Either way is not for everyone. Wanna make +$200K/annual? Form a
company be damn good. At business.
Boy, is that ever true. I’ve worked the bench for many years, mainly
for other people and have been paid well below the low end and well
above the high end of what David Geller outlined. I now own my own
retail store, and I am here to tell you, if you like making jewelry,
don’t open your own retail store. It’ll be the last time you get to
do what you love with any consistency, especially if you want to
make any money at it. There is no guaranteed income, not even minimum
wage (you better have a pretty full savings account or it’ll be gone
in six months), no paid vacation, no over-time, or even benefits
(unless you pay for them). But the good news is that you don’t work
for any one boss. Every person that comes through the door is your
boss, even those that you pay, to a much greater extent than most
would ever believe. The other good news is you get to work half days!
And you even get to pick the twelve hour period that works best for
There are a lot of jobs that don’t pay what one would think they
should, like teachers and nurses, and others that pay way over any
common sense formula of “amount of work to learn vs. pay”, like
athletes, actors and politicians. Being a goldsmith may not be the
most high-paid profession there has ever been, but there are few
occupations that are more rewarding for those that love to create
(and like working indoors). There is an awful lot to be said for
doing what you enjoying doing and getting paid for it, even if it’s
not six or seven figures. Even though I don’t get to work (play)
there nearly as much as I would like anymore, I wouldn’t trade my
bench for the world.
Just for what it’s worth, if you get good enough and fast enough you
CAN get your income into the six digits working the bench. But you
gotta be good. Really good. It also helps if you have no life.