Jewelers of America developed the Bench Professional Certification program in 1997 to promote the professionalism of jewelers and store owners. The nationally recognized certification ensures consumers are confident in the ability of the certified bench jeweler to perform quality work.
The JA Bench Professional Certification Program establishes national standards and administers tests to rate the talents and proficiency of bench jewelers at three levels. 

The levels are outlined below and provide more detail about the proficiency required for each level. When you enroll in the program, you simply take and pass an “open book” online written exam and a series of practical tests to become JA certified.

You can take the JA Certified Beginner Bench Jeweler exam on GIA's Carlsbad campus! The two-day CBBJ exam session will be proctored by GIA staff and administered at the state-of-the-art bench classroom on GIA's Carlsbad campus.  
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Bench Certification Levels

Certification is Available in Three Levels:
JA Certified Beginner Bench Jeweler (CBBJ): Reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a trained entry-level bench jeweler generalist performing jewelry repair with about one year’s experience.

JA Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ)
: Reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a bench jeweler generalist performing most jewelry repairs with two or more years of experience.

JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler (CMBJ):
The highest level of JA Bench Professional Certification. For the hands-on practical bench test, candidates at this level must demonstrate mastery at all skill levels.

JA Members have access to Sales and Management Certification - Learn More 
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The fee schedule for the JA Bench Professional Certification is billed in two installments:
1st Installment Fees - Registration and Written Exam
  • $475.00 for JA Members | $575.00 for non-JA Members
  • Payment is due with completed Bench Professional Certification application
2nd Installment Fees - Bench Certification Practical Test
  • The Bench Certification practical test materials cost is calculated based on the price of gold at the time of shipment.
  • Payment is due upon successful completion of the Bench Certification written exam.
  • Jewelers of America will send an invoice outlining the amount due before the credit card on file is charged. Practical test materials will not be sent if the invoice is not paid in full.
  • Check payments must be received within 7-10 days of emailed invoice. 

Scholarships are also available for the JA Bench Professional Certification program. For more details, contact Jewelers of America at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-223-0673.

Test Procedures

JA Bench Professional Certification requires successful completion of the written exam and the practical tests to achieve Bench Certification status. The online “open book” written exam requires the candidate to successfully complete the exam with a minimum grade of 75%.
View Sample Written Exam Questions

The practical tests require the candidate to prove proficiency in performing a variety of tasks set to national standards. The candidate may utilize whatever tools and technology available to complete the projects (i.e., laser, various welders, press, etc.). The practical bench tests may be taken at the candidate’s own bench using his/her own tools and equipment or a location of their choice. To pass the practical bench tests, the candidate must achieve a minimum grade of 75%.

Written Test
Successful completion of the written test is a pre-requisite for the practical bench tests. This is an “open book” exam, allowing the use of reference materials, books, trade publications, or online references. Questions are based on information common to most bench jewelers, requiring the test-taker to demonstrate familiarity with terms and concepts needed in everyday work. The exam is an online exam.

Jewelers of America will send the exam password to access the online written exam for your test level to your selected proctor. The written exam is a one hour timed exam and must be taken in one sitting. An internet-enabled device is required to take this exam.

Practical Test
Jewelers of America will send the practical bench tests for your level to your proctor. Candidates and proctors create their own schedule for testing. Practical bench test time limits vary; listed on each practical bench test envelope is the estimated time for completing the project. These times are guidelines only; the candidate may take more or less than the estimated time to perform a specific bench test. However, the total test time must stay within the total time-frame requirement. The proctor tracks the time it takes the candidate to complete each test.

Selecting a Proctor
Candidates will need a proctor to administer the practical bench tests. A proctor may be anyone other than a member of the candidate’s own family or an immediate co-worker where the candidate works. The proctor does not have to be a professional jeweler.

Choose a responsible person who is willing to take the necessary time to perform the role, such as a teacher, librarian, or accountant. To help recruit a potential proctor, show them the list at right of responsibilities associated with proctoring the tests.

Receiving Certification
The candidate must pass the written exam, all practical bench tests and have paid all applicable fees in full in order to receive Jeweler of America Professional Bench Certification status.

Grading Procedures 

Jewelers of America sends the completed practical tests anonymously to approved graders, who work in a controlled environment using a comprehensive grading system consistent with quality standards for jewelry repair and manufacturing. Graders use a multi-level procedure to ensure thorough evaluation and maximum accuracy, fairness, and consistency in reviewing and assessing your work.

To make this program as valuable as possible, the skills assessment or grading phase includes feedback about your test performance. You will receive a feedback report identifying your ratings for each test, to be used to improve the quality of your work in areas that need strengthening – regardless of whether you were or were not successful in taking the test. Jewelers of America will send the results within 30 business days of receiving your test. 

Reworking/Retaking Bench Test Procedures

The graders of the JA Bench Professional Certification program decide whether a bench test with errors in workmanship will need to be reworked or retaken. In general, the criteria will be similar to that used in a shop. There are two ways for a candidate to rectify errors on practical bench tests:
  1. Reworking areas where minor infractions in workmanship occurred or
  2. Retaking a test in which major infractions occurred.
Reworking A Bench Test
A minor infraction would be a small detail, an error in workmanship corrected by sending the item back to the shop before delivering the piece to the customer. In the test situation, the candidate would have a chance to rework it. Jewelers of America will return the test article to the proctor with instructions and a time limit for reworking that part of the job.

Retaking A Bench Test
When a candidate has major infractions in workmanship on a particular bench test but has demonstrated sufficient proficiency to qualify for continuing testing at that level, the candidate may retake the test. The candidate must pay for the cost of materials used in that test. The candidate should notify Jewelers of America of the intention to retake the test within 30 days of receiving the performance evaluation. The time allowed for retaking this test is marked on the instruction envelope and is similar to that allowed for the original test. A candidate has a maximum of two attempts to pass the practical bench test.

Retaking Written Tests
Each candidate must pass each the open book test with a minimum grade of 75%. The candidate has three attempts to pass the written test. 

I'm JA Certified, Now What?

Upon successful completion of the JA Bench Professional Certification program, you will receive:
  • A JA Bench Professional Certification certificate to frame and display to customers in your place of business. This high-quality, blue-foil certificate is suitable for the finest type of presentation framing. Copies are available for $15 each.
  • A JA Bench Professional Certification lapel pin
  • The JA Bench Professional Certification logo, which can be used in social media, advertising, business cards and on your store website
  • A press release template, prepared by Jewelers of America, announcing your accomplishment, that you can distribute to your local media

JA Members receive additional publicity benefits:

  • JA Bench Professional Jeweler Certification decals for display in the window or door of a store, shop, or other place of business.
  • JA Bench Professional Certification logo for special recognition on your store’s listing in Jewelers of America's website directory.


Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions on JA Certification.
Download the Bench Certification PDF Guide here.

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Jewelers of America

In 1906, Jewelers of America was founded by jewelers for jewelers, with a desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

Today, we continue that mission and Jewelers of America Members stand as the most trustworthy, informed and professional jewelry businesses within the United States.