I recently caught up with Sharie Fogarty with Jewelers of America, and she filled me in on all the great training opportunities JA has to offer. 

Looking for ways to broaden your appeal to customers or employers? The Jewelers of America Bench Professional Certification program may be the answer. Certification gives bench jewelers an instantly recognized standing in the profession and is a means of clearly communicating your skills to a potential employer, a colleague or a customer.

JA Bench Professional Certification is open to bench jewelers or students who have trained as bench jewelers. To get certified you first pass an open-book written exam and then complete the practical exam, a series of tests that demonstrate your skills at four levels. You decide the level that best reflects your education and experience.

First Level: JA Certified Bench Jeweler Technician (CBJT)

Reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a trained entry-level bench jeweler generalist performing jewelry repair with about one year’s experience.

 Second Level: JA Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ)

Reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a bench jeweler generalist performing most jewelry repairs with two or more years of experience.

 Third Level: JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler (CSBJ)

Reflects moderate to advanced skills and knowledge. The candidate for this level must show mastery of both first and second level skills and proficiency in some additional areas.

 Fourth Level: JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler (CMBJ)

The highest level of JA Bench Professional Certification. For the hands-on practical bench test, candidates at this level must demonstrate mastery at all skill levels.

 Once you've achieved bench certification you can use the JA Bench Professional Certification logo in all your advertising, display it in your studio or store or post it on a website. A JA Bench Professional Certification decal or certificate displayed in your store assures your customers that they can rely on the skills and knowledge of the professional bench jewelers on staff. You gain more business as customers seek out your repair shop and trust the quality of your merchandise in general.

 “Being a JA Certified Jewelry Professional is an important designation,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “There is a fundamental difference between a JA Certified Bench Jeweler and someone who just happens to make or repair jewelry. Successful completion of the JA Certification exam attests to a higher proficiency as a bench jeweler and lets consumers know how qualified a jeweler is to craft or repair their fine jewelry.”

Jewelers of America has scholarships available to candidates who are bench jewelers and wish to participate in the JA Bench Professional Certification program. You can learn more about Jewelers of America Professional Certification here: https://www.jewelers.org/benefits/education/certification/. For more details, contact Sharie Fogarty at sfogarty@jewelers.org or 646-658-5813.