How to Become an Interior Designer
In today’s society, becoming an interior designer is an extremely popular career choice, and it’s simple to understand why. For those who are passionate about design and bringing out the beauty of a room, interior design is an excellent career choice that allows you to exercise your creative muscles and artistic talent. However, how does one go about becoming a professional interior designer? You can’t just wake up one day and decide that you want to be an interior designer. It takes a lot of effort and dedication.
However, whether you choose the traditional route or options B or C, you will be able to pursue your desired profession as an interior designer.
Before we get started, let’s get this out of the way.
What is an Interior Designer?
An interior designer is a professional who focuses on the design of interior spaces and architecture. Among the responsibilities of an interior designer include the creation of plans, doing research, coordinating projects, and project management. They put a strong emphasis on space planning while also developing coherent and visually beautiful design concepts for both residential and commercial spaces. When working as a professional interior designer, you have the option of focusing on a certain design sector such as home interior design, commercial design, environmental design, or a combination of these.
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
An interior designer is responsible for a wide range of design components and tasks, which include the following:
- Listening to the client’s requirements, goals, available space, areas of interest, and available money for the intended project
- Creates a rough drawn design plan of the arrangement, taking into consideration the number of people that will be utilizing the room
- Finalizes design plans with the use of computer software. Estimates the cost of projects in advance of their completion. Establishes a schedule for the project’s commencement and completion
- Face-to-face meetings with clients to ensure that they are completely satisfied with a project
- Inquires about possible clients and makes proposals for new projects.
Interior Designer and Interior Decorator are the Same Thing, Right?
Wrong. In actuality, an interior decorator is distinct from an interior designer in several ways. The most significant distinction is education: An associate or bachelor’s degree from an approved college or interior design school will most certainly be required before you can begin working as an interior designer at a company. Meanwhile, anybody may pursue a career as an interior designer, regardless of their educational background, interior decorator school they attended, or training they have received.
- Interior decorating does not necessitate the acquisition of any permits or licenses.
- An interior designer is responsible for the design and construction of living and working spaces, as well as a variety of other construction projects.
- In addition, an interior designer may have a variety of specializations to choose from.
- You’ll be in charge of overseeing an interior design project from beginning to end.
However, in order to become an interior designer, you must put in some more effort in order to get there. But what type of education and training do you require to become an interior designer?
Go To School and Earn an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design
In order to be genuinely successful, interior designers must be imaginative, technically adept, and commercially astute. You are fortunate in that you have various possibilities for obtaining your interior design education, ranging from an associate’s degree to a PhD degree. The most traditional route to acquiring the skills you’ll need is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at a university or a community college. However, if you are undecided about whether interior design is the professional path you want to pursue or are not ready to completely commit to a bachelor’s degree program, an associate’s degree is a wonderful place to start and get your foot in the door of the industry.
- Continue your study from this point forward if you decide that a job in interior design is the road you wish to pursue in your life.
- With an associate’s degree program, you have the option of going in a variety of paths.
- However, if you decide that you want to continue your study in interior design and achieve your bachelor’s degree, you should consider earning an Associate of Arts degree first.
- Year two, on the other hand, delves into more specific areas like as color theory and architectural lighting, as well as beginning marketing and business concepts.
- You’ll get a better understanding of the artistic, technical, and business abilities necessary to succeed in the area.
- You’ll study everything from the philosophy and history of interior design to how to draw drawings, develop 3D models, and utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software throughout your time at this program.
- In most interior design schools, students will learn the skills necessary to work in a variety of locations other than residential ones.
You’ll learn how to take into account factors such as traffic flow, lighting design, acoustics, as well as the social and psychological demands of a certain place and its occupants, among other things.
When considering starting your own interior design business rather than working for a huge design firm, this is extremely beneficial.
There will also be a choice of emphases available in many degree programs, which will allow you to specialize in a particular field, such as bathroom design or ecologically friendly materials.
Beyond a bachelor’s degree program, you can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in interior design to advance your career opportunities.
A master’s degree in interior design helps them expand their understanding of the subject and prepares them for a more senior position within their company or for the possibility of starting their own interior design firm.
For those who don’t want to go down the conventional study path, several prestigious interior design schools now offer online learning alternatives.
Internships are a vital part of the top degree programs because they allow you to construct your professional portfolio, which is just as valuable as your degree in today’s competitive world.
However, regardless of which degree program you pick, you should be certain that it is offered by an approved university.
Upon Graduation, Pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam and Get an Interior Design License (If Necessary)
While not all states need interior designers to be licensed, it is important to double-check, since certain states will prevent unlicensed designers from performing any interior design work in their jurisdiction. Some other states let both to work, but only licensed professionals are permitted to use the label “interior designer” in their work. Passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) test is required to become a certified interior designer in the state of California.
As previously said, state standards do differ, so be careful to check your state’s laws before proceeding further.
Also available are optional certificates for interior designers who own and operate a firm that specializes in a certain area of interior design.
