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