Jewellery designer-maker

jewellery maker jeweller
Design, arts and crafts

Career outlook for jewellery designer-maker

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would design beautiful jewellery with gemstones, precious metals and other materials for people to wear and admire.

Your designs could be made by a manufacturer for to sell in a high street store or you could make each piece yourself by hand.

You might also receive commissions to design and make a unique piece of jewellery for an individual.

As well as jewellery you might also design styles and patterns for other pieces of decorative metalwork like silverware, including trinket boxes, quaiches or candlesticks.

Depending on where you work, you would:

  • Come up with designs to meet the requirements - called a brief or commission - of a client
  • Produce designs which are made by other staff, if you work for a commercial manufacturer
  • Design and make jewellery yourself as a self-employed designer-maker

You’d use a variety of craft skills to make jewellery including, mounting, setting and polishing. You’d draw designs by hand or on computer.

As a self-employed designer-maker you would also need to sell your work, either directly from your studio or at craft fairs, or through shops and galleries.

Working conditions


As a designer in the jewellery industry, you would usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. As a freelance designer/maker, you would decide your own hours depending on the amount of work you have.


You would usually work in a studio or workshop, which may be shared with other designers.


You would also need to travel to attend trade fairs and exhibitions.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Managing resources
  • Developing a plan
  • Attention to detail
  • Working with technology
  • Building relationships
  • Observation
  • Innovative
  • Designing
  • Creative

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Most jewellery designers have a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Jewellery Design, 3D Design or Art and Design.

You can enter some Jewellery Design, Art and Design or 3D Design National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF level 5) with no formal qualifications but most courses require National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCFQ level 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Higher or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate qualification in Jewellery (SCFQ level 11) will usually require a relevant degree.

Useful subjects

  • English (often required by courses)
  • Maths (often required by courses)
  • Art and Design (often required by courses)
  • Other design-centred subjects
  • Practical technologies
  • Social studies subjects such as history

You will also need

A portfolio of your work when applying to courses and to jobs. Skills and experience are sometime more important than qualifications.


Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate creative, digital and visual communication skills such as Skills for Work Creative Digital Media (SCFQ level 4) or Creative Industries (SCFQ level 5).