What Can You Do With An Interior Design Degree

What Can You Do With an Interior Design Degree? 13 Jobs To Consider

  1. What Can You Do With an Interior Design Degree? Career Guide
  2. Finding a Job
  3. What Can You Do With an Interior Design Degree? There are 13 jobs to consider.

The Indeed Editorial Team contributed to this article. The date is February 22, 2021. Interior design majors are equipped for a variety of creative, hands-on employment in the field of interior design. These experts’ abilities in mathematics, art, and communication make them appealing candidates in a variety of industries. Interior designers may put their skills to use in a variety of situations, including retail, residential, and corporate. Throughout this essay, we will cover what interior design is and the types of professions that you may get if you have an interior design degree.

What is interior design?

Interior design is the practice of conceptualizing, planning, and executing the design of physical spaces. It brings together art, furniture, lighting, and function to create spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing to the client. Interior design necessitates expertise in a variety of disciplines, including:

  • Construction, graphic design, architecture, safety concerns, and building codes are some of the topics covered.

Some jurisdictions require a specific level of education and work experience before a person may claim the title of “interior designer.” The completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited interior design program, as well as several years of relevant work experience, are frequently required. Candidates must also pass a certification exam, such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, in order to be considered for the position. Some interior designers may pursue certifications in design specializations, such as architecture or interior design.

  • Commercial architecture design
  • Cultural or global design
  • Design of healthcare facilities
  • Self-awareness
  • Environmentally friendly construction and design
  • Universal design

Interior design projects can be found in the following areas if you work as an interior designer:

  • Habitations
  • Residential complexes and common areas, including apartment complexes and assisted living facilities
  • Healthcare institutions and facilities for the elderly
  • Restaurants
  • Corporations

The following are some of the abilities that are beneficial for an interior design career:

  • Knowledge of physics: Interior designers use physics principles to plan spatial designs and determine how elements will work together harmoniously. Creativity: Interior designers frequently add novel materials, features, and design aspects that are not commonly seen in other spaces. Skills in the arts: As an interior designer, artistic abilities such as sketching, drawing, and painting can assist you in the creation of renderings and blueprints. Using a computer: Many interior design programs educate students how to use computer-assisted design technologies. Visualization: Being able to envision a finished area from the beginning of a project may assist designers in planning and budgeting more successfully.

13 jobs you can do with an interior design degree

Here are 13 occupations that you may pursue with an interior design degree:

1.Retail sales associate

25563 The average hourly wage in the United States is $12.29. The following are the primary responsibilities: Retail sales associates are individuals who work in retail establishments to offer things to consumers. They should be able to communicate effectively and provide excellent customer service, as well as be educated about the company’s products. Retail sales personnel may be eligible to receive a commission on top of their normal earnings. More information may be found at: Discover What It Takes to Be a Retail Sales Associate

2.Retail merchandiser

27976 The national average hourly wage is $13.45 per hour. Primary responsibilities:Merchandisers are in charge of the physical arrangement of merchandise at a retail establishment. When it comes to placing goods, décor, and signs in business areas, they rely on market research, psychology, and brand aesthetics. More information may be found at: Learn Everything You Need to Know About Being a Merchandiser

3.Production designer

The average pay in the United States is $30,291 per year. Primary responsibilities: Production designers are in charge of the visual components of a theater production, a film, or a television show. Lighting, camera angles, props, costumes, and locations are all discussed with them.

4.Floral designer

The national average hourly wage is $14.04 per hour. Primary responsibilities: Floral designers, commonly known as florists, are responsible for creating bouquets and other arrangements using fresh and artificial flowers and plants.

They might operate their own retail establishments or work as worksite employees for other companies. They create custom works for people, companies, and special occasions, among other things.

5.Graphic designer

$44397 The average salary in the United States is $3,344 per month. The following are the primary responsibilities: Graphic designers use design tools to generate pictures, logos, and other visual arts for use by businesses and other institutions. Alternatively, they could work as an employee in a marketing department or as a contractor. Advertisements, websites, direct mail pieces, and billboards are all examples of the work that they do. More information may be found at: Learn Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Graphic Designer

6.Fashion designer

$46734 The average pay in the United States is $3,520 per month. Fashion designers’ primary responsibilities include creating apparel, shoes, and accessories for fashion companies and other firms. They research fabrics and other materials, create pieces, take part in fashion shows, and collaborate with models and influencers in order to raise awareness of the brand’s existence.

7.Lighting consultant

The average pay in the United States is $53,802 per year. Lighting consultants’ primary responsibilities include designing lighting solutions for both residential and commercial environments. These professionals may collaborate with interior design companies, architects, and real estate developers. Lighting experts are knowledgeable with electrical installation, building requirements, and the various types of lighting solutions available.

