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Top Paying States for Artists and Designers


Interior Designers

                                                              Hourly           Annual
                                                                Wage            Wage             (Mean Salary 2009)

1. Alaska                        $33.12    $68,900   (last year’s rank: 10)
2. Maine                         $31.99    $66,500   (last year’s rank: n/a)
3. District of Columbia  $29.68    $61,700    (last year’s rank: 3)
4. New York                   $29.00    $60,300   (last year’s rank: 2)
5. Massachusetts            $26.04    $54,200   (last year’s rank: 6)
6. Maryland                    $25.26    $52,500   (last year’s rank: 9)
7. CALIFORNIA           $25.14    $52,300   (last year’s rank: 8)
8. Connecticut                $24.58    $51,100   (last year’s rank: n/a)
9. Nevada                       $24.44    $50,800   (last year’s rank: 1)
10. Hawaii                      $24.33    $50,600   (last year’s rank: 4)

Worst: Puerto Rico (#52) $11.34 $23,600

Dropped Out of Top Ten: Michigan (last year’s rank: 5, this year: 14), Virginia (last year’s rank: 7, this year: 17)

Wages & Employment Trends:
National Median wages (2009): $22.20 hourly, $46,180 annual
Employment (2008): 72,000 total U.S. employees
Projected growth (2008-2018): Faster than average (14% to 19%)

Job Outlook
Interior designing is a hot job industry. It’s expected to grow at a faster than average rate compared to other careers in the U.S. But just like the other artist careers in this guide, there will be a lot of competition for jobs due to population growth and a mounting interest in design and its financial benefits on businesses.

Over the next few years, the healthcare and hotel/hospitality industry will likely be two of the biggest interior design employers. The growth for the former will be largely due to renovation initiatives, the latter’s due to increasing pressure from boutique and low-priced businesses.

The best way for interior designers to find a job is to gain experience in a niche design or technology. For example, remodeling kitchens and baths are hot options, as is the integration of home entertainment systems. But for the next few years, the top skill-based careers will be green design. The more people become aware of the environmental and economic benefits of green design and materials, the more they’ll seek designers who can use them on their homes. While the overall number of design jobs has fallen due to the recent economy, it is likely to stabilize along the same patterns as income and spending.

The top five paying metropolitan areas for this occupation are: Grand Rapids-Wyoming ($47.97 hourly mean, $99,770 yearly mean); Worcester, MA-CT MI ($39.67 hourly mean, $82,510 yearly mean); Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY ($35.31 hourly mean, $73,450 annual mean); San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (35.50 hourly mean, $73.420 annual mean); Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($33.92 hourly mean, $70,560 annual mean).

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