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Career and Education Opportunities for Craftsmen in Rockford, Illinois

If you want to be a craftsman, the Rockford, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for craftsmen sees this job pool growing by about 7.2% over the next eight years. In general, craftsmen 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 $14 per hour or $29,650 per year on average in Illinois and about $13 hourly or $29,080 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Art and Design, people working as craftsmen in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Art and Design nationally. People working as craftsmen can fill a number of jobs, such as: metal smith, ceramics artist, and studio craft artist.

The Rockford area is home to twelve schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree as a craftsman. Given that the most common education level for craftsmen is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a craftsman if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Rockford 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.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Rockford College - Rockford, IL

Rockford College, 5050 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108-2393. Rockford College is a small college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,390 students and an admission rate of 67%. Rockford College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Beloit College - Beloit, WI

Beloit College, 700 College St, Beloit, WI 53511-5595. Beloit College is a small college located in Beloit, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,384 students and an admission rate of 63%. Beloit College has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts.


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.



Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Address: One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Phone: (217) 785-3423
Website: Illinois Department of Natural Resources


Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.