Build a Strong Portfolio
The most effective strategy to make oneself more appealing to potential clients is to establish a solid portfolio. Whatever degree program you pick, a significant portion of the curriculum should be devoted to the development of a strong portfolio that showcases your abilities and creative concepts. You’ll want to take high-quality images of all of your work and exhibit them in a visually appealing manner on your website and in a digital presentation, for example. This will demonstrate to your clients what you’re capable of and will portray you as a professional who is well-organized.
Additionally, you should always update your portfolio to emphasize work that are relevant to the position you are attempting to obtain.
Clients enjoy flipping through picture books to view your work, and holding something in their hands may have a more lasting impression than simply showing them a photo book.
Don’t be scared to add any schooling you believe is of high quality if you believe it is relevant.
Take Pro Bono Work
This may sound absurd, given the ultimate objective is, of course, to make money from your work, but if you have no prior work experience, you may find it difficult to secure employment. This is a good method to gain some valuable work experience and improve your chances of landing a job in the future. Because you cannot earn expertise without putting in some effort, you may be forced to practice your skill for free, which is a sad state of affairs.
Make a donation of your time and talents to family, friends, or local charitable organizations. This will also assist you in honing your abilities in preparation for when you do land a paying job.
Find Yourself an Interior Design Job, or Start Working For Yourself
A career in interior design is a highly competitive area in which to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a predicted rise of 4% between 2014 and 2024 in the field of accounting. Do you have any other questions on how to become an interior designer? Alternatively, perhaps you’re ready to begin working on a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design. Today is the day to contact the NewSchool of ArchitectureDesignEnrollment Team!
Interior Designers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more – RaiseMe
By analyzing space needs and selecting ornamental things such as colors, lighting, and materials, interior designers help to make interior spaces more useful, safe, and attractive. A blueprint reader must be familiar with building laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards. They must also be familiar with the construction industry.
What do Interior Designers do?
Interior designers are often responsible for the following tasks:
- Look for and submit bids for new projects
- Determine the objectives and criteria of the customer for the project
- It is important to think about how the area will be used and how people will move through it. Preliminary design plans, including electrical and partition layouts, should be drawn out. Designate materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures, as well as how they will be installed. Create a schedule for the interior design project and a budget for the project
- Create design specifications, place material orders, and supervise construction of architectural features. Oversee construction and work with general building contractors to ensure that the plans and specifications for the project are followed to the letter
- Follow up with the customer once the project is completed in order to confirm that they are happy with the results.
In order to develop interior spaces that will perform properly and appear attractively, interior designers collaborate closely with architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers and other construction laborers and assistants during the design process. Interior designers must be familiar with designs and construction rules, as well as inspection restrictions and procedures. The majority of interior designers utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software for the most of their designs, despite the fact that certain sketches or drawings may be done freehand.
Many interior designers specialize in specific types of structures, such as residences, hospitals, or hotels; specific areas, such as bathrooms or kitchens; or a specific style, such as contemporary or traditional.
Some interior designers provide designs, blueprints, and drawings that are used in the construction and installation of a building.
Depending on the scope of the project, interior designers may write preliminary design papers that range from simple sketches to detailed construction plans complete with schedules and attachments.
What Degree Do I Need to Become an Interior Designer?
People live, work, and do business in the inner areas of residential, public, and commercial buildings more frequently than in the outside spaces. Designing interior spaces that are both useful and visually beautiful while also being safe is the responsibility of interior designers. In the field of interior design, the planning and design of both commercial and residential areas are included. If you want to pursue a profession in interior design, obtaining at least some level of college education is almost a requirement.
The majority of interior design assistant positions demand a bachelor’s degree, and you will have a difficult time getting job as an interior designer if you have not completed any undergraduate or graduate school. The image was obtained from Pixabay, which is in the public domain.
What Degree Do You Need to Be an Interior Designer?
In accordance with O*NET, the most prevalent level of education for interior designers is a bachelor’s degree, which accounts for around 85 percent of the profession. One out of every ten interior designers reported holding an associate’s degree, with a post-baccalaureate certificate ranking second on the list of most frequent levels of schooling. In addition to your professional development, earning a degree is beneficial to your financial future as well. According to the trade publication Architectural Digest, interior designers with a college degree earned more than $15,000 more per year than their counterparts without one in 2019.
- If you decide to pursue a higher degree of education, you may expect to be in school for four, five, or even more years.
- Obtaining a license sometimes necessitates a number of additional years of supervised work experience in addition to the first two years.
- The Council for Interior Design Accreditationaccredits around 180 professional-level interior design programs (either bachelor’s or master’s degree programs).
- To do so, they must normally have a relevant degree, a minimum number of years of experience, and a passing score on a test such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), among other requirements.
The Education Needed to Be an Interior Designer
Whichever degree of college education and job training you choose to pursue in interior design, the following is a breakdown of what you may expect from your education.
Associate’s Degrees in Interior Design
An Associate of Artsdegree or an Associate of Applied Sciencedegree in interior design are the two-year associate’s degree programs provided at the associate’s level in the field. While Associate of Arts degrees are often designed to serve as stepping stones to bachelor’s degrees in interior design, Associates of applied science degrees are intended to prepare students for professional industry standards. Consequently, the curriculums of associate’s degree programs in interior design vary significantly based on the sort of school you enroll in and the location where you live.
