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Summary Report for:
51-9071.06 - Gem and Diamond Workers

Fabricate, finish, or evaluate the quality of gems and diamonds used in jewelry or industrial tools.

Sample of reported job titles: Diamond Cutter, Diamond Grader, Diamond Picker, Diamond Polisher, Diamond Sawer, Diamond Setter, Facetor, Gemologist, Lapidarist, Quality Control Specialist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Examine gems during processing to ensure accuracy of angles and positions of cuts or bores, using magnifying glasses, loupes, or shadowgraphs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assign polish, symmetry, and clarity grades to stones, according to established grading systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Estimate wholesale and retail value of gems, following pricing guides, market fluctuations, and other relevant economic factors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine gem surfaces and internal structures, using polariscopes, refractometers, microscopes, and other optical instruments, to differentiate between stones, to identify rare specimens, or to detect flaws, defects, or peculiarities affecting gem values. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify and document stones' clarity characteristics, using plot diagrams. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Advise customers and others on the best use of gems to create attractive jewelry items. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine diamonds or gems to ascertain the shape, cut, and width of cut stones, or to select the cuts that will result in the biggest, best quality stones. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Immerse stones in prescribed chemical solutions to determine specific gravities and key properties of gemstones or substitutes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Hold stones, gems, dies, or styluses against rotating plates, wheels, saws, or slitters to cut, shape, slit, grind, or polish them. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sort rough diamonds into categories based on shape, size, color, and quality. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Secure gems or diamonds in holders, chucks, dops, lapidary sticks, or blocks for cutting, polishing, grinding, drilling, or shaping. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Locate and mark drilling or cutting positions on stones or dies, using diamond chips and power hand tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Place stones in clamps on polishing machines and polish facets of stones, using felt-covered or canvas-covered polishing wheels and polishing compounds such as tripoli and rouge. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Lap girdles on rough diamonds, using diamond girdling lathes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Measure sizes of stones' bore holes and cuts to ensure adherence to specifications, using precision measuring instruments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select shaping wheels for tasks, and mix and apply abrasives, bort, or polishing compounds. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Split gems along pre-marked lines to remove imperfections, using blades and jewelers' hammers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Regulate the speed of revolutions and reciprocating actions of drilling mechanisms. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Replace, true, and sharpen blades, drills, and plates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Secure stones in metal mountings, using solder. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Dismantle lapping, boring, cutting, polishing, and shaping equipment and machinery to clean and lubricate it. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Angle grinder — Angle grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Arbors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Automatic lathe or chucking machine — Diamond girding lathes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt sander — Belt sanders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bench refractometers or polarimeters — Bench refractometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bench vises — Mini bench vises See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blow torch — Piezo microtorches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calipers — Digital calipers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conductivity meters — Thermal conductivity testers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cross and straight pein hammer — Cross peen hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cutting machines — Cutting laps; Optically magnified facet machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras — Digital still cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drill vise — Bead drilling vises See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Engraving machines — Laser engraving tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Faceting laps — Lapidary units; Vibrating laps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Faceting machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • General tool kits — Jewelers kits See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grinding machines — Sphere machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grinding or polishing machines — Diamond grinders; Glass bevelers; Glass polishers; Polishing laps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammers — Chipping hammers; Crack hammers; Jewelers' hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hand clamps — Mini hand clamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hydrometers — Specific gravity liquid sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jewelry mandrels — Jewelers' mandrels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory balances — Digital balances See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Loupes — Jewelers' loupes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnifiers — Handheld magnifiers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mechanical or ultrasonic metal cleaner — Ultrasonic cleaners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Micrometers — Digital micrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Monocular microscopes — Inspection microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Picks — Rock picks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Polariscopes — Digital polariscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power buffers — Polishing wheels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power drills — Gem drills; Mini drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power saws — Glass cutting saws; Lapidary slitters; Revolving saws; Trim saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Precision file — Precision file sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pressure or steam cleaners — Steam cleaners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rulers — Precision rulers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Saws — Diamond saws; Ring saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Spectrophotometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tape measures — Precision tape measures See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tumblers or polishers — Stone polishers; Vibratory tumblers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps — Ultraviolet UV lights See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Business accounting software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Analytical or scientific software — Spectrophotometer analysis software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — GemCad *; Jewelry design software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Gem identification databases See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Inventory tracking software See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Select production equipment according to product specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate quality of materials or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise others on ways to improve processes or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Examine physical characteristics of gemstones or precious metals. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate cutting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate grinding equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Replace worn equipment components. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Solder parts or workpieces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply solutions to production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maneuver workpieces in equipment during production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sharpen cutting or grinding tools. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 93% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 88% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 87% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 76% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 79% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 80% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 18% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 14% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 13% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 18% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 11% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 13% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 15% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 15% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 23% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 12% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
58   High school diploma or equivalent Help
19   Bachelor's degree
15   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RI

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers.
Employment data collected from Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers.
Industry data collected from Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers.

Median wages (2014) $17.73 hourly, $36,870 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 33,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 6,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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