I recently attended a wedding and to my surprise the bride and groom apparently had made their rings themselves. They had spent a day at the Goldsmith’s and made some of the most beautiful rings I’ve seen in a long time. Isn’t it amazing to know the rings you exchange at your wedding were made by the both of you? Amazing isn’t it? Anyhu, I caught up with a Goldsmith to ask how one can get into the trade and here are the details incase any of you are interested.
The Ausbildung itself takes 3years and 6months but you can also take it as a schulische Ausbildung without working. To be a goldsmith you have to be creative and handy. The timetable at school includes everything from making a simple anklet to an elaborate necklace.
Being a goldsmith you not only work with gold but also pearls, diamonds and other metals. In school you learn about the difference chemical reactions metals go through when coating, smoldering, melting and even tempering. Plus you learn how to realize the clients’ wishes from the paper sketches.
The Ausbildung has 3 core areas that you choose and perfect during the third and fourth year, namely:
- Gems (Juwelen) – you learn how to decorate jewellery with gemstones
- Necklaces (Ketten) – learn how to link rings to make a chain
- Jewellery (Schmuck) – how to repair and create rings and armbands
You earn on average €488 if you decide to take up the ausbildung plus job route. Although the Arbeitsagentur gives €818 as the starting income for a first year azubi, very few accomplish this. In NRW a first year earns €240 while a fourth year earns €320, the income is much higher in BW, but most azubis agree they didn’t join this for the money but for the “title” and “status” of the profession. Many proceed to get a degree in a creative subject afterwards while a few wait a few years and become Meister to be able to open their own shops.
Applicants should be good in Mathematics, Chemistry and Crafts. Patience would also be a great quality to bring along. The application process isn’t an easy one because the Ausbildung is a favourite among many. In BW for example there are only 3-4 positions offered annually. in 2011 alone, more than 50% of the applicants had an Abitur. the profession also seems to be a female domain with 80% of the enrolled Azubis being women.
You can check the ranking of this Ausbildung here: Ausbildung Ranking 2012 and Check how it compares to other Ausbildungen in terms of duration and salary here: Ausbildung duration and how much you earn.