The global precious metals industry is valued at over $180 billion and is predicted to continue growing over the years. With such a high revenue, there’s always room for more precious metal workers.
Are you ready to change up your career path and engage with your creative sensibilities? Are you skilled with handiwork and want to take those skills to the next level?
Working with precious metals may be the right move for you. The question is, how do you develop the necessary skills and get your foot in the door?
Read on to find out more about what it takes to work with precious metals and how you can get started in the precious metal industry.
Soft Skills and Precious Metal Work
Soft skills are considered characteristics or tendencies that will make you a better employee (or employer). For example, being able to manage your time effectively is considered a soft skill because it will positively impact your work abilities.
Soft skills aren’t things that you can pick up from a textbook or online. However, they are skills that you can improve upon with personal effort. Typically, you will need a previous employer or mentor to vouch for your soft skills when applying for a job.
Critical Thinking and Communication Skills
It is important that you can use reasoning and logic when working with precious metals. You must be able to consider problems that may arise from every angle, as well as the possible approaches you could take throughout your workday.
In addition, it is important that you have strong communication skills, which often go hand in hand with critical thinking. How well can you listen to a problem being presented by a coworker or client? How effectively can you communicate to them what you are doing to address their problems?
Complex Problem Solving and Innovation
When you’re dealing with natural materials like precious metals, a lot can change based on simple choices you make, such as the level of heat you apply. In addition, you’ll need to become familiar with a variety of tools, which can present challenges and solutions of their own.
Working with precious metals is both a creative and scientific process. Complex problem solving and innovation are the soft skills you need to look at a chunk of metal and see the possibilities it holds.
Hard Skills and Precious Metal Work
Unlike soft skills, hard skills can be picked up through study. They are demonstrable either through practice or through the exchange of knowledge. Hard skills are more finely tuned to your industry of choice than soft skills.
Production, Processing, and Operation
As we mentioned earlier, you’re going to be working with a variety of precious metals and a variety of tools. That means that you need to understand all of the elements that go into the work and how to approach your different raw materials and the equipment used to turn them into something new.
Of course, most of these skills you’ll pick up as you begin the actual work. However, you can begin studying early so that you can begin demonstrating your knowledge of the industry right out of the gate. For starters, you can learn more about metal here.
Many of the fine folks working with precious metals are doing both the behind the scenes work and the customer-facing work. Whether clients want custom pieces or want to know more about the line you’ve recently released, you’re going to need to have that customer service mindset.
Unlike basic communication skills, customer service is typically considered a hard skill. If you’ve ever worked in the food industry or in retail, you will have the experience to show that you possess customer service skills.
What Experience Do You Need to Work with Precious Metals?
You’re probably wondering if there are any specific metal worker requirements you’ll need to have under your belt. Fortunately, there are a few ways to gain experience with precious metals. Even if this is a completely new world to you, you can get started at any time by taking one of two approaches.
Education and Certification
Working with precious metals does not require a four-year degree. In fact, many people who get started in the precious metals industry have completed their high school diploma before permanently entering the workforce.
However, there are some certification programs that you can complete if you want to give yourself a competitive edge. Courses in both precious metals and gemstones are available online.
The most traditional way to enter into the precious metals industry is through an apprenticeship. In the span of one to three years, you will work with an established precious metal worker who will show you the ropes and teach you the hard skills you’ll need.
Note that some jewelers and precious metal workers do prefer working with apprentices who have some certification. This is because certification will shorten the amount of time that you need to learn before you can become a fulltime employee. It is also important to note that not all apprenticeships are paid and you may want to shop around a bit before accepting one.
Start Working Toward a Career in Precious Metals Today
After reading our career guide, are you still interested in working with precious metals? Do you feel that you have what it takes to create beautiful pieces with fine raw materials? Then why wait another day?
Take a look at your resume and see what hard and soft skills you already possess. Then, get on track with some educational materials and soon you’ll be well on your way to your apprenticeship!
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