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[Job Offer] Shop Foreman


Hello and Help …Here is my dilemma… I have been offered a position
as a “shop foreman” at a jewelry store of about 1.5 mil. in sales
yearly. This job is a new position and doesn’t have any precedence at
this location. The job duties will include; trafficking the repair
and custom work from the sales person thru the bench people thru
quality control back to the sales people for customer pick up. This
entails controlling accurate due dates, parts supply, metal stock
supply, assigning jobs and tracking commissions for bench jewelers
plus quality control of work completed. In addition, I’ll be
scheduling or performing maintenance on shop equipment, maintaining
inventory,(both materials like heads, findings, etc… and tools, like
bits, burs, chemicals, gas…etc.), scheduling new product creation
for the cases and vacation schedules for the crew. The staff amounts
to three to four full time jewelers and hopefully soon a part time
polisher. Currently I manage a manufacturing account of die struck
charms which I produce in total, maintain customer relations and
invoice and bill of approx. 50,000 gross yearly.

I have no idea the pay level this job description warrents, and as a
result am at loss of what would be reasonable to negotiate at. It has
been difficult to get income scales to reference this to.

Can anyone help me? Thank you in advance for any or advice
you can offer.


Depending on where the job is located (it’s more expensive to live in
Boston than Atlanta) you should probably expect a starting salary of
about 35-40,000 for what you are describing. This will also depend on
your experience with this type of work.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140


Hi Scooby;

Personally, I would agree that the pay will be comensurate to the
location and store size, to some extent. In the Detroit area, which
is going to be Michigan’s highest pay area, a job like that, in a
store with over 1 million annual sales, would usually command an
annual salary of around $48,000-$50,000 with a good benifit package
including med, dental, paid vac., 401K and bonus package. I’ve a
friend getting that now for what you describe, but it’s a big store.
You get out into the outbacks, they’ll try to get you to do that for
around $40,000, and that’ll be where the benchman gets only around
$35,000. Not much for talent these days, in my opinion. I’ve been
offered around $52,000 with benifits, but not for foreman, rather for
designer/goldsmith. From what I’ve seen, even people on the edge of
managment get more than the craftsmen. I’d take that offer, but the
area doesn’t appeal to me. Consider, if you’ve got kids, you’ll need
to live in a good school district, and that can cost plenty. Stick
to your guns, the markets hardly overun with good people, and
everyone’s making money hand-over-fist these days. Go check out and see what’s up with salaries. Mind you,
some of those posted have been up there a while.

David L. Huffman


If you would like to contact Vic Davis, Director of our Jewelry
Division, he should be able to answer your salary questions. Our
toll-free number is 888-658-2400. If any of you have any questions
concerning employment, benefits or current market salaries please
don’t hesitate to call.

Scott R. Christiansen
The Christiansen Group, Inc.
888-658-2400-toll free


Thanks for the feed-back David. I agree that the craft of jewelry is
horribly underratted by employers. The tricky part of this is that I
must be competent in the technical aspect to be capable of managing
well. My hope is by fullfilling this position, the store and it’s
bench people will be more able to be creative and productive. It seems
that presently the jewelers lose lots of precious bench time by
sheparding paperwork around and maintaining equipment. I know that
with mistakes and re-do’s the shop loses valluable income. My approach
will be to take some of my income in workshops and trainings so I can
develop my design and bench skills (my first love). Thankyou everyone
for feeding this forum with insight and generosity. You know the old
joke about how many jewelers does it take to change a light bulb?
13…One to change the bulb, and twelve to hold the steel screen so
no one else sees how it’s done.

Again, thanks,Gianna