Experience with TIJT

Hi, I currenlty attend a 16 week Bench Jeweler program here in
Portland, OR. I am considering attending the Texas Institute of
Jewelry Technology 2 year course.

Since, I have to relocate a long distance with my 4 year old
daughter I would like to get some FIRST HAND experiences from those
who have ATTENDED the school.

I hope to get student housing that allows dependents. I need to know
what that is like and if anyone else every lived there with their

I would also like to know about the quality of the education. I want
to be a jewelry designer.

Thank you.

I’d suggest looking into Alan Revere’s 3 month course before
applying for 2 years at the other school. www.revereacademy.com

David Geller

David Geller
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565


"I am considering attending the Texas Institute of Jewelry
Technology 2 year course. 

Ballerinas, Bull riders, Paraplegics and all the rest make up the
students at TIJT.

Arlene, You would not be the first to come from the Portland area to
TIJT Paris Texas. The young lady became a friend of mine. She met her
husband there ( he had finished the 2 yr jewelry program and was
taking the 2 yr watchmaking program). She was a ballerina as well.
She had moved back to Portland and got a job as a jeweler.

I was proud to offer this recommendation " If she had wheels, I
would enter her in a tractor pull".

I can highly recommend the 2 yr school. It no longer has summer
school, so enroll in the fall semester. You will receive transferable
college credit for 4 semesters. If you get the few extra classes
required, you can graduate with an associate degree.

I went for 5 semesters and received the 4 semester course for
Jewelry Technology and our final 4th semester test was for the JA
Certified Bench Jeweler Technician. The test is given in the school.
fifth semester I went for the Gemology course. It was a Graduate of
Gemological Science certification.

The classes all begin at 8 AM to 4 PM. 1 hr. lunch and 2 10 min
breaks. Some classes require 1/2 day on Saturday. Student housing on
campus is available for a modest sum.

Jobs and Grants are available. If you are eligible for Vocational
Rehabilitation, the school is very accommodating. For my experiences
Google " Jewelry Bootcamp". Expect moderate living expenses, moderate
wages, and technical training of very high quality.

You will graduate as a JA Bench Jeweler Technician which should be
enough to enable you to find work as a bench jeweler. The senior
instructor at TIJT helped initiate the JA Certified Professional
Program. When I left all but one of the instructors were JA Certified
Master Jewelers.

There is also a 2 year Certified Watchmakers course as well as a one
semester or two Cad Cam course.

When I was attending, from 2000 to 2003 there was a jobs listing
from all over the United States which was 30 plus pages of over 90
job offers This was for each semester, so there was no fluke, and I
still have copies.

The short of it is -

This is a TECHNICAL SCHOOL with strong ties to industry.

Tuition and living expenses are moderate.

All college credits should transfer.

With its number of foreign students (15 to 20 %) the school has a
legitimate clam to be called world class.

Best bang for the buck I know.

If you or any one else needs please email me at
texeclectic(a)cable one.net

I will be off net for a few days to burn and replant the patch


Hi, I would suggest also looking into the California Institute of

Training, not located in expensive San Francisco, very family
friendly and they have some student housing and student loans. The
course is well paced , covers a lot of ground and still shorter than
the 2 year commitment, however, we do have the FGA gemology program
also and our students are tending to take both courses, all
available to complete in about 1 year and 2 months.

You are looking for a longer course and CIJT has the perfect 8 month
residence, not as big as TIJT, not as far away and affordable and

It is a matter of what you want and how you want to go for it.

Write to the school off line for details and or call and talk to
someone, you will be pleasantly recieved. info@jewelrytraining.com or
800-731-1122. And of course, they are happy to supply references.
Regards, Dee

Hello there, I graduated from TIJT in 2002 so some of my economic
may be a bit off but probably not by much. This school
does offer student housing but if you want quality living conditions
(I have a 3 yr old) I strongly suggest living off campus. If you live
inside the “Loop” which is basically four lane highway that travels
around the whole of town (Texas; go figure) then you can get anywhere
in town by car in less than 10 minutes.

The cost of living is much cheaper than Oregon. I’d recommend calling
realty companies to find out what they have to offer. The company we
went through was Bray Rental Properties (903) 784-4300. Since the
of living is low, unfortunately so are the wages. Paris wasn’t such a
bad place to live but it’s quite isolated. I didn’t go to the public
schools there but from what I had heard, North Lamar school system
(North side of town) had better standards than Paris itself. Both of
the school disticts are a part of the city of Paris.

TIJT does offer a computer design class where you’d learn to design
and then mill your design into a wax model. But speaking from someone
who’s going through the school of hard knocks, I stongly recommend
taking the casting course since you’ll gain a better understanding of
how to structurally support your work.

I hope this helps and I wish you luck on your journey,

Rene Howard


TIJT is nationally and internationally known. If you attend, you
will meet people from all over the country and the world. Yes, Paris
is “different,” it’s not quite Deliverance, but it’s a cousin to it.
However, you are only about an hour and a half from Dallas and

I paid $375 a month in rent, through Nathan Bell Realtors at their
complex located at 2222 E. Price St. It’s close to a grocery store
and Dairy Queen (every Texas town, no matter the size, has a Dairy
Queen) and has built up around there quite a bit with shopping
centers and businesses, and the park across the street has added an
enormous hamster-tunnel-type playground for the kids. More than when
I was first there in 98. (We went for a visit last weekend.) My
apartment was a one bedroom with a fireplace, very roomy, it had a
patio, and they let me plant a garden, which is still there. (!)

An alternative, possibly, is this: you could maybe carpool with
other students from Dallas. I had a classmate that drove from the
Greenville area every day, and I’ve heard that’s fairly common for
the school. You could also room with other students, some of my
classmates did that, too. Whatever you do, don’t live in student

You will get solid training from TIJT, it’s a little like boot camp.
They keep on top of exactly what the industry needs in jewelers, and
they teach to the industry. There isn’t much (if any) touchy-feely
artsy stuff. You will learn how to make solid, sturdy and
well-polished pieces of jewelry. I will say this: they infuriated me
90% of the time, but I learned the skills I needed to make the
touchy-feely artsy jewelry I make today. And I can gaurantee that my
pieces are more solid and better finished than most of the other
jewelry I’ve seen in galleries. In six years, I’ve only gotten one
piece back for repair.

Good luck with your decision, I hope I’ve helped clarify things for

Susannah Page-Garcia

While reviewing other posts on this subject, I cannot help but
wonder, what are your seeking to learn. 16 weeks certainly should
have given you a very good start on your way to becoming a good

What do you wish to accomplish? Customized course? Specific? An
internship, apprentice? Let us know.

Schools can teach only so much, your expertise comes from the full,
rich and sometimes painful experience that many of the noted members
of Orchid have and could share with you, ask them to respond to your