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Summary Report for:
51-9071.07 - Precious Metal Workers

Cast, anneal, solder, hammer, or shape gold, silver, pewter or other metals to form jewelry or other metal items such as goblets or candlesticks.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Bench Mechanic, Caster, Fabricator, Goldsmith, Pewterer, Platinum Smith, Restoration Silversmith, Silversmith

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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

  • Cut and file pieces of jewelry such as rings, brooches, bracelets, and lockets. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Solder parts together or fill holes and cracks with metal solder, using gas torches. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Polish articles by hand or by using a polishing wheel. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Pierce and cut open designs in ornamentation, using hand drills and scroll saws. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position and align auxiliary parts in jigs and join parts, using solder and blowtorches. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine articles to determine the nature of defects requiring repair, such as dents, uneven bottoms, scratches, or holes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Shape and straighten damaged or twisted articles by hand or using pliers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Anneal precious metal objects such as coffeepots, tea sets, and trays in gas ovens for prescribed times to soften metal for reworking. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Rotate molds to distribute alloys and to prevent formation of air pockets. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Weigh and mix alloy ingredients, using formulas and knowledge of ingredients' chemical properties. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Carry castings or finished items to storage areas or to different work stations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Heat ingots or alloy mixtures to specified temperatures, stir mixtures, skim off impurities, and fill molds to form ingots from which parts are cast. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design and fabricate models of new casting molds, and chipping and turning tools used to finish product surfaces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Rout out locations where parts are to be joined to items, using routing machines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine placement of auxiliary parts, such as handles and spouts, and mark locations of parts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Form concavities in bottoms of articles to improve stability, using tracing punches and hammers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Weigh completed items to determine weights and record any deviations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design silver articles, such as jewelry and serving pieces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Peen edges of scratches or holes to repair defects, using peening hammers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Secure molded items in chucks of lathes, and activate lathes to finish inner and outer surfaces of items. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Research reference materials, analyze production data, and consult with interested parties to develop ideas for new products. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position articles over snarling tools and raise design areas, using foot-powered hammers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Trim gates and sharp points from cast parts, using band saws. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Verify that bottom edges of articles are level, using straightedges or by rocking them back and forth on flat surfaces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Engrave decorative lines on items, using engraving tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sand interior mold parts to remove glaze residue, apply new glaze to molds, and allow it to dry for mold assembly. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Strike articles with small tools, or punch them with hammers, to indent them or restore embossing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Wire parts such as legs, spouts, and handles to article bodies in preparation for soldering. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Hammer out dents and bulges, selecting and using hammers and dollies with heads that correspond in curvature to article surfaces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assemble molds, wrap molds in heat-resistant cloth, and ladle molten alloy into mold openings, repeating casting processes as necessary to produce specified numbers of parts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Strike molds to separate dried castings from molds. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Anvils — Double horn anvils; Flat horn anvils; Hex anvils See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Automatic lathe or chucking machine — Automatic lathes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers; Peening hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bench vises — Adjustable bench vises See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blow torch — Gas torches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Burnisher — Burnishers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calipers — Digital calipers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Curved nose pliers — Bent chain nose pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dapping punches — Dapping cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Diagonal cut pliers — Flush cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drop hammer forging machine — Foot-powered hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • End cut pliers — Sidecutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Engravers — Engraving tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Flat nose pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammers — Dead-blow hammers; Planishing hammers; Riveting hammers; Silversmiths' hammers (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hand clamps — Ring clamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hand or push drill — Hand drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jewel appraising tester — Stone gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jeweler scissors — Jewelers shears See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jewellers pliers — Jewelers' chain-nose pliers; Ring bending pliers; Ring shank pliers; Split ring pliers (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Jewelry mandrels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Loupes — Jewelers' loupes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnifiers — Binocular magnifiers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mallets — Plastic mallets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metal testing instruments — Gold testers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power buffers — Polishing wheels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power grinders — Flex shaft machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power routers — Routing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power saws — Jeweler's saws; Mini band saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power scissors — Disc cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Precision file — Precision files See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Precision screwdriver — Jewelers screwdrivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts — Tracing punches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Punching pliers — Hole punching pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Round nose pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rulers — Precision rulers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stamping dies or punches — Stamping dies See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Straight edges — Straightedges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tongs — Crucible tongs; Draw tongs; Flask tongs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tumblers or polishers — Rotary tumblers; Vibratory tumblers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tweezers — Diamond tweezers; Head and shank tweezers; Locking tweezers; Soldering tweezers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire gauge — Bur gauges; Wire gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire mills — Rolling mills See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Computer aided design CAD software — Metal designing software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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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.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. 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.
  • 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.

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Skills

  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). 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.

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Work Activities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. 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.
  • 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.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). 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.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles. 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. 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.
  • 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.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Place materials into molds. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Trim excess material from workpieces. 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.
  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Smooth metal surfaces or edges. 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.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Weigh finished products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply parting agents or other solutions to molds. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Design jewelry or decorative objects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Engrave designs, text, or other markings onto materials, workpieces, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assemble metal or plastic parts or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Solder parts or workpieces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Skim impurities from molten metal. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Fill cracks, imperfections, or holes in products or workpieces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate woodworking 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.
  • Build production molds. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assemble machine tools, parts, or fixtures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with customers or designers to determine order specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust position of molds during processing. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Remove workpieces from molds. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Reshape small metal components for precision assembly. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Design tools, fixtures, or other devices for production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 83% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 51% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 60% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 57% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 34% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 49% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 55% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 36% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 31% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 38% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 38% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 35% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 35% responded “High responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Moderate results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Very serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 28% responded “Extremely important.” 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
35   High school diploma or equivalent Help
28   Post-secondary certificate Help
20   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RA

  • 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.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. 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.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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.

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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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