Retail Jeweller

The Job and What's Involved

As a retail jeweller, you would promote and sell jewellery to customers, which could range from precious metals and gems to lower-cost fashion accessories, watches, clocks and silverware. You would typically work in stores owned by large high street retailers, although you could manage your own independent store. Some tasks will overlap with the role of a general sales assistant.

Your day-to-day duties would include:

  • Advising customers on the products available.
  • Helping them to choose the most appropriate items.
  • Arranging the displays in windows and show cabinets.
  • Taking payments for goods and issuing receipts.
  • Carrying out stock control and other administrative tasks.

Your work may also involve:

  • Gift wrapping goods.
  • Carrying out repairs and adjustments.
  • Providing a jewellery cleaning service.
  • Valuing precious metals, jewellery, clocks and watches for insurance or sale purposes.

As an independent or craft jeweller, you might also be involved in designing and making the items of jewellery you sell.

You would typically work 37 to 40 hours a week, including weekends. Opportunities for overtime and part-time work are common.

You would be based in a retail setting and you would need to give a good first impression to customers, which includes being well presented and possibly wearing a uniform.

Starting salaries can be around £16,000 a year. Luxury retail jewellers may earn around £30,000 a year.

Salaries for sales staff may be based on commission and the number of items sold.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You could work within jewellery retail outlets on most high streets throughout the UK (the majority are owned by large retail chains).

Jobs may be advertised through Directgov (Jobseekers page), Jobcentre Plus offices, the local and national press and on employers' websites.

You may also find the JAITC website and publications such as the Retail Jeweller Magazine and The Jeweller Magazine useful. And even online jewellers such as Abelini Jewellery.

Education and Training

You may not need any specific qualifications to become a retail jeweller, however, some employers may prefer you to have GCSE's (A-C) or equivalent in subjects such as English, maths, art or design and technology. Experience of metalwork may also be useful.

You are likely to have an advantage if you have previous experience in a retail or customer care environment.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

You will usually be trained on the job, which will often involve working alongside and learning from experienced colleagues. You may also be encouraged to study a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skills.

You could also work towards qualifications run by the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG), such as:

Professional Jewellers' Diploma, which includes an introduction to gems, hallmarking, precious metals, sales and customer care.

Professional Jewellers' Management Diploma, aimed at existing or potential shop managers.

Both courses are offered on a distance learning basis.

The NAG also run short seminars in retail jewellery skills and courses in subjects like Valuations and Window Displays.

You can also search the Jewellery and Allied Industries Training Council (JAITC) website for details of courses in a variety of aspects of the jewellery industry, run by a range of providers.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A Retail Jeweller needs:

  • Good communication skills.
  • A polite and approachable manner.
  • The ability to sell and promote goods.
  • Good problem solving skills.
  • Patience, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • The ability to carry out simple financial transactions and handle cash.
  • Security consciousness when dealing with valuable goods.
  • The ability to work on your own initiative, as well as part of a team.
  • Practical skills and good hand-eye coordination for repair work.
  • An interest in precious metal, gemstones, jewellery or fashion.

Your Long Term Prospects

You would usually start in a customer service role and with experience you could progress to specialist repairs, store management and buying.

Alternatively, you could go on to open your own jewellery business.

Get Further Information

The Goldsmiths Comany

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