Coursework in design and construction, building materials and processes, the fundamentals of computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, three-dimensional design, as well as the history of architecture and interior design, will be included in the curriculum.
Even while this program is meant to prepare students for additional interior design study at the bachelor level, students will still have the opportunity to apply their abilities through a sequence of design studio courses while pursuing their associate’s degree.
For example, you may choose to concentrate on domestic design in one term, commercial design in another, and the use of fabrics and finishes in a third course before graduating.
It is possible that you may spend less time in liberal arts and science classes and more time in your chosen major, however the amount of time spent in each subject will vary from one college to another.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Interior Design
In certain cases, a bachelor’s degree in any area may be sufficient to qualify for an interior designer position, provided that the student also takes design-related courses. Students who are serious about pursuing an interior design profession, on the other hand, should enroll in an authorized interior design course explicitly, because a curriculum that is specialized to this field would better prepare them for the rigors of an interior design job. A Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science in interior design are all options for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in interior design at the bachelor’s level.
Degree programs in interior design at the bachelor’s level should contain courses in space planning, interior design processes and materials, sustainable design, as well as construction systems and details.
It is possible that some courses, such as building codes for interior spaces and the history of architectural interiors, will need less creativity and more intellectual effort than you anticipate.
Because it allows students to obtain hands-on experience in the real world rather than only in the classroom, internships are an important component of many undergraduate interior design programs.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Interior Design
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to continue your study, a post-baccalaureate certificate may be the best option for you. Interior design certificate programs are available for post-baccalaureate students who want to specialize in areas such as sustainable design or kitchen and bath design. Certificate programs are often shorter than programs leading to a full degree, allowing you to complete your study and begin reaping the advantages of your knowledge more quickly.
Studying Interior Design at the Master’s Level
If just a small percentage of interior designers really hold a master’s degree, why would an aspiring professional in this industry ever consider pursuing such a qualification? Interior design master’s degrees are frequently offered to career changers with bachelor’s degrees and professional experience in a different industry who wish to further their interior design studies. In other cases, established interior designers are pursuing an advanced degree in order to further their careers into leadership, research, or academic positions in the field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may be required to demonstrate your artistic skills through drawings and other work in order to be accepted into a design school.
Working in Interior Design
In residences, public buildings, and commercial constructions, interior designers are in charge of arranging the functioning as well as the aesthetic appeal of the interior spaces. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers must first comprehend the goals of the customer as well as the purpose and needs of the design process before they can begin working on it (BLS). They must select design components that will work well with the planned usage of the space as well as the movement of people inside that area.
- Using computer-aided design (CAD) software they develop final design plans after deciding on the appropriate colors, furniture, paint or wallpaper, flooring, lighting fixtures, plumbing fittings, and materials to accomplish the design idea.
- They must also keep track of the project’s timetable and budget to ensure that it is finished on time and within the allocated budget.
- They also supervise the construction process.
- Depending on their specialty, some interior designers specialize in a single sort of fixture, such as lighting, while others specialize in specific types of rooms, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers made a median pay of $57,060 in 2020.
- The wholesale trade business, which employs just five percent of interior designers and pays a typical income of $57,300 in 2020, is the second most profitable.
- Furnishing retailers, which account for five percent of the workforce, offer a median annual income of $47,710 per year.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that job possibilities in all occupations will rise by an average of eight percent between 2020 and 2030.
Although interior designer is not one of the employment positions for which statistically significant decreases are projected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recognized the possibility that the overall number of interior designers occupations may decrease by a couple hundred throughout that time period.
Despite the fact that the area of interior design is not currently thriving, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that there would be around 7,800 open opportunities for interior designers every year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over one-third of all interior designers were self-employed as of 2020.
What to Look for in Degrees for Interior Design
Choosing an interior design school is not an easy decision. There are a plethora of alternatives to take into consideration. Some aspects, such as technical competency training, hands-on experience chances, and accreditation may be important to consider while narrowing down your college search. It may come as a surprise to some who misunderstand the responsibilities of interior designer and interior decorator when they learn how crucial technical skill is in this field. A significant portion of the work involves the creation of visual representations, which may include hand-drawn sketches, computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and diagrams, and other means.
Perhaps the most essential component of an interior design degree program is the ability to put your newfound skills and knowledge to use while building an excellent portfolio of your own design work.
In addition, opportunities for internships and other forms of field experience are very useful in this profession, because design is not something that can be fully learned by merely reading textbooks and turning in assignments.
When selecting an interior design degree program, another important factor to consider is the school’s accreditation.
- The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which accredits around 300 art and design programs at colleges and universities
- Accreditation by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, which has accredited more than 180 interior design programs
- The National KitchenBath Association, which accredits almost 100 kitchen and bath design specialization schools
- The National KitchenBath Association
When your interior design program is accredited, it proves that it adheres to the rigorous criteria established by a third party in the industry. Choosing an authorized school may also make the process of obtaining professional certification or licenses more efficient, and prospective employers may favor job seekers who have earned degrees from a recognized university. Resources that aren’t included on this page Is it possible to work as an interior designer without a degree? What are some of the areas of interior design where you should concentrate your efforts?
