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 Post subject: Job as a diamond grader at GIA
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 2:52 pm 
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Hmmm, I'm not sure if this belongs here but if it doesn't, please feel free to move it to the appropiate forum.

I was just wondering if anyone can shed some light on the diamond grader position available at GIA. I've noticed that they're always advertising so I assume the turnover is pretty high (as stated in neils "A few careers in the jewelry business" thread also). I'm going to complete my FCGmA (Canadian Gemmological Association) diploma in June and I'm toying with the idea of heading south for this position. If anyone can provide any information on the following, that would be great...

- What's the hours like?
- How's the training program offered?
- Does one grader grade all aspects of the stone or do you specialize in a specific area" (ie, colour, clarity, mapping, etc.)
- How's the pay like?
- Good working environment?
- Would I be over-qualified since I have a gemmology diploma?

Whatever useful info anyone else can provide is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!

Ron


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 7:33 pm 
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Hi Flameboy! I applied for a Diamond Grader position a few years back (didn't get hired :? ).

If you're looking to work in Carlsbad, CA, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful place! But, it is VERY expensive to live in that area. The starting pay for someone with a GG was $13/hour (not a living wage in CA :roll: ). Diamond Graders do nothing but plot diamonds on a computer. Two other people, senior to you, also grade the diamond. The work is performed in dim light (a lot of people can't deal with that day-in and day-out ... hence part of the turn-over). You choose whether you want to work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One great thing is the Christmas/New Year holidays (two weeks)! You can choose to either take the vacation, or you can work and save the vacation time. If there is plenty of work, you can work part-time on Saturdays, as well.

I would say the best benefit of all is the free education. If you don't have your GG, you are required to get it on your own time, which seemed fairly easy from what I saw. Also, beyond the Diamonds Graduate education, you go through a three-month diamond training for the position. I truly believe they have a high turn-over rate, because many people want the three-month course, then end up leaving GIA and going elsewhere. That's just my opinion, don't know for sure.

Hope this helps a bit. :)

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 9:27 pm 
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Hi guys!

I'm glad you posted that question flameboy! I looked at that position too for New York as a starting point with GIA but $13 an hour! that is terrible!! You get paid more dog walking!

If you can suffer that though, anyone know what the chances of promotion are like within the GIA and how quickly are they?

Lucy


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 10:42 pm 
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All right! I found my notes from the applicants' meeting. Not much but I'll share anyway :P .

Entry Level - Computer Diagram Plotting
Three months OJT - Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:10 p.m.
Pay depending on education - $11.54 - $12.69 without a GG; $13.99 with GG
Move up averages 12 - 18 months
Job is autonomus with a weekly "quota" that must be met
Dress is business casual
Hours are chosen between 7 a.m. - 3:40 p.m. or 8 a.m. - 4:40 p.m.
Medical, Dental, and Vision available after 6 months
GIA pays Life Insurance
Two retirement options - Pension or 401(k)
Two weeks paid vacation, one week paid sick, these are accrual
Winter holiday - If worked, paid extra, or can have holiday added to vacation time (Basically, that's 5 weeks of paid vacation/sick leave!)
The position is Non-Exempt - Which means overtime pay after 40 hours/wk
Research and Gem ID positions require scientific education

That's the extent of my notes. As I said, this was a couple of years ago. Some things have probably changed.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 11:39 pm 
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It would be a great job to get started for 6 months or so, but I think it would get suicidal after that! even though I loved grading diamonds in the lab class, by the end of the week I had had enough for sure! The job is basically just constant data entry I guess, which is fine if you are in a great place with fun people, but if your not, then it's hell!

When you say more scientific education for Gem ID - do you mean scientific degrees? or just extensive gemological training?

Thanks MoDo for the info!

Lucy

BTW - 5 weeks paid holiday is pretty basic in the UK - and sick leave is paid on top of that! :D

DOH - i'm moving to the states though :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:17 am 
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Thank you very much for the info Morning Dove. Greatly appreciated!! It definately gives me an idea what to expect. One thing I overlooked was the fact that I have to get a work visa since I'm located in Vancouver. What's the likelihood that that GIA would host me? I'm sure they can get any Joe off the street to work for them. Any loopholes I can get thru?

Thanks again!

Ron


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 10:34 am 
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Lucy -- I do believe you need to have a degree in one of the Earth Sciences for the Gem ID position.

I'm not sure about GIA hosting visas, Ron. That's something you'd have to check on.

