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How to become a Retail Jewellery

retail jewellery careers

What does a Retail Jewellery do?

Jewellers can be involved in designing, making or selling a wide range of jewellery, from precious metals and gems to lower-cost fashion accessories. Retail jewellers work in shops, dealing directly with the public.

They sell jewellery, watches, clocks and silverware. Jewellers advise customers on the products available and help them to choose the most appropriate goods. They may also be responsible for arranging the displays in windows and show cabinets and some administration tasks.

Some retail jewellers undertake jewellery repairs and cleaning or develop additional skills and interests including the valuation of precious metals, jewellery, clocks and watches for insurance or sale purposes. They might also be involved in making minor items of jewellery.

What's the working environment like working as a Retail Jewellery?

Retail jewellers work 37 to 40 hours a week, including Saturday and sometimes Sunday. Retail work is particularly suitable for part-time work. There may be opportunities for overtime.

A smart appearance is required, so formal dress is usual.

What does it take to become a Retail Jewellery?

To be a retail jeweller, you should:

  • be confident when meeting people and helping customers
  • be tactful, polite and able to deal with difficult situations
  • be able to work from intiative and as part of a team
  • be able to carry out simple financial transactions and handle change
  • be security conscious when dealing with valuable goods
  • have practical skills if dealing with repair work
  • have an interest in precious metal, gemstones, jewellery or fashion.

Retail Jewellery Career Opportunities

There are jewellery retail outlets throughout the UK, although the number of people employed in the trade has fallen over the past few years. There is advice about finding vacancies on the JAITC website (see Further Information).

Promotion to supervisory and management positions may be possible in larger organisations. Those working in small organisations may have to change employers in order to progress. It is possible to become self-employed by owning a jewellery shop.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Retail Jewellery that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Jewellery and Allied Industries Training Council (JAITC)
British Jewellers’ Association
10 Vyse Street
B18 6LT
Tel: 0121 237 1109

National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG)
78A Luke Street
Tel: 020 7613 4445

Skillsmart Retail
40 Duke Street
Tel: 0800 093 5001

Facts and Stats:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte once called England a "nation of shopkeepers".

  • Consumer expenditure per head in the UK is £8,053.

  • The phrase "The customer is always right", was coined by H Gordon Selfridge.

  • The annual sales of digestive biscuits, if stacked on top of each other, would reach 275 miles high That's 4,500 times the height of Nelson's Column or 1,400 times the height of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Britain's first department store was Selfridges, which was opened in 1909.