8.Kitchen and bath designer

The average salary in the United States is $55,574 per year. Chefs and bath designers create functional, code-compliant kitchens and bathrooms for residential and commercial buildings. Primary responsibilities include: They should be familiar with building codes, basic contracting, and plumbing, and they should be able to work within a budget.

9.Interior designer

55987 The average pay in the United States is $4,217 per month. The following are the primary responsibilities: Interior designers collaborate with businesses and individuals to design and decorate interior spaces in both residential and commercial settings. They are well-versed in construction, architecture, lighting, and building codes, and they must be cognizant of their own and their company’s aesthetics. It is required in certain places that interior designers be accredited before they may use the title “interior designer.” More information may be found at: Learn Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Interior Designer

10.Design consultant

The average pay in the United States is $65,769 per year. Design consultants frequently collaborate with merchants, fashion designers, and interior design organizations on their primary responsibilities. The advice they provide on product creation, such as furniture and home décor lines, as well as residential and commercial design, may fall under this category.

11.Associate designer

The average pay in the United States is $67,436 per year. Associate designers’ primary responsibilities are to assist lead designers with design initiatives. They may assist in sourcing materials, communicating with clients, taking notes during meetings, and keeping track of costs.

12.Art director

The average pay in the United States is $75,379 per year. Among their responsibilities are the selection of visual components to be utilized in brand items and other things, which is their primary responsibility. These professionals can collaborate with advertising agency, marketing agencies, and production organizations.

Art directors oversee the work of other team members that are involved in a project, such as graphic designers, writers, and editors. More information may be found at: Learn Everything You Need to Know About Being an Art Director

13.Design manager

The average pay in the United States is $79,191 per year. Design managers are responsible for supervising the members of the design team who are assigned to different phases of a design project. Other designers, artists, and administrative staff may be included in this category. Design managers guarantee that critical project milestones are fulfilled, that the project is completed on schedule, and that the job is completed within budget.

What can I do with an interior design degree?

If you pursue an interior design degree, you will be equipped with the unique creative and technical abilities that you will need to be successful in the area.

Job options

The following are examples of jobs that are directly related to your degree:

  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Exhibition designer
  • Production designer for theater, television, and cinema
  • Visual merchandiser
  • And more.

The following are examples of jobs where your degree may be useful:

  • Architecture
  • Architectural technologist
  • Estate manager
  • Furniture designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Product designer
  • Stylist
  • Textile designer
  • All of these positions are available.

Architecture; architectural technologist; estate manager; furniture designer; graphic designer; product designer; stylist; textile designer; interior designer; landscape designer;

Work experience

Obtaining relevant job experience demonstrates to potential employers that you are capable of using your skills and knowledge in a professional setting. The fact that you are aggressive, driven, and devoted to a career in this profession is also demonstrated. Businesses that you are interested in working with, such as interior design and architectural firms, design consultancies, construction companies, visual merchandising departments, and theaters, should be contacted to see if you are interested in doing a placement with them.

For example, working as a shop assistant may help you get more understanding of the retail business while also allowing you to establish contacts with the visual merchandising team.

Look into whether or if there are any options to accomplish this through your university, and then take advantage of them.

Typical employers

A prospective interior design employment is any organization that produces living, shopping, or working environments for people. This includes the following:

  • Architectural firms and construction companies
  • Interior design firms
  • Exposition centers and event management firms
  • Design consultancies that provide a broad range of design services
  • Merchants
  • Theatre, television, and film production organizations
  • And other businesses.

You might work for a company or for a consulting firm that provides services to a variety of different customers. Working on a freelance basis is fairly common, though there are some full-time, permanent positions available. Employers in the creative arts and design, real estate and construction, retail, and other job areas may be found on this site.

Skills for your CV

You will get specialised abilities in drawing methods, idea development, computer visualisation, multimedia production, graphic design and model-making if you pursue an interior design degree.

It also provides you with the opportunity to build transferrable skills that are sought after by a variety of employers. Research skills, creative thinking, presentation and communication skills, organizational skills, collaboration, and IT competence are some of the abilities that are required.

Further study

Interior design and architectural visualization are two areas where specialist Masters degrees are available. You could also think about pursuing a Masters degree in a similar topic in order to develop skills that will be useful in another design sector, such as product design, graphic design, or surface design. Training for a vocation outside of the design business, such as teaching, youth work or arts therapy, is an alternative option worth considering. Short company start-up courses offered by universities, local arts centers, and charitable organizations are also beneficial to people considering a career in self-employment.

Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in interior design provide further information on future study as well as a way to identify a course that you are interested in.

