How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Gemologist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $42,380
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -11.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute
  • Office Work Environment
    Career Attribute

A gemologist is an expert in precious gems, like sapphires, rubies, diamonds and emeralds.  They evaluate there quality, value, and genuineness by utilizing their knowledge of gems and market valuations.

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What is a Gemologist?

The following responsibilities are common for Gemologists:

  • Assigns conclusion reports to a gemstones grading
  • Examines and identify gemstone materials using standard gemstone testing equipment
  • Grades gemstones using color, quality and cut
  • Estimates wholesale and retail value of gemstones
  • Advises customers on use and quality of gemstones to use in their jewelry

A Day In The Life

A gemologist is an individual that has acquired an expertise about different kinds of gems and stones.  These experts use instruments like microscopes, polariscopes, refractometer and other optical tools to study the outside and inside of the gemstone and understand the stones purity and quality levels.  They also will typically immerse a gemstone in a chemical liquid solution to determine specific qualities, gravities and properties of a particular stone.  They also grade stones for perfection, color and quality.of a cut gem.  These individuals use fair market value, follow pricing guides and watch the public economic changes to determine and estimate wholesale and retail pricing of gemstones.

Typical Work Schedule

This position is a full time occupation working mostly in offices or retail jewelry store settings.

Projected Job Growth

Demand for gemologists is expected to have a slight increase over the next few years.  Vacancies for positions are further between than most because individuals typically stay employed for long periods of time.

Typical Employers

Gemologists typically are self-employed or work in a retail jewelry  store or jewelry repair store assisting customers and grading and fixing customers gemstones and jewelry.

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How To Become a Gemologist

To formally become a professional gemologist, and individual should complete a recognized gemological program and pass the needed requirements to obtain a diploma in gemology.  An individual is required to complete formal training and certification to become a gemologist.  Before an individual can work in the jewelry and precious metal industry, they need to learn the art and science that goes into gemstone grading and identification.  They should obtain their certification through the American Gem Society, AGS.  A student must first obtain their certification within the AGS to then apply for their certification in the AGS ICGA certification along with proof of their Gemologist graduate credentials.  Upon completion of their certification, they should be able to understand the fundamentals and skills to work as a gemologist.  Although, a gemologists education takes a lifetime, and the great ones never stop learning or taking gemology courses to stay current on their educations.  This particular is ever-changing and grows rapidly.  It is vital that individuals stay up-to-date on their knowledge of gems.

This individual needs to be extremely detail-oriented and organized and have the capability to identify they variety and intricacies of  gemstones.  They need to have excellent stamina and hand-eye coordination as well.  These individuals spend most of their time on their feet while using microscopes and other tools while working with, often times, very small and tiny gems.

Gemologist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Gemologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Gemologist's can make an average annual salary of $42,380, or $20 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $27,400 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #487 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Gemologists

  • 0.2%   Doctorate
  • 2%   Masters
  • 14.5%   Bachelors
  • 8.5%   Associates
  • 27.4%   College
  • 31.8%   High School
  • 15.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Gemologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -4,500 jobs for a total of 35,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -11.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #752 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Gemologists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 16,500 -1,600 -2%
Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores 10,300 -1,300 -1%
Jewelry and silverware manufacturing 6,200 -2,500 -3%

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