Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

Occupation Outlook | Main MBIE Site


Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Job prospects for jewellers are reasonable for the next few years. The relatively strong New Zealand economy is helping to maintain steady employment growth for jewellers, but the number of jewellers in New Zealand is not large. Wages are average, but can be low for unexperienced workers and manufacturing jewellery apprentices.

How to become a jeweller

What they do

Jewellers buy and sell jewellery such as necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Many also sell watches. Trade Certified Manufacturing Jewellers also make and repair jewellery.

their tasks may include:

  • examining designs and specifications for jewellery and precious metal objects
  • shaping moulded metal by cutting, filing, beating, turning and bending, using specialised hand and power tools
  • assembling articles by soldering, screwing, riveting and otherwise joining
  • securing precious stones in retaining prongs and ridges, and smoothing and checking final settings
  • engraving designs on ring settings, brooches, bracelets and other articles
  • repairing jewellery by soldering, replacing and rebuilding worn and broken parts
  • appraising the quality and value of jewellery
  • cutting and dividing stones to approximate final shape, using precision hand and power tools and jigs
  • securing stones and shapes, cutting angles, smoothing and polishing
  • finishing articles using files, emery paper and buffing machines
  • restyling old jewellery.


Retail jewellers can have a variety of training background skills that can be gained on the job, or they can enrol in the first stage of the certificate in Manufacturing Jewellery that apprentices undertake which gives them a good product knowledge base and the JIRBNZ Certificate in Jewellery Manufacturing Theory Level 2.

To work as a Manufacturing Jeweller you need to obtain a Level 4 New Zealand Certificate and become a registered Manufacturing Jeweller. This is done through an apprenticeship and tests. Registration and apprenticeships are managed by the Jewellery Industry Registration Board of New Zealand (JIRBNZ). This leads to a New Zealand Certificate in either Manufacturing Jewellery or Watch and Clock Making (Both level 4).

There are also other programs available for people who want to learn about jewellery. Polytechnics and specialist schools offer qualifications at Levels 2-6 in areas such as “Goldsmithing and Jewellery”, “Jewellery Design” and “Manufacturing Jewellery”. Some people also work as contemporary art jewellers, which does not require industry-certified training.

The New Zealand Apprenticeships scheme is available for anyone over the age of 16, and is subsidised by the government. More information on the scheme is on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website.


Cost of study

New Zealand Certificate in Manufacturing Jewellery (Level 4, Apprenticeship)

If completed as an employer-funded apprenticeship there may be no fees for the apprentice. As a JIRBNZ registered apprentice and if the employer is a member of one of the contributor industry groups , then industry subsidies are applied over the course of the apprenticeship. reducing the fees.

The least expensive way to train as a Manufacturing Jeweller is to become an apprentice and learn on the job. That way, you can earn while gaining a qualification.

Completing a jewellery course at a polytechnic or specialist school will usually be more expensive, although prices differ between institutions. Check directly with the course provider for accurate information on fees. The qualifications gained at polytechnics or schools do not form part of the requirements for the apprenticeships in Manufacturing Jewellery or Watch and Clockmaking Level 4. It is recognised there are some cross over skills and these may be applied as a credit to requirements but this is at the discretion of the employer offering the apprenticeship and are assessed on a case by case basis.

Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services: 

Where to study

The Jewellery Industry Registration Board of New Zealand looks after apprenticeship training for the jewellery industry. It arranges apprenticeship training nationwide. JIRBNZ also offers Certificate of Jewellery Manufacturing Theory Level 2. This is open to all and recommended as a pre-employment course be it for a retail Jeweller, as an Apprentice Manufacturing Jeweller or a Gems and Jewellery Valuer

Whitireia Community Polytechnic offers a Level 5 Diploma in Jewellery Design. Peter Minturn Goldsmith School offers Level 4-6 qualifications in Goldsmithing and Jewellery. Hungry Creek Art and Craft School offer a Certificate (Level 4) and a Diploma (Level 6) in Jewellery.

Hungry Creek: 
The Open Polytechnic: 
Peter Minturn Goldsmith School: 

Completed qualifications

There is not a great number of students completing a Level 4 Certificate in the Jewellery Making.

Qualification completions chart

Source: Ministry of Education

Income and employment prospects


The annual income in 2018 for jewellers is estimated to be around $41,800. Inexperienced jewellers and new Manufacturing Jewellery apprentices are likely to start out at the minimum wage or the training wage. The average wage for a Trade Certified Manufacturing Jeweller is around $60,000

Estimated Average Income

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index

Employment and skill shortages

Jewellers’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
1,092 870 1,010 1,110
  -3.2% 2.4% 1.6%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are based on the wider category “Miscellaneous Technicians and Trades Workers”.

The number of jewellers in employment declined from 2006 to 2013. With the improved economy, employment is projected to increase in the years leading up to 2023, and steadily beyond that to 2028. The number of Manufacturing Jewellers remains fairly stable.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Outcomes after qualification completion*

OverseasIn further studyReceiving a benefitIn employmentMedian Salary
15 54% 10% 59% $40,000

Source: Tertiary Education Commission.
*Three years after completion of L4 Certificate - Jewellery Making.

Three years after completing a Level 4 Certificate in jewellery Making most graduates are employed or in further study. Note that only a small fraction of these graduates is employed in the jeweller industry and even fewer as manufacturing jewellers.

Jewellers are not on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

Jeweller vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites. Employment in this industry can also be found by proactive job searching and through connections.

Trade Me Jobs: 

Career path

Jewellers can go on to become supervisors or establish their own businesses. Trade certified Manufacturing Jewellers may also branch into valuing.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level jewellers.

  • Appraiser
  • Goldsmith
  • Jewellery Designer
  • Jewellery Manufacturer
  • Jewellery Trader
  • Valuer
  • Watchmaker

Other information


More information on jewellers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand:


The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of jewellers has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for their purpose of this report:

3994 – Jewellers