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Career and Education Opportunities for Interior Designers in Birmingham, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for interior designers in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently 650 working interior designers in Alabama; this should grow by 14% to 740 working interior designers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for interior designers are expected to grow by about 19.4%. In general, interior designers plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.

Interior designers earn approximately $21 per hour or $44,550 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $44,950 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as interior designers in Alabama earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. People working as interior designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: environmental designer, interior design coordinator, and house designer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be an interior designer, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for interior designers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become an interior designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Interior Designer

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

In general, interior designers plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. They also formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style.

Interior designers talk with clients to establish factors affecting planning interior environments, such as budget and function. They also advise clients on interior design factors such as space planning, layout and utilization of furnishings or equipment, and color coordination. Equally important, interior designers have to render layout concepts in form of paste-ups or drawings. They are often called upon to estimate material requirements and costs, and present layouts to clients for approval. They are expected to formulate environmental plans to be practical and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity or selling products. Finally, interior designers use computer-aided drafting (CAD) and related software to produce construction documents.

Every day, interior designers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to be creative and generate new ideas. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for interior designers to formulate and layout interior environments for boats and other enclosed spaces. Somewhat less frequently, interior designers are also expected to direct other professionals, such as contractors and plumbers, to insure job success.

They also have to be able to inspect and detail shop drawings for construction plans And finally, they sometimes have to render layout concepts in form of paste-ups or drawings.

Like many other jobs, interior designers 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.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • 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.
  • 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: Interior Designer Training

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 Interior Design which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has a two to four year and a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated six and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Kitchen Designer: CKDs specialize in the design, planning and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Bath Designer: CBDs specialize in the design, planning and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer: AKBDs are industry professionals with documented experience and education in the kitchen and bath industry.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Kitchen Educator : A Certified Kitchen Educator is a college instructor who specialize in teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Bathroom Educator: A Certified Bathroom Educator is a college instructors who specialize in teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Decorator: A decorator at this level and for this designation prepares and finishes sweet baked goods for a commercial bakery.

For more information, see the Retail Bakers of America website.

LICENSES

Interior Designer

Licensing agency: AL State Board of Registration for Interior Design
Address: P O Box 11026, Birmingham, AL 35202-1026

Phone: (205) 317-0356
Website: AL State Board of Registration for Interior Design

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.