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
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
- Cut and file pieces of jewelry such as rings, brooches, bracelets, and lockets.
- Solder parts together or fill holes and cracks with metal solder, using gas torches.
- Polish articles by hand or by using a polishing wheel.
- Pierce and cut open designs in ornamentation, using hand drills and scroll saws.
- Position and align auxiliary parts in jigs and join parts, using solder and blowtorches.
- Examine articles to determine the nature of defects requiring repair, such as dents, uneven bottoms, scratches, or holes.
- Shape and straighten damaged or twisted articles by hand or using pliers.
- Anneal precious metal objects such as coffeepots, tea sets, and trays in gas ovens for prescribed times to soften metal for reworking.
- Rotate molds to distribute alloys and to prevent formation of air pockets.
- Weigh and mix alloy ingredients, using formulas and knowledge of ingredients' chemical properties.
- Carry castings or finished items to storage areas or to different work stations.
- Heat ingots or alloy mixtures to specified temperatures, stir mixtures, skim off impurities, and fill molds to form ingots from which parts are cast.
- Design and fabricate models of new casting molds, and chipping and turning tools used to finish product surfaces.
- Rout out locations where parts are to be joined to items, using routing machines.
- Determine placement of auxiliary parts, such as handles and spouts, and mark locations of parts.
- Form concavities in bottoms of articles to improve stability, using tracing punches and hammers.
- Weigh completed items to determine weights and record any deviations.
- Design silver articles, such as jewelry and serving pieces.
- Peen edges of scratches or holes to repair defects, using peening hammers.
- Secure molded items in chucks of lathes, and activate lathes to finish inner and outer surfaces of items.
- Research reference materials, analyze production data, and consult with interested parties to develop ideas for new products.
- Position articles over snarling tools and raise design areas, using foot-powered hammers.
- Trim gates and sharp points from cast parts, using band saws.
- Verify that bottom edges of articles are level, using straightedges or by rocking them back and forth on flat surfaces.
- Engrave decorative lines on items, using engraving tools.
- Sand interior mold parts to remove glaze residue, apply new glaze to molds, and allow it to dry for mold assembly.
- Strike articles with small tools, or punch them with hammers, to indent them or restore embossing.
- Wire parts such as legs, spouts, and handles to article bodies in preparation for soldering.
- Hammer out dents and bulges, selecting and using hammers and dollies with heads that correspond in curvature to article surfaces.
- 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.
- Strike molds to separate dried castings from molds.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Anvils — Double horn anvils; Flat horn anvils; Hex anvils
- Automatic lathe or chucking machine — Automatic lathes
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers; Peening hammers
- Bench vises — Adjustable bench vises
- Blow torch — Gas torches
- Burnisher — Burnishers
- Calipers — Digital calipers
- Curved nose pliers — Bent chain nose pliers
- Dapping punches — Dapping cutters
- Diagonal cut pliers — Flush cutters
- Drop hammer forging machine — Foot-powered hammers
- End cut pliers — Sidecutters
- Engravers — Engraving tools
- Flat nose pliers
- Hammers — Dead-blow hammers; Planishing hammers; Riveting hammers; Silversmiths' hammers (see all 5 examples)
- Hand clamps — Ring clamps
- Hand or push drill — Hand drills
- Jewel appraising tester — Stone gauges
- Jeweler scissors — Jewelers shears
- Jewellers pliers — Jewelers' chain-nose pliers; Ring bending pliers; Ring shank pliers; Split ring pliers (see all 9 examples)
- Jewelry mandrels
- Loupes — Jewelers' loupes
- Magnifiers — Binocular magnifiers
- Mallets — Plastic mallets
- Metal testing instruments — Gold testers
- Power buffers — Polishing wheels
- Power grinders — Flex shaft machines
- Power routers — Routing machines
- Power saws — Jeweler's saws; Mini band saws
- Power scissors — Disc cutters
- Precision file — Precision files
- Precision screwdriver — Jewelers screwdrivers
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Tracing punches
- Punching pliers — Hole punching pliers
- Round nose pliers
- Rulers — Precision rulers
- Stamping dies or punches — Stamping dies
- Straight edges — Straightedges
- Tongs — Crucible tongs; Draw tongs; Flask tongs
- Tumblers or polishers — Rotary tumblers; Vibratory tumblers
- Tweezers — Diamond tweezers; Head and shank tweezers; Locking tweezers; Soldering tweezers
- Wire cutters
- Wire gauge — Bur gauges; Wire gauges
- Wire mills — Rolling mills
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — Metal designing software
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- 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.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Detailed Work Activities
- Place materials into molds.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
- Trim excess material from workpieces.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
- Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
- Record operational or production data.
- Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Examine physical characteristics of gemstones or precious metals.
- Weigh finished products.
- Apply parting agents or other solutions to molds.
- Assemble metal or plastic parts or products.
- Design jewelry or decorative objects.
- Engrave designs, text, or other markings onto materials, workpieces, or products.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Solder parts or workpieces.
- Skim impurities from molten metal.
- Fill cracks, imperfections, or holes in products or workpieces.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Operate woodworking equipment.
- Build production molds.
- Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
- Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.
- Assemble machine tools, parts, or fixtures.
- Confer with customers or designers to determine order specifications.
- Adjust position of molds during processing.
- Remove workpieces from molds.
- Reshape small metal components for precision assembly.
- Design tools, fixtures, or other devices for production equipment.
- Exposed to Contaminants — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 60% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 38% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Telephone — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 35% responded “High responsibility.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Moderate results.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “40 hours.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Very serious.”
- Deal With External Customers — 28% responded “Extremely important.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|35||High school diploma or equivalent|
|20||Some college, no degree|
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.
- 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- 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.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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|
|Employment (2012)||33,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||6,700|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.