How to Become An Interior Designer
If you’re thinking about how to go into interior design, you definitely have a lot of questions. Here are some answers. What are the top educational institutions? So, what exactly are the many types of interior designs? What does it take to get your career as an interior designer off the ground?
And what is the typical annual income for interior designers? A profession in interior design is unquestionably a rewarding and fascinating one. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become an interior designer, the following are the essential steps you’ll need to take:
- Recognize the responsibilities of an interior designer
- Obtain a head start on your internet portfolio
- Decide whether or not you want to go to interior design school. Seek out an interior design school of any sort. Interior design schools are comparable. Obtain your Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Identifying your specialty and concentrating on it
- Investigate the typical compensation of an interior designer. Create a portfolio of your work as an interior designer. Acquire your interior design certification
Does this seem overwhelming? Don’t be concerned. You’ve arrived to the correct location. We’ll go through everything you need to know about pursuing a career in interior design with you. First and foremost, what do they do with their time?
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
Interior design is the art of bringing out the best in a space. Interior designers take a room and transform it into something more appealing, useful, and secure. Space planning and product research are among the numerous responsibilities of the role, which also includes negotiating with project stakeholders (home and business owners, builders and retailers), defining schedules, and lastly supervising construction and executing the design. The profession of career designer, as compared to most other creative careers, may provide greater employment security as well as greater earning possibilities.
How Do I Get Started on Becoming an Interior Designer?
When you’re just getting started in your interior design profession, one of the most important things you can do is keep your online design portfolio up to date. It will assist you to impress school admissions committees as well as future clients. Additionally, if you have been accepted into interior design school or have begun to gain interior designer employment, be sure to keep your portfolio up to date with all of the latest information. Each assignment you complete will help you demonstrate your competence and create your reputation as a professional—all of which will help you gain additional clients in the process.
Do I Need to Attend Interior Design School?
The short answer is no. You are not have to go to interior design school to be successful. Because interior design is such a wide industry, it is feasible to obtain interior designer positions that do not need a bachelor’s degree. For a variety of reasons, though, receiving some hands-on instruction in the field is highly recommended. At the absolute least, you might want to consider enrolling in online courses that will acquaint you with the principles that interior designers must understand.
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be Required
First and foremost, if you wish to work for an interior design business rather than going it alone, you should be aware that most organizations prefer designers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design.
Your Area May Require a Specific Degree
In addition, several jurisdictions require you to complete a license test before you may use the title of interior designer in your professional capacity. Furthermore, in certain areas, you are not permitted to perform any interior design work at all unless you have a license. A mix of education and experience is required before you can sit for a license test, such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of on-the-job training to get started.
Interior Designers Need Knowledge on a Range of Topics
While you may have excellent design instincts or previous design experience in other sectors, if you haven’t spent time studying interior design, it’s doubtful that you are familiar with the ins and outs of the industry as a whole. Interior designers, for example, must be knowledgeable with construction laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards. If all of this seems like too much for you, you might want to try pursuing a career as an interior decorator instead. Interior decorators are mostly concerned with the aesthetics and furnishing of a room, rather than with the design of the area.
There are numerous interior designing courses available that can provide you with a certificate or certification in a fraction of the time it takes for ambitious designers to become interior designers to become interior designers.
Interior Design Programs Can Offer Career Support
Keep in mind that most institutions may provide a great deal of assistance when it comes to seeking employment. Once you graduate from college, having that kind of support might make it lot simpler to begin your professional life. By completing your class, you’ll be able to begin putting together your portfolio. An internship component of the curriculum may be included, which will provide you with valuable hands-on experience while also assisting you in developing contacts in the business. Are you ready to create an interior design portfolio website that will attract the attention of potential clients?
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What Should I Look For in an Interior Design College?
Make an effort to locate a school that has received particular interior design certification, such as that from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. This assures that the institution offers a high-quality curriculum that will be recognized by prospective employers. A second characteristic to look for in these industry-specific institutions is their employment rates. Many colleges that are successful in putting students in design-related industries will make this information known to their students and the public.
This might offer you a better understanding of which universities are the best at educating students for the job market and assisting them in obtaining employment opportunities.
What Sort of Interior Design Course Curriculum Do They Offer?
Investigate the interior design curricula offered by various universities. It will provide you with a better understanding of how much time will be devoted to various sections of the field by the program. This will assist you in selecting one that best meets your professional objectives. Do you intend to work on commercial or residential construction projects? Work solo or as part of a team, according to your preferences. These questions should assist you in identifying a program that is appropriate for your needs.
What are Their Portfolio Requirements?
Take a look at the prerequisites for the school’s portfolio. Some design schools have portfolio criteria that you may find challenging to complete depending on your previous design experience and education. So make sure you thoroughly research all of the criteria well in advance of the deadlines, as you may need to revise your design portfolio in order to match the standards.
Do They Offer Bachelor’s Degrees?
Because a bachelor’s degree is frequently the bare minimum needed for design businesses and becoming a professional interior designer, look for institutions that offer interior design degrees.
