Silverware Artisans and Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Although there are no formal educational requirements for silverware manufacturing workers, most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Courses in mathematics, especially plane geometry, will prove to be valuable once you begin working in the field. Classes in such subjects as drafting, sketching, computer science, and shop are important for aspiring toolmakers, die cutters, machinists, and bench workers.

If you're planning on a career as a silverware designer, art courses at the high school level are a must. In particular, classes in design, computer graphics, drawing, and drafting are essential. In addition, you should take a sampling of liberal arts and business courses, including English, marketing, psychology, and management.

Postsecondary Training

You can obtain postsecondary training through technical or vocational schools, community colleges, art schools, or correspondence courses. Course work usually includes applied mathematics, manufacturing arts, casting, enameling, metalworking, silversmithing, plating, and tool-making. Specialized courses are often offered as well, including tool designing and programming, blueprint reading, and mechanical drawing.

If you aim to become skilled in a specialized craft, you should consider an apprenticeship, which generally lasts four to five years. Apprentices learn on the job as they work in a silverware plant under the supervision of experienced craftworkers. They also receive related classroom instruction. Apprenticeships are the usual method by which workers are trained in silversmithing, soft soldering, spinning, engraving, model making, drafting, machining, tool and die making, and a variety of other areas.

If you are interested in silverware art and design, you will need a college degree in a field such as industrial or applied design, along with training in fine art and the properties of metals. More than 100 schools offer a bachelor's degree in metalsmithing and industrial design. Some colleges also offer master's degrees in these disciplines. Many schools require a prospective designer to complete a year of basic design and art courses before they are allowed formal entry into a design program. Students enrolled in a design program spend many hours designing three-dimensional objects. They gain experience using metalworking and woodworking machines to construct their designs. Among the courses they should take are drafting, drawing, and computer-aided design.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no specific certification or licensing requirements for silverware artisans and workers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

No experience is needed to work in unskilled positions, but those with prior work experience will increase their chances of landing a job, getting promoted, and possibly earning higher pay. Skilled positions such as tool and die makers and designers require the completion of an apprenticeship or previous experience.  

To be a silverware manufacturing worker, you need to be precise in your work and have good concentration. You should also have good vision and manual dexterity. Depending on your position, you may have to handle repetitive tasks as part of the job. Die makers, in particular, should be extremely patient, since their work requires highly precise computation. They also need to have mechanical aptitude and physical strength.

If you plan to work in design, you must be artistic and creative and have an eye for color and beauty. To be successful, you should have a thorough knowledge of the flatware industry, specifically the manufacturing techniques that are used in production. In addition, you will need to keep abreast of current trends and develop work accordingly.

Freelance designers must be willing to work long hours. They also need to be organized, detail-minded, self-disciplined, and prepared for possible downtime.