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Career and Education Opportunities for Interior Designers in Seattle, Washington

Interior designers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. Currently, 1,200 people work as interior designers in Washington. This is expected to grow by 28% to about 1,520 people by 2016. This is better than 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 $22 per hour or $47,730 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,950 per year. Earnings for interior designers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in Washington and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: color and materials designer, house designer, and commercial interior designer.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including six within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as an interior designer. Interior designers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Seattle 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA

Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has an associate's degree program in Interior Design which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has an associate's degree program in Interior Design which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has an associate's degree program in Interior Design which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

International Academy of Design and Technology - Seattle, WA

International Academy of Design and Technology, 645 Andover Park West, Seattle, WA 98188-0000. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 583 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated five and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Seattle - Seattle, WA

The Art Institute of Seattle, 2323 Elliott Ave, Seattle, WA 98121-1622. The Art Institute of Seattle is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,250 students and an admission rate of 77%. The Art Institute of Seattle has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Interior Design which graduated eighteen, fifteen, and fifty-two 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.