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Other Specialized Careers

Caster: possibilities include employment or a service company. Good prospects for an aggressive small company.

Gemologist/Appraiser: usually an employed position, some options for independent service work. Training and equipment costs can be high. Diamonds are a specialized sub-section of gemology.
Gun Engraver: often linked with hand engraving this can be a specialized service work.

Hand Engraver: This profession has almost gone. It is not hard to learn, merely requiring a great deal of practice. A good hand engraver can make a lot of money in service work for the industry because of its rarity. In Calgary the last city hand engraver offered to train someone for free to take over from him-but only a serious, committed hard working person. After several years of fruitless search he withdrew the offer and retired. A definite career option with respect for the work and a lack of competition.

Knife Maker/Cutler: a good one can earn up to 7-8000.00 for a knife that takes a month to make. Training and practice usually through blacksmithing or knife groups. Today sometimes called ‘bladesmith’. Lots of makers out there, look at knife magazines like ‘Blade’ to see what work has the best return.
Lapidary: This person may cut cabachon, facetted stones or carve gem materials. It can range from recutting jobs to unique sculptures in carved gems. Some lapidaries develop such a name for themselves that their work is worth many times any material value because of who cut it. Diamond cutting is a special field requiring intensive training.

Model maker: a goldsmith specializing in making original metal models. Often an employed position it is the highest level of goldsmithing in many ways. Generally linked with larger operations though often goldsmiths are called on to make models in smaller companies. As an independent service career it is difficult to compete with wax models.

Plater: Fairly short training, an employed position. some opportunity for independent service work. Requires good marketing skills to find customers but demand is always steady. Few companies outside large cities would have enough work to employ a plater full time.

Polisher: an employed position in North America, some find it monotonous, others find the concentration pleasant. Some room for independent service work in larger cities.

Production manager: well paid, requires long experience in the trade and jobs are easier to come by in the US than in Canada.

Rubber Mold Maker: usually an employed position in a factory, plenty of room for independent service work in small to large cities; requires marketing skills. Some option for mailed service work.

Silversmith: another almost extinct career but because of that some good options for independent service or original work, requires good marketing skills and probably training in Art School. Makes large scale objects in silver and gold, holloware, cutlery and so on.

Teacher: the route would be through art schools and industry experience, long training with some room for employed and independent service work.

Watchmaker: a specialized field. Most watches are now quartz and require only minimal skills to change batteries or movements. True watch making is dying out and this means that for a highly motivated skilled watchmaker/goldsmith there are very well paying opportunities.

Computer Operator: coming soon and already here in some places are computer driven machines which carve wax, build up plastic models, harden plastic models from liquids, mill steel molds for wax or plastics injection. All of these are intended for casting. There will be an increasing place in the field of goldsmithing and jewellery production for people who understand goldsmithing and computers.