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The Average Salary Range of a Gemologist

The Average Salary Range of a Gemologist

A gemologist researches and studies about the different kinds of gemstones. The CareerStint article below enlists the average salary range of a gemologist.
CareerStint Staff
"The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) needs to develop capacity in assessing the value of the stones and need to deploy gemologists who are able to look at the quality of the stone. This will help create tax incentives and prevent gemstone smuggling."
Prof. Mutale Chanda, University of Zambia's School of Mines

Jewelry is one of the most attractive embellishments available. Whether gemstones are naturally found or artificially created, they are always a rage among women. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc., are the ones that light up the night when adorned, infusing the atmosphere with a sparkling radiance. However, do you know that the jewelry you wear are different from the ones that are discovered, i.e., they are cleaned, cut, studied, designed, manufactured, and then sold. The professionals who are in charge of the study and examination of these stones are called gemologists. The paragraphs below will give you information about how much money a gemologist makes.
Job Profile
  • Gemologists shape metals to hold single stone pieces.
  • They study and examine the different stones and separate them from each other.
  • They create jewelry pieces (jewelry designers are different from gemologists, but they have to study gemology) by making designs using CAD (computer-aided design) software.
  • They help solder pieces and insert them, and also create wax models.
  • They repair and appraise gemstones.
  • They decide the material and labor costs for the production of new gems.
  • They help polish and smooth stones.
  • They use different computerized tools as well as other tools for jewelry analysis.
  • They examine finished products and write suitable reports.
Educational Requirements
  • On-the-job training is more important to become a gemologist.
  • Many trade schools offer different programs in gemology and related training.
  • These programs last from 6 months to a year. There are advanced courses as well.
  • To become a graduate gemologist, you have to complete the required degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
  • In these programs, you will learn about jewelry design, art, identification, grading, cutting, examining, casting, polishing, engraving, etc.
  • Trade schools would require you to complete your high school with good grades in chemistry.
  • Many people do not take professional education; instead, they begin apprenticeship with skilled gemologists. A certified gemologist's salary will certainly be more than what they will earn, though.
Salary

The pay scale for a gemologist varies heavily depending on many factors.
Salary by Experience
  • You cannot begin with a very high salary in any field, and gemology is no exception.
  • You can foray into this industry via on-the-job training or by beginning as an assistant to a renowned gemologist.
  • Initially, you will be paid about USD 12 to USD 16 per hour or an average of around USD 30,000, annually.
  • As you gain sufficient experience, you can branch out and find jobs with jewelry stores, laboratories, repair shops, etc.
  • You will be paid more than USD 35,000 to USD 55,000, as you continue in the job.
  • Some of the highest-paid salaries go up to more than USD 60,000.
Salary by Industry
  • The salary range varies according to the industry as well.
  • The professionals working in laboratories earn more than USD 60,000.
  • Freelancers may earn between USD 40,000 to USD 65,000, depending upon their services and displays.
  • Those working with specialized design earn more than USD 40,000.
  • The average annual salary of manufacturers as well as those working in the wholesale business is generally more than USD 35,000.
Salary by State

The gemologist salary range according to the different states is given below.
Alabama USD 54,000
Alaska USD 39,000
Arizona USD 44,000
Arkansas USD 54,000
California USD 57,000
Colorado USD 47,000
Connecticut USD 62,000
Delaware USD 47,000
Florida USD 50,000
Georgia USD 61,000
Hawaii USD 33,000
Idaho USD 35,000
Illinois USD 61,000
Indiana USD 51,000
Iowa USD 52,000
Kansas USD 49,000
Kentucky USD 46,000
Louisiana USD 48,000
Maine USD 47,000
Maryland USD 55,000
Massachusetts USD 64,000
Michigan USD 54,000
Minnesota USD 47,000
Mississippi USD 56,000
Missouri USD 53,000
Montana USD 45,000
Nebraska USD 39,000
Nevada USD 41,000
New Hampshire USD 53,000
New Jersey USD 58,000
New Mexico USD 47,000
New York USD 65,000
North Carolina USD 51,000
North Dakota USD 47,000
Ohio USD 51,000
Oklahoma USD 49,000
Oregon USD 52,000
Pennsylvania USD 52,000
Rhode Island USD 49,000
South Carolina USD 53,000
South Dakota USD 40,000
Tennessee USD 50,000
Texas USD 52,000
Utah USD 42,000
Vermont USD 47,000
Virginia USD 54,000
Washington USD 55,000
West Virginia USD 50,000
Wisconsin USD 48,000
Wyoming USD 44,000
Source: Indeed.com as of January 3, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
Work Environment
  • Most of the time, gemologists work indoors on their work bench.
  • They work in laboratories with related tools and chemicals to study and experiment with gems.
  • They also work at jewelry stores and manufacturing plants.
  • Unfortunately, the BLS predicts a sluggish job growth for this field within the next decade, possibly due to the decline of gemstones.
  • If, however, you have the right skills and education, you may very be well placed.

Gemology is not an easy field to work in; in fact, it is like a language. The more you learn and absorb, you will discover that there is more you can learn. If you have a genuine interest in the design and study of gems, this is the right career for you. In fact, you can start freelancing after a few years of experience, and this will considerably increase your remuneration prospects.