What they do
Silversmiths design and make silver jewellery, including jewellery with precious and semi-precious stones. This may involve cutting, filing, hammering, turning, spinning, bending and casting silver or other metals. They may use different methods to secure stones and engrave jewellery. They may also make other small silver objects such as containers and ornaments. They may repair or remodel jewellery and sell jewellery to the public. They may work making pieces for commission, for a jeweller or mass producing pieces.
Specialisations include: Diamond Cutter, Faceter, Gem Setter, Goldsmith, Lapidary, Opal Polisher, Ring Maker
A silversmith would normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday in air-conditioned rooms. Some silversmiths work on Saturdays. Silversmiths who are self-employed or create jewellery for commission may work longer hours.
Tools and technologies
Silversmiths need to be able to use tools, often very fine and specialised, for casting, bending, cutting and spinning gold and other metals. They may also need to use specialised lathes and tools for grinding and finishing silver jewellery.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a silversmith you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The jewellery tradesperson apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
You can also complete the Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture or the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery Design, offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
Alternatively, you can complete a degree majoring in jewellery design.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant degrees. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.