You may save time and money by enrolling in a shorter interior design school that simply delivers a diploma or other certificate; but, you’ll discover that a diploma or other certificate won’t be worth nearly as much in the field as a degree will.
What are Some of the Best Interior Design Schools?
There are several interior design schools from which to pick. Here are just a handful that are worth your time to investigate more. Our selection of these institutions was based on their continuous placement at or near the top of several interior design school rankings. They are based on polls that question design experts which schools provide the greatest preparation for students wishing to pursue an interior design career.
New York School of Interior Design
This well-regarded institution is dedicated only to the study of interior design. Its BFA in interior design program has a well-balanced curriculum that students will benefit from. The curriculum combines liberal arts courses with career-oriented courses to prepare students for the beginning of their professional careers after graduation.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah College consistently ranks first or second on rankings of the finest interior design colleges. Its curriculum is nearly exclusively devoted to the fields of art and design. Through six distinct interior design studio classes, students enrolled in the BFA in interior design program receive practical experience. Furthermore, this institution is well-regarded for the strength of its industry and alumni networks.
Parsons School of Design
Founded in 1906, this was the first institution in the United States to provide studies in interior design after being granted accreditation. Due to its strong emphasis on collaborative work, students in its program frequently collaborate with and occasionally alongside students from other programs. This cooperation simulates the collaboration that interior designers must have with experts from different disciplines, and it helps students develop the communication skills that they will need in the future.
- Because of its foundation in 1906, this institution was the first in the United States to offer degree programs in interior design. Due to its strong emphasis on collaborative work, students in its program often collaborate with and occasionally alongside students from other programs. The fact that this cooperation is modeled after the collaboration that interior designers must have with experts from other disciplines helps to develop the communication skills that will be required in the field. Some further top interior design colleges worth considering are as follows:
What Does an Interior Design Degree Entail?
First and foremost, it is dependent on the sort of degree that is being discussed. When it comes to this discipline, the great majority of colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the subject (BFA). Some universities, on the other hand, offer a Bachelor of Science degree (BS). Students enrolled in BFA in interior design programs could expect to receive a well-rounded education that includes certain general education requirements. BS programs, on the other hand, provide a greater emphasis on the subject topic, with fewer possibilities for general education courses.
In addition, a variety of courses will be offered to equip students with the technical abilities necessary to pursue a career as an interior designer.
Following that, students may be required to participate in an internship or complete a capstone project in which they must use all they’ve learned to finish an interior design project and show their work to an audience.
What Kinds of Interior Design Jobs are Out There?
When it comes to pursuing a career in interior design, there are several options available to you. Interior designers, for example, might be self-employed or employed by businesses such as design firms or house and office construction companies. Residences, commercial buildings, and historic restoration and preservation are some of the areas in which interior designers might specialize. Interior designers can specialize in a variety of specializations in each of these areas, which are listed below.
- Depending on their specialization, residential interior designers may work in areas such as kitchen design, bathroom design, or accessibility design. Commercial interior designers are employed in a variety of settings, including offices, restaurants, and hotels. Healthcare institutions and government buildings are two examples of areas in which they may specialize. Interior designers that specialize in historical restoration work with historic buildings. These positions need specialist understanding of historic preservation procedures as well as methods of preserving a building’s historic status. From historic homes and landmarks to museums, the places on which they work might be diverse.
What is the Average Interior Designer Salary?
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average interior designer income in 2017 was around $51,000, which corresponds to nearly $25 per hour. The top ten percent of interior designers earned more than $93,000 per year, while the worst ten percent earned less than $27,000 per year on average. 2019 saw a rise in the average compensation of interior designers to $56,040, representing a 9.88 percent gain over the previous year. The income of an interior designer might vary depending on where they work, how much experience they have, and what style of design they specialize in.
From 2018 to 2028, the employment outlook for interior designers is expected to grow by 4 percent.
What Should I Include in My Interior Design Portfolio?
Not to worry if you don’t have a website yet; simply select a website builder that offers stunning layouts that fit the style you’re striving for with your interior design work and you’re good to go. There are several alternatives available that provide free trials, allowing you to choose which one is the best fit for your needs. It is the ease with which website builders are used that makes them so appealing. You will not have to waste time learning coding and can instead concentrate on what really important to you: your creative designs.
- When selecting photographs for your portfolio, be sure you choose wisely. You may have a large number of photographs to pick from, but you only want to display work that will truly wow your audience. Think about seeking a second opinion from another designer or coworker if you’re having problems determining which photos to remove. Take into consideration some of the methods you might distinguish your portfolio from the competition. A good example is the creation of a memorable logo. It’s a quick and easy approach to express your distinct aesthetic to prospective clients
- And As an alternative to simply providing photographs, why not create a case study? It will provide you with an opportunity to discuss all of the effort that went into the project as well as why you chose the strategy that you did. It is always possible to present any projects you completed for school or other projects that are linked to interior design if you do not yet have any professional experience
- If you ever find yourself lacking inspiration, simply browse through some other interior designer portfolios to discover how the finest in the business present their work
Getting My Interior Design Accreditation
If you’re still considering how to become an interior designer, many people may additionally consider obtaining a design qualification after completing their courses in order to distinguish their portfolio from the competition. It contributes to the process of providing formal approval for a designer’s abilities and capabilities. Individuals considering a career as an interior designer may want to consider taking the National Council for Interior Design Exam in order to get certified in the field.
