What to expect from a Goldsmith or Silversmith career
Goldsmithing and silversmithing programs at Ontario colleges prepare students for careers in the jewellery and metals industry. Along with creativity, goldsmithing and silversmithing require precision, dexterity and the ability to take concepts and make them come alive.
If you’re interested in producing and creating jewellery (goldsmithing) or flatware and hollowware (silversmithing), here’s what you need to know.
Goldsmithing and Silversmithing Courses
Ontario college goldsmithing and silversmithing programs are only offered at the post-graduate level. They help students increase their existing jewellery, metal and gem knowledge and sharpen their crafting techniques. Courses also cover the business side of the industry, with topics ranging from creating business plans to marketing and selling products and more.
Students in these programs will already have basic goldsmithing and silversmithing experience, and will choose a specialty between the two focus areas.
In goldsmithing, courses will cover more advanced jewellery-making techniques, such as hydraulic die forming and granulation. Engraving and other specialized procedures will also be covered. On the flip side, students who choose silversmithing as their focus will learn to incorporate different materials into their metalwork, and will also learn forging techniques and other advanced silversmithing methods to create complex flatware and hollowware.
Note: Those considering these programs who have no prior training in goldsmithing and silversmithing may want to consider jewellery programs to get an introduction into the craft.
General Goldsmithing and Silversmithing Program Requirements
As mentioned, goldsmithing and silversmithing programs at Ontario colleges are offered at the post-graduate level, so students will require one of the following to be considered for admission:
- College diploma relevant to jewellery and metals
- University degree relevant to jewellery and metals
- Equivalent related work experience
Students applying on the basis of equivalent work experience in the field are considered on an individual basis.
Goldsmithing and Silversmithing Jobs and Salaries
Graduates of goldsmithing and silversmithing programs will find careers in the jewellery and metals industry. Many graduates start their own business or pursue freelance opportunities in jewellery, flatware and hollowware sales, design, manufacturing and education.
Common job titles for graduates include (but aren’t limited to):
- Metals Technologist
- Jewellery Designer
Average salaries and wages for goldsmiths and silversmiths are difficult to estimate because of the diverse and often unique positions graduates hold. General starting salaries in the jewellery and metal arts industry are around $30,000 per year, but this could be much higher or lower depending on the job.
Those who take the entrepreneurial route could make very little at the beginning, as they have start-up costs and have to establish a client base. However, they may end up making more than average if they are able to sell their products quickly and consistently.
Ontario Colleges Offering Goldsmithing and Silversmithing Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of goldsmithing and silversmithing programs at Ontario colleges.