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Career and Education Opportunities for Craftsmen in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Craftsman career and educational opportunities abound in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are currently 600 jobs for craftsmen in Michigan and this is projected to grow 6% to 630 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for craftsmen, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.2% over the next eight years. Craftsmen generally create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.

Craftsmen earn about $9 per hour or $20,660 yearly on average in Michigan and about $13 hourly or $29,080 per year on average nationally. Earnings for craftsmen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Michigan and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. People working as craftsmen can fill a number of jobs, such as: metal smith, designer, and mobile artist.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a craftsman. 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 Grand Rapids 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Craftsman Training

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated seventeen 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: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.