There are three components of the NCIDQ test that must be passed in order to pass: basics, professional, and practical.
This section is intended mostly for students who have not finished their work experience and who are recent graduates or who are in their last year of their program of study.
Finally, designers will be required to take the PRAC interactive test before they can proceed. Interior designers will be evaluated on their talents and design expertise in this computer-based exam, which will employ case studies.
How Should I Start my Career to Become an Interior Designer?
As previously said, one of the best methods to get a jump start on your profession is to enroll in a design school or taking classes specifically developed for interior designers. However, there are skillsets and other vital attributes that may be acquired in addition to formal schooling. Begin to become more familiar with design concepts, textures, and colors by experimenting with them. One of the most significant abilities that designers possess is their attention to detail and their ability to think creatively.
It is possible that fresh ideas and innovations will be inspired by trends and new technologies from other fields.
Taking on pro bono assignments and internships are two more ways to get your career started.
You’ll be able to learn from other designers and receive valuable insight and knowledge from real-world situations.
How do I Become a Self-Employed Interior Designer?
The ability to work for oneself is highly common these days, and interior designers are no exception to this trend. You should choose self-employment if you want complete creative control over your work and the ability to select your own clientele. There are, however, a number of difficulties associated with it. Locating clients will prove to be one of the most difficult aspects of being self-employed. Make your portfolio stand out from the crowd. You want to develop an online portfolio website that will allow you to show off your creativity and work as a designer to potential clients.
- When it comes to the design field, networking is quite vital.
- Keep in mind to reconnect with prior clients or relationships you may have made while working in previous positions.
- Finally, check into job boards and specialty websites to see if there are any openings for a designer to join your team.
- Are you interested in pursuing a career as an interior designer?
- Let’s get started on finding your first interior design position!
More information on what it takes to achieve your ideal career may be found here. Career Guidance for Design Graduates that is well-designed After Design School, Here Are 10 Things You Should Do. 5 designers share their tips on how to get clients with your portfolio.
American Society of Interior Designers
To become an interior designer in the classical sense, you must complete particular schooling requirements, provide verifiable professional experience, and pass an examination. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination (NCIDQ Examination) is the industry’s acknowledged indication of expertise in interior design concepts as well as an interior designer’s dedication to the profession.
For many, formal schooling is the first step on the route to becoming an interior designer. The choice of the suitable educational program can have an influence on future employment chances. Earning a degree, whether an associate, a bachelors, or even a masters (for individuals interested in interior design as a second job) is becoming increasingly vital.
- Choosing a Program: There are a plethora of alternatives to consider throughout the decision-making process, including the duration of the program, the size of the university, the location, and the format of the program (in person or online). Other considerations to consider include program rankings, program flexibility, acceptance rate, tuition/expenses, alumni network, and accreditation
- Among other things, Obtaining accreditation is done through the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), which evaluates interior design programs against quality criteria set by the profession. The accreditation procedure by the CIDA is entirely optional and applies solely to professional-level degree programs (Bachelor’s or first professional Master’s degrees). The CIDA accreditation of a program reflects a program’s commitment to quality and continuous development. The NCIDQ Examination does not need CIDA certification
- Nevertheless, as long as the program has been approved by a nationally recognized certifying organization, the level of study will qualify the interior designer to appear for the exam. Some states’ interior design standards and statutes, on the other hand, stipulate certification requirements.
- Accreditation by the Council for Interior Design
- Accreditation by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation
- Establish a meeting with a faculty member at the institutions in which you are most interested by scheduling an appointment with a faculty member. This is an excellent method of determining whether or not a program is appropriate for you in the first place. During your interview, ask the faculty member about the sorts of programs that are offered, the teaching philosophy of the program, the proportion of alumni that go on to pursue interior design professions, and the types of employment that they have obtained
In addition to formal education, appropriate job experience is required for eligibility to sit for the NCIDQ Examination. The overall quantity of confirmed work experience varies depending on the level of education attained.
For all interior designers, the NCIDQ Examination is the broad-based test that serves as a foundation from which to grow for individuals who choose to pursue a career in a speciality design field. Many sorts of interior design practice in regulated areas throughout North America necessitate the holding of an NCIDQ Certification. Designers may quickly authenticate their knowledge, experience, and talent in front of employers and clients by obtaining a design certification. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Examination is administered by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).
Certified interior designers must satisfy a minimal level of education and professional experience, as well as pass the three-part NCIDQ Exam, which is based on CIDQ’s independent, thorough examination of the profession as well as everyday practice of interior design in a wide variety of contexts.
Interior Design School, Certification, and Career Guide
An interior designer is more than just a pretty face with a keen sense of aesthetics; he or she is also an artist, a business expert, and even a circus ringmaster. When it comes to interior design, there is no shortage of enthusiasm. From sketching and planning gorgeous places to shopping for furniture and home furnishings, there is no shortage of things to do. A career in this profession might offer the opportunity to travel and collaborate with a diverse range of individuals.
