Average Salary: $51,981
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,170,000
The amount of money you make depends on a number of factors. Blacksmiths are generally self-employed; however, they can make around 50k a year if they are able to carve out a nice little niche for themselves. To hit that mark, blacksmiths must have a steady stream of clients. Clients won't know who you are unless you advertise, create a website, and develop an impressive portfolio. Much like artists, blacksmiths must constantly show what they can do in order to get commissions. Handing out business cards may help, but contacting museums, production companies, and interior designers in your area gets your name out. Besides, those solid iron business cards can really weigh down your wallet.
We have a yen to make some money.
Where you live makes a difference as to how much people will be willing to pay for decorative work. Those living in New York may ask more for pieces than those in South Dakota.
When blacksmiths first start out, they spend a lot of time mastering their craft. Once they know their way around a pair of tongs, blacksmiths must learn the business side of their career. For example, it is critical for a blacksmith to learn how to price their work. They might make the most gorgeous metalwork the world has ever seen, but if they sell their ornamental coffee tables for $5 a pop, people are going to wonder if an anvil landed on their head. To find out how to appropriately price work, blacksmiths have to take into account the cost of their materials and time spent on projects. Other factors to consider include the price of fuel, rent on a studio, cost of advertising, and taxes. Being your own boss requires expert bookkeeping. Also, finding out how much work sells for in a blacksmith's local market helps give a range.
As a blacksmith, you usually have to hustle when you first start out. You may find that you have to create small projects like hardware, hooks and tools before you can create larger pieces such as railings. Hopefully you can find something to hold onto while you’re climbing those steps….
In addition, marketing your work is as important as creating masterful pieces. Many blacksmiths show in art galleries, rent booths at fairs and produce wholesale work before they are able to raise their prices.