments and working hours.
Job challenges and disadvantages
- Work isn’t guaranteed: As with many roles within this sector, Jewellery Designers are mostly self-employed and are affected by fluctuating work availability throughout the year. Professionals will need to plan around this, and some may take secondary jobs to supplement their income.
Job progression and career prospects
Professionals working in this role usually progress by gaining vital experience, becoming self-employed and setting up their own business or consultancy. They may also be promoted by becoming a Product Manager or supervising more junior members of staff. There may also be other opportunities to go into other sectors such as the fashion and clothing industry.
The National Association of Jewellers