In order to create rooms that are both visually appealing and useful while also meeting construction and safety requirements, interior designers must be able to manage people, money, and client relationships at the same time.
Traits of Successful Interior Designers
An eye for design and aesthetics is a given for everyone who aspires to be an interior designer in their heart of hearts. But what distinguishes the top designers from the rest of the pack? Here are a few characteristics that distinguish successful designers.
- Being an interior designer at heart necessitates having an excellent eye for design and aesthetics. How do the finest designers stand out amongst a crowded field, though? Successful designers have a few characteristics in common.
Types of Interior Designers
Graduates of design schools have a wide range of professional choices. These are just a handful of the areas where we are concentrating our efforts.
- Seniors and those with disabilities benefit from the work of universal designers, who make settings more accessible. Sustainable designers are concerned with increasing energy and water efficiency, as well as improving indoor air quality. Some of the designers in this area have earned LEED certification. The knowledge and skills of kitchen and bath designers include cabinetry, fixtures, appliances, plumbing, and electrical solutions. Lighting designers create unique atmospheres in homes, businesses, and public areas such as museums and hospitals
- They also work in the entertainment industry.
Interior Designers are included in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.
When it comes to selecting an interior design training program, the most essential thing to consider is finding a school that will assist you in achieving your objectives. However, while having a license for commercial work is not required in any state, some such as Nevada, Louisiana, Florida, and Washington, D.C. do so—and 20 states have a title legislation in place to facilitate the process. This implies that you will not be able to use the label “registered interior designer” unless you are registered in the state in which you intend to practice.
Interior Design Education
There are a variety of educational pathways available to those who want to pursue a professional career in interior design. Certificate
- There are no official criteria for enrollment. It will take two to three years of schooling to complete. Graduates will be qualified to work in entry-level roles under the direction of an experienced interior designer.
Associate’s Degree is a two-year certificate program.
- There are no official criteria for enrollment. It will take two to three years of schooling to complete. Graduating students are qualified to work as an assistant to an interior designer. The curriculum serves as a basis for entry into a bachelor’s degree program.
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration
- It is necessary to complete four years of coursework. Science, applied arts, and fine arts departments are the most common places to find it. Coursework in interior architecture or industrial design is included. Graduating students are eligible to apply for a formal design apprenticeship program with an architectural or design firm that lasts one to three years.
Master’s Degrees and Doctoral Degrees are both available.
- A bachelor’s degree in interior design is less frequent than a bachelor’s degree in architecture. The number of programs that are available is growing
- Industrial design, teaching, and fine art are some of the areas of study available.
What Are Interior Design Training Courses Like?
Despite the fact that each school’s curriculum is unique, the following are some of the things you will most likely learn in an interior design training program:
- Color theory
- Computer-aided drafting
- Developing requirements for interior construction
- Graphic communication
- And the history of interior design and architecture are some of the topics covered. Business practices in the field of interior design
- Specializations in interior design
- Studio for interior design
- Techniques of construction
- And finishes Problem-solving
- Safety regulations and building codes
- Arrangement of space
- Design in both two and three dimensions
Interior Designer Vs. Interior Decorator
However, despite the fact that the phrases interior designer and interior decorator are sometimes used interchangeably, they have distinct roles and duties. Are you more interested in redesigning a single room rather than undertaking a large-scale restoration project? If this is the case, a career in interior design may be the best fit for you. To work as an interior decorator, you do not need a degree or any other official education. These contrasts will assist you in determining which option is the greatest match for you.
|INTERIOR DESIGNER||INTERIOR DECORATOR|
|Formal training required||No formal training required, although classes are available|
|Focuses on renovations, structural changes, spatial planning, and functional design||Focuses on aesthetics of style, color, furniture, fabrics, accessories, and room layout|
|Hired for commercial work||Hired for residential work|
|Interacts with contractors and architects||Interact with homeowners, furniture makers, painters, and other industry professionals|
|Works as an apprentice||Apprenticeship not required|
|Licensing required in most states||Licensing not required|
Online VS Campus
Online learning is a fantastic alternative for those who are unable to attend classes on campus due to a variety of factors such as their employment, family obligations, or other obligations, but it is not appropriate for everyone. It is important to assess if online learning is the correct choice for you before enrolling in online courses. It is possible for students who are self-motivated and disciplined to succeed in this atmosphere. Those who procrastinate on a regular basis should continue with caution.
Is an Online Interior Design Degree Program for You?
Each school has its own set of prerequisites, so check with any institutions you are considering to find out what they require for their programs. Depending on the program, you may still be required to attend regularly scheduled video lectures, student chat sessions, or discussion forums. Other programs allow you to participate in these types of activities at your own pace and on your own timetable. Prior to enrolling in an interior design program, you may be able to observe a demo of the course online at some colleges.
In the event that you are confident in your ability to do effectively in an online environment, you will be glad to hear that you may acquire your associate’s or bachelor’s degree entirely online.
