What to expect from a career in Gemology

The jewellery industry is full of opportunities for gemologists – people who study, identify and classify gems. Gemology programs at Ontario colleges provide students with the scientific knowledge they’ll need to work in various roles in this interesting and specialized industry.

If you want to learn about synthetic and natural gems and start a career in the field of gemology, here’s what you need to know.

Gemology Courses

Students in gemology programs at Ontario colleges will take theory and lab courses to give them comprehensive knowledge of gems and their role in the jewellery industry. During lab times, students will learn how to identify gemstones using spectroscopes, microscopes and other examining devices.

Theory courses will teach students basic chemistry and physics, as they relate to gems. Jewellery appraisal and gemstone grading courses will cover subjects like market values, gemstone quality and diamond identification. Additional courses may include jewellery fabrication, metalsmithing, design and casting, depending on the program.

Gemology programs prepare students for accreditation exams to become professional gemologists both nationally and internationally. They also equip students with the foundational knowledge to further their education in other specialty areas, such as jewellery appraisal.

General Gemology Program Requirements

Ontario college gemology programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including grade 12 English. Good vision and the ability to identify colours are also required.

Gemology Jobs and Salaries

Graduates of gemology programs are suited for many jobs in the jewellery industry, including positions in:

*Note: Some of these jobs may require graduates to gain relevant experience or take extra courses in the area of specialty before qualifying.

It is difficult to state an average salary for gemologists because they can vary greatly depending on your position. Salaries could start as low as $25,000, or be as high as $45,000 or more for those who gain the necessary experience or education to become independent appraisers and other specialists. Jewellery salespeople could also be on the higher end of the pay scale, since these positions are often commission-based.

Ontario Colleges Offering Gemology Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of gemology programs at Ontario colleges.

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