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Career and Education Opportunities for Craftsmen in Birmingham, Alabama

If you want to be a craftsman, the Birmingham, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 200 jobs for craftsmen in Alabama and this is projected to grow 8% to about 220 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for craftsmen are expected to grow by about 7.2%. Craftsmen generally create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.

A person working as a craftsman can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $31,530 annually on average in Alabama and about $13 per hour or $29,080 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for craftsmen are not quite as good as in the overall category of Art and Design in Alabama, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: frame stylist, hand-weaver, and custom shoe-maker.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a craftsman, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for craftsmen is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a craftsman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Craftsman

Craftsman video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, craftsmen create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.

Craftsmen develop functional or decorative objects by hand, using a variety of methods and materials. They also design product packaging, display and pricing strategies. Equally important, craftsmen have to attend craft shows to market products. They are often called upon to advertise products and work, using media such as internet advertising and brochures. They are expected to design creative concepts for craft objects. Finally, craftsmen fabricate patterns or templates to guide craft production.

Every day, craftsmen are expected to be able to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for craftsmen to apply finishes to objects being crafted. They are often called upon to design designs using specialized computer software. Somewhat less frequently, craftsmen are also expected to research craft trends and customer buying patterns so as to inspire designs and marketing strategies.

Craftsmen sometimes are asked to develop prototypes or models of objects to be crafted. And finally, they sometimes have to talk with customers to gauge customer needs or obtain feedback.

Like many other jobs, craftsmen must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Craftsman Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has 3 areas of study related to Craftsman. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated one student in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Decorative Artist: The Certified Decorative Artist applicant must pay the required fees and submit one piece of work for judging.

For more information, see the Society of Decorative Painters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.