One of the guards at GIA and I became friends. Her husband, who is a Navy veteran, ended up being hired as a Diamond Grader. He quit after only one week on the job. He couldn't take the low-light situation. So, there was an example of someone going through the three-month course, getting some good education, then quitting.

Remember, this was a couple of years ago. Things may have changed.

Hey! Look! A toll-free phone number :wink: : 1-800-421-7250

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:18 am 
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Is there not a diamond grading center in Canada for the Canadian diamonds? Granted it might be in "mosquitos-the-size-of-helicopters land", but you would skip the visa / work permit hassles.

On the other hand, it's nice and warm in California, isn't it?


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Duhhh, silly me. I shoulda just looked up the # myself! Thanks Morning Dove!!

I haven't really looked into diamond grading centers in Canada to grade Canadian stones. If they are located at the cut and polish factories then majority of them are located in the Northwest Territories. I know that EGL has a lab here in Vancouver, I'll try with them first. But I figured since GIA was hiring based on "no experience necessary", why not give them a try. And as neil stated in his "A few careers in the jewelry business" thread, having "GIA Diamond Grader" on your resume does look nice. Also, like you said africanuck, how could you turn down California!?

Ron


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Don't ask me, I'm living in sunny Egypt :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 2:09 pm 
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One way to turn down California is to do a web search for home/apartment sales/rentals in the area :lol: . Don't forget to check the tax rate in that county (San Diego), plus the cost of gasoline, and utilities.

California is a beautiful place to live -- I was born and raised there. But it has gotten out of hand over the decades. There are now too many people, too many languages, too many taxes, too many regulations. Other than that, hey, it's a great place :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Job as a diamond grader at GIA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Hello, Everyone,

I'm late joining this conversation but GIA's hiring again and so I'm wondering whether anyone else has anything to add about working conditions as a diamond grader for them...I have no inherent interest in jewelry, though I do enjoy looking at them on the rare occasions that there's reason to. But a job's a job, right? And I really need one!

And GIA seems like a good enough employer...so I'm really curious about the work itself: this diamond grader position opens up every year or so, so it must be something either terribly hard or terribly boring to have such a frequent turnover, right? Does anyone know? I've read some Glass Door reviews from former and even current employees and was wondering if anyone here had any personal experience. While the modest wages and benefits unfortunately seem quite generous in today's labor market, I'm curious about exactly what the daily/weekly production quota is, whether the organization really does monitor the length and frequency of restroom use, if sitting hunched over a microscope means literally no chance to periodically stand and even walk a bit (perhaps to fetch something or other)...again, just wondering what working conditions could be like such that there seems to be a fairly high turnover rate for what seems like an otherwise pretty decent job: paid training, set wage increases (though, how much, really -- a dollar or two, or even a quarter, as in retail and fast food??)....

Anyway, thanks in advance for all advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Job as a diamond grader at GIA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:37 am 
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Hi HomelessLoser. :shock: and welcome to the forum.
A diamond grading position with the GIA is a tremendous asset in a resume.
There is no greater place for a gem enthusiast to work than the GIA. You are surrounded with some of the brightest minds and awesome instruments in the industry.
I think Barbara Ellis' original post is still accurate presuming cost of living increases.

The GIA makes most of its profit from diamond grading. Therefore, positions are usually available. Many graders move on after a few year to pursue careers with private firms who can afford to pay more. And those who remain recognize the privileges being on the GIA campus offers them.

Uhm, why would you be interested in diamond grading? Do you have any experience which may qualify you for the job?


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 Post subject: Re: Job as a diamond grader at GIA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:12 am 
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Hi, Barbara,

Thanks for your thoughts! Without going into details -- as I wouldn't want to possibly identify myself on the off-chance that someone from G.I.A. reads this and that my application should be affected somehow -- I have "very mild" assets to bring to this position but am not a jewelry enthusiast at all personally; I don't even wear a watch!

But I do have a background that would mildly, as I put it, dovetail with being a diamond grader...main thing is, I'm, well, homeless, so honestly I'd even work at McDonald's if they'd take me (they won't; "overqualified," it would seem)...anyway, I'm just curious about the working conditions for this position because I've noticed G.I.A. putting out the same ad before...you offer a plausible enough possibility to account for that, though I still have to wonder how many diamond graders the world could really need every year!

Anyway, Barbara, what would you say is a "fair" "production quota," as G.I.A. puts it in their description of the position, for a diamond grader? No numbers whatsoever are given even though the job description seems rather comprehensive otherwise.

Thanks again!!


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 Post subject: Re: Job as a diamond grader at GIA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:53 pm 
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The GIA is transparent. Call them and ask. You will get the information. :D


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