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Career and Education Opportunities for Interior Designers in Charleston, West Virginia

If you want to be an interior designer, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 170 working interior designers in West Virginia; this should shrink by 12% to 150 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%. Interior designers generally plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.

The income of an interior designer is about $12 per hour or $25,200 annually on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,950 per year on average. Earnings for interior designers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Art and Design in West Virginia and not quite as good as general Art and Design category earnings nationally. People working as interior designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: commercial interior designer, color and materials designer, and interior design consultant.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as an interior designer. The most common level of education for interior designers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 Charleston 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Interior Designer Training

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated two students 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.