Brought To You By Jewelers of America
Professional certification has become so closely linked to higher levels of quality and performance that many consumers have considerable reluctance using products or services unless the professionals and companies selling them have invested the time to become a certified professional within their field.
Consider this: Would you trust a doctor who wasn’t certified to repair a broken bone? Or use an accountant that isn’t a certified public accountant to prepare your tax returns? Probably not, right?
Since so much of the jewelry industry’s customer interaction is reliant on trust, professional certification for jewelers is an idea whose time has come.
If any of the following applies to you, than an industry certification could be the right fit:
- A desire to advance your career through a promotion or greater salary
- Want to attract new customers through the certification program’s marketing or directories
- Need a better way to communicate your skills without going back to school
- Would like to differentiate yourself from other jewelers who have similar education credentials, like Graduate Gemologists
Professional certification often recognizes that you have a specialized form of training and technical knowledge in a specific field, and designates a level of competence in the field based on pre-determined standards. Unlike a professional educational degree, certification tests knowledge and skills you already possess and requires commitment of much less time.
So, how can jewelers leverage the benefits of certification?
Jewelers of America, the leading association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, offers professional certification for jewelers that assesses sales, management and bench skills. The JA Professional Certification program, established two decades ago, validates jewelry craftsmanship, knowledge and proficiency.
“Being a certified jeweler is an important designation. There is a fundamental difference between a JA Certified Professional and someone who just happens to make or sell jewelry. Most importantly it shows consumers they can buy with confidence from the jewelry professional.” -Jewelers of America President & CEO David J. BonaparteProfessional certification is a win-win proposition for everyone involved. It allows consumers to make positive assumptions about your jewelry business, and the way you conduct it, that gives them peace of mind.
It also provides you with strategic advantages over your competition. Moving a jewelry customer from the sales floor to the cash register is easier when you don’t have to spend inordinate amounts of time proving to your customers that you are educated, honest, professional and committed to ethics. This alone should be reason enough to become a certified professional, but there are many others.
For one, it offers additional marketing exposure. “Advertising my certification has made a tremendous difference in the quality of jewelry that comes into our store. I get to pick and choose the items I want to work on. Choosing to become certified was one of the best decisions I ever made,” says Tom Weishaar, Master Goldsmith, Underwood’s Fine Jewelry.
Professional Certification benefits a business by publicly demonstrating your store’s commitment to professionalism, thereby increasing the jewelry store’s credibility with customers. Additional promotional benefits include listings in professional directories and a newsworthy reason to promote yourself or your store. JA Certified Professionals are highlighted in JA’s Find a Jeweler Directory and receive press exposure to their local press outlets.
Another benefit is the ability to clearly communicate your expertise and skill level. Jewelers who have passed the JA Professional Certification exams at various levels often find the exam challenging, but express a sense of satisfaction and achievement after they receive their certification. They display the certificate with pride.
“As a business owner, one of the program’s advantages is the ability to show new customers my professional credentials: framed on the wall are my JA Bench Professional Jeweler certification and GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma. Certification conveys to new customers a sense of trust that you’re a professional and you know and care about what you’re doing,” says Cindy Crounse, owner, Refined Designs.
In the near future, customers won’t just look for their jeweler to be certified – they will demand it. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve by certifying your skills through a professional organization like Jewelers of America.
For more information on professional certification through Jewelers of America, visit www.jewelers.org/certification.