Those seeking a fast track to get into the sector can discover certificate programs in fields such as interior design, architecture, and landscape architecture.
- The prerequisites for each program vary from school to school, so check with any schools you are considering to find out what they require. Depending on the program, you may still be required to attend regularly scheduled video lectures, student chat sessions, or forum discussions. Participating in these types of activities on your own timetable is possible in certain other programs. Prior to enrolling in an interior design program, you may be able to observe a demo of the course online at certain interior design schools. Obtain a demo by inquiring with admissions personnel. You might be surprised to learn that you can acquire your associate’s or bachelor’s degree online if you are confident that you will perform well in an online format. Online certificate programs in interior design are available in areas such as the following if you’re looking to get started quickly:
Online Interior Design School Accreditation
Because online interior design degrees are still in their infancy, you’ll want to be certain that the school you’re considering is authorized before enrolling. Look for accreditation from the following organizations:
- There are roughly 300 colleges, universities, and independent institutions offering programs in art and design that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Accreditation by the Council for Interior Design: Accreditation of around 150 bachelor’s or master’s degree interior design programs across the country
- They accredit certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree-level programs in these fields if you specialize in one of them.
You should also confirm that your online interior design degree will qualify you to sit for the NCIDQ certification test as well as for state licensing in your area of concentration.
For aspiring interior designers, there is one consistent theme to keep in mind: an interior design profession may provide many benefits (financial and otherwise), but you must be ready to put in the time and effort necessary to earn your way up from entry-level positions.
Interior Designer Salaries by Top Industries
A large majority of people believe that interior designers are self-employed professionals (about 32 percent are), who work with couples and families to redesign and re-furnish the interiors of their residences. Interior designers, on the other hand, function in a broader capacity and work across a wide range of businesses. The current Occupational Employment Statistics published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes the median annual income for interior designers in the major sectors in which they work, including:
|INDUSTRY||MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY|
|Architectural and engineering firms||$62,620|
|Specialized design services||$54,330|
Unless otherwise stated, the pay information provided is based on a national average. Actual incomes may differ significantly depending on a variety of factors such as specialty within a profession, location, years of experience, and a variety of other considerations. It is possible that national long-term estimates of employment growth do not accurately represent local and/or short-term economic or job situations, and that they do not ensure actual job growth.
Job Growth and Outlook for Interior Designers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates little or no change in job growth for interior designers between now and 2030. This statistic reflects slower growth than the national average for all occupations (8 percent), which means that it is below the national average. Approximately 17 percent of designers work in the construction, architectural, and engineering sectors, and because these fields are expected to increase in the next years, these professionals may see significant job growth.
Interior designers who specialize in a particular area of the industry, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or sustainable interior design, may use their knowledge of products and industry standards to better assist customers and clients in fulfilling their needs.
About the Job
A successful interior designer manages people, finances, and client relationships all while creating rooms that are appealing, practical, and that adhere to construction and safety requirements and regulations. Professionals in the field of interior design require strong organizational abilities as well as commercial knowledge.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that obtaining an interior design degree is increasingly becoming a need for anyone intending to enter the field. In several states, a bachelor’s degree is also required for licensing.
Interior designers do the following activities on a daily basis, depending on the project they are working on:
- Identifying potential clients and determining their requirements
- Putting forward bids for projects
- Preparation of a project timeline and budget Identifying the primary function, appearance, and furniture for the space
- Building and safety codes are being researched. Hand-drawing or utilizing computer-aided design (CAD) to create design plans Observing or reading blueprints or drawings Choosing furniture, wall finishes, lighting, and fixtures for the kitchen and bathroom
- And Ordering of goods
- Placing orders for supplies Observing and directing the placement of materials
- Working in close collaboration with clients, architects, engineers, and contractors
Skills Needed for the Job
- Artistic Ability and Personality – You will be required to submit sketches of your suggested ideas for a space in order to be considered. Due to the fact that the interior design process frequently involves the use of computer tools to generate two- and three-dimensional renderings, CAD training may also be beneficial. Choosing colors, furnishings, and materials to match the design while also meeting the functional, durability, and accessibility requirements of your customer is your responsibility. Ability to Work in a Team–In an interior design position, you’ll speak with customers to determine what they want and need in a place, and then you’ll offer your ideas for addressing those needs in a convincing manner. In addition, you’ll have to engage with vendors and subcontractors. Coordinating with architects, electricians, plumbers, and others to finish the task in a timely and cost-effective manner are also part of your responsibilities. Organizational Abilities– Because interior designers accomplish a diverse range of duties and collaborate with a diverse range of individuals, strong organizational skills are essential. You are in charge of ensuring that the project stays under budget and on schedule. You will be responsible for documenting your process and the items you use, as well as managing contracts and discussions on your client’s behalf, among other things.
Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer
Comparing design schools and deciding which one is the best fit for you is a vital first step on your path to a career in interior design. Once you’ve gained sufficient job experience and are confident in your knowledge of the subject matter, it’s time to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Obtaining a license is the final stage in the process of becoming an interior designer. Not all states need licensure, so be sure you understand the regulations in your jurisdiction.