On average, commissions constitute a fair portion (nearly one in three) of final income for Gemologists. That final number averages out to $44K across the industry. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. For the most part, people in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Female Gemologists make up most of the survey respondents at 73 percent. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly one in three lack any form of coverage — but a majority have medical insurance, and just under a half have dental, too. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Gemologist
A gemologist, also known as a jeweler or gem expert, works with and identifies precious stones and gems. The main tasks of a gemologist are carefully studying certain gems and stones, using microscopes and other magnifying equipment, and determining the gems’ make, value, and authenticity. Although they might work independently on occasion, gemologists usually work at a jewelry store in the back room, where gem and stone identification and examination is done.Read More...
Gem cutting can also be involved in this position, which involves the cutting of precious gems to fit certain casts and molds. It also involves setting the gem or stone into pieces of jewelry to meet consumer satisfaction. Gemologists have many different tasks they need to attend to. They must use certain chemicals and liquids to determine the composition of the gems or stones they are working with. They must determine how pure or fine a gem or stone is, and they must estimate how much it is worth. They must also inform customers about the quality of gems and advise them about which pieces they should be interested in.
Gemologists must have very good coordination. They must know how to handle microscopes and other equipment used for identifying gems and stones. A gemologist must be an educated chemist and know the material he or she is working with. Almost all gemologists must acquire a certification for gemology, which is usually required by their employer. While many gemologists learn their trade working in a jewelry store, some employers require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- Assign preliminary conclusions to gemstone grading reports or provide back-up to preliminary reports.
- Input gemstone identification information in information system.
- Keep abreast of latest gemological information within the industry.
- Examine and identify gemstone materials using standard, high tech, and specialty gemstone testing equipment.
- Write articles for industry publications and newsletters.
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Pay by Experience Level for Gemologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Gemologists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $38K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $46K. Gemologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $48K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $52K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.