Engraving Technician Career Information

Jan 29, 2023

Career Definition of an Engraving Technician

An engraver uses tools to impress pictures, designs or words onto the surfaces of metal, wood, and other materials. The many uses of engraving include printing, identification, and decoration. People with this specialized know-how often work in the jewelry and printing industries; both jobs are concentrated in large cities. Etchers and engravers will find the most work in areas such as Texas, California, New York, Indiana, and Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov in 2021.

Education Typically obtained via technical school programs or apprenticeship
Job Skills Detail-oriented, dexterous, patient, mechanically and creatively inclined
Average Salary (2021)* $36,970 (etchers and engravers)
Job Outlook (2021-2031)* 3% (etchers and engravers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Potential jewelry engravers can obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in the engraving arts from some four-year schools, or they can earn a certificate in jewelry making and repair from some community colleges. Most engravers, however, are trained in vocational and technical schools, distance-learning programs, and through apprenticeships. Typical classes include types of engraving and knowledge of materials. The continuing technical nature of printing work makes it particularly desirable for students of print engraving to take courses in chemistry, physics, and electronics, and to get a thorough grounding in color theory.

Skills Required

Printers need good vision, attention to detail, and mechanical, mathematical, software, and communications skills. Engravers working as bench jewelers need manual dexterity, hand-and-eye coordination, and a great deal of patience. Artistic ability and fashion sense are especially prized for jewelers.

Career and Economic Outlook

Of the 45,800 workers classified in 2021 as jewelers and precious stone and metal workers, which could include engravers, about 34% were self-employed, according to the BLS. Job openings for etchers and engravers will rise by 1% from 2021 through 2031, per the BLS. According to the same source, the median annual salary earned by etchers and engravers was $36,590 in May 2021.

Alternate Career Options

Examples of similar careers in this field include:

Craft and Fine Artist

Craft and fine artists produce aesthetically appealing and practical handmade items, and they usually specialize, such as in painting, pottery, illustration, woodworking or quilting, among many others. They may display or sell their work through galleries or take commissions. For many craft and fine artists, this isn't their only job; it's uncommon for craft and fine artists to earn a living solely through their artwork. While there's no minimum education requirement, craft and fine artists may find that postsecondary schooling can help them develop their artistic skills, especially in specialty areas like medical illustration. The BLS predicts that craft and fine artist jobs will show a 6% growth from 2021-2031; the agency also reports that this occupation paid a median salary of $49,960 in 2021.


A welder uses special tools and processes to heat pieces of metal so that they're permanently attached. Welders can work in a variety of industries, from construction to transportation, manufacturing, and more. They perform welding tasks in accordance with project specs and the types of materials being joined. Prospective welders can complete a postsecondary technical school program or on-the-job training. Industry certification is available, and some employers may require it. Employment of welders is expected to increase 2% from 2021-2031, per the BLS. Welders earned a median salary of $47,010 in 2021.

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