Career In Metalsmithing: A Short Guide

What is it about metalwork that gets you excited? Is it the very metal or the craftsmanship involved?
Metalsmithing and Blacksmithing are two options available to pursue your interest in smithing. Smithing is one of the oldest crafts where metal gets shaped typically with a hammer while the metal is hot. 

While a metalsmith designs tools and is creative and creates works of art from an array of metal, a blacksmith focuses on just forging iron.

So what’s the career scope with forging different metal or just sticking to forging iron, you may ask. As a metalsmith, you will more creatively incline your career.

What Are The Career Opportunities You Can Have As A Metalsmith?

The following are the things you can choose to become:

  • Metal Craft artist
  • Jewelry maker
  • Industrial Designer
  • Art Dealer
  • Product Developer
  • Ornamental items like gates, grilles, railings
  • Furniture
  • Light Fixtures
  • Sculptures
  • Tools
  • Agricultural Implements
  • Utensils
  • Decorative items

Clearly, then, once you’ve decided to pursue metalsmithing, it is best that you first identify where your core skills are. If you want to use metal as a medium to express yourself creatively, then you should pursue a study program. And, after that, a career as a metalsmith who works with various metals.

How Much A Metalsmith Earns

As per, a metalsmith earns on an average $63,085 per year. The top 10% of the metalsmith earns around $110,959 per year. And the bottom 10% of metalsmith earns around $35,867 every year.

The image below will help you to explain metalsmith earning:

Study Program In Metalsmithing

A study program in metalsmithing is essentially an art course. Colleges offer four-year programs leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Metalsmithing, which generally includes jewelry making. 

The objective of these programs is to refine and hone a students’ creativity, teach the technical aspects of the craft, and ensure that the student becomes a critical thinker. 

Admission Requirements

Admissions to such programs may need ACT or SAT scores besides showing proof of your creative abilities and aptitude. And for that, you need to create a portfolio of your past work. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid for a study program in metalsmithing will determine what course you take and where you wish to study. Many colleges that offer programs in Jewelry and Metalsmithing also provide financial aid.

Which Colleges Provide Education In Metalsmithing?

Some of the colleges to pursue Metalsmithing are Rhode Island School of Design, Colorado University, and the University of Kansas.

But if you want to walk the path less traveled nowadays and want to pursue Blacksmithing, a few colleges offer degree programs in Blacksmithing. 

Considering the scope of career options, there are many vocational schools offering courses too. Such programs will teach students forging and welding, and more.

You should also consider an apprenticeship or journeyman program to enhance your career prospects since you’ll then be working hands-on with a master and learn the tricks of the trade from him.

Depending on what you want to specialize in as a blacksmith, you should choose a study program. 

By choosing to study at Fleming College in Ontario, Canada, you’ll become a blacksmith artist. Or by choosing to pursue Blacksmithing at Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver, USA, or Ontario Colleges, Canada, you will become a well-trained, conventional blacksmith. While a college like Fleming College may offer some need-based aid, vocational schools don’t.

So while both Metalsmithing and Blacksmithing are to do with forging metal, your career option and career graph will be very different based on what you choose to do.