What do interior design graduates do?

The majority of interior design graduates who are employed fifteen months after graduation are working as interior designers, accounting for little under two fifths (38 percent) of all interior design graduates. Another group of positions in the top ten is that of computer-aided design (CAD) and architectural technicians; graphic and multimedia designers; architects; marketing associate professionals; design occupations (other than architecture); and business sales executives.

Destinations Percentage
Employed 77.1
Further study 1.4
Working and studying 4.6
Unemployed 11.3
Other 5.6

Interior design internships for recent graduates

Type of work Percentage
Art, design and media 47.5
Retail, catering and customer service 19.3
Engineering 9
Clerical, secretarial and administrative 5.5
Other 18.7

Types of job that are accepted in the United Kingdom Investigate what other graduates are doing following the completion of their degrees in What are the options for graduates? The Higher Education Statistics Agency provides information on graduate destinations.

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10 Best Jobs For Interior Design Majors In 2022 – Zippia

Many people have a difficult difficulty obtaining work shortly after graduating from college. Those who study in Interior Design, on the other hand, are likely to find a plethora of job prospects. Using millions of job postings and 14,445 Interior Design major resumes as a starting point, we were able to determine which positions were the most in-demand for Interior Design majors in the field.

Find Interior Design Major Jobs

Interior designers make interior spaces practical, safe, and attractive by calculating space needs and selecting ornamental things, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They work in cities around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. A blueprint reader must be familiar with building laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards. They must also be familiar with the construction industry. Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes A graphic designer creates visual concepts to communicate ideas to consumers, either through computer software or by hand.

  • In diverse applications such as commercials, brochures, periodicals, and corporate reports, they are responsible for developing the overall layout and production design.
  • They work in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, among others.
  • They must also be familiar with the construction industry.
  • They are based in New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, CA.
  • Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes Interior designers make interior spaces practical, safe, and beautiful by calculating space needs and selecting ornamental objects, such as colors, lighting, and materials.
  • A blueprint reader must be familiar with building laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards.
  • Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.
  • A blueprint reader must be familiar with building laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards.

Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes New York, New York; Houston, Texas; and Dallas, Texas These employees include those who sell retail products such as clothes, furniture, and vehicles (referred to as retail salespeople) and those who sell replacement parts and equipment, particularly automobile components (referred to as automotive component salespersons) (called parts salespersons).

  • Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes Material recording clerks are responsible for keeping track of product information in order to keep firms and supply chains running on time.
  • Overview.Jobs.Salaries.Resumes Interior designers make interior spaces practical, safe, and beautiful by calculating space needs and selecting ornamental things, such as colors, lighting, and materials.
  • A blueprint reader must be familiar with building laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards.
  • Overview.Jobs Resumes A Visual Merchandiser designs eye-catching visual displays and marketing techniques to promote retail brands, products, and services in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, among other cities.

It is their responsibility to perform research on current and future trends in design and lifestyle, update designs, and present them in collaboration with assistant merchandisers. Overview. Jobs.Salaries.Resumes

What can you do with an Interior Design Degree?

If you are the type of person who prefers to have a strategy rather than applying for jobs at random, you have come to the perfect spot. It may be of assistance to know that we have produced a job path map for Interior Design majors to utilize in order to discover career possibilities that they may not have considered previously. The map is a useful tool for discovering the different job paths available to you based on your major.

Interior Design Major Jobs

As with other aspects, picking the appropriate industry for Interior Design majors may have a significant impact on their earnings. You will get the greatest average pay working for a firm in the Telecommunications industry, where the average compensation is $85,250. If money is your motivation, you will earn the highest average salary working for a company in the Telecommunications industry. However, if you work in the Professional industry, you can expect to earn an average income of $50,970 a year.

Entry Level Jobs For Interior Design Majors

Inform us of your objectives, and we will match you with the appropriate positions to help you achieve them.

Interior Design Internships

Interior design jobs are in extremely high demand, and many people want to pursue them. Business, restaurants, and offices may change their appearance to attract new clients or prospects; individuals and families hire interior designers to help them come up with new ideas in old spaces, flip an existing space to sell, or to help them design their dream home. The market for this work is growing for a variety of reasons. Among other things, knowing color theory, keeping up with emerging design trends, and working with various different textiles and materials are all important aspects of an interior designer’s professional responsibilities.

Is Interior Design a Good Career?

Is interior design a rewarding profession? That depends on your personality; do you enjoy organizing things, creating looks, and making your clients’ fantasies come true? The interior design job description is diverse; some interior designers work solely in the domestic sector, while others work for restaurants or commercial customers such as hotels and retail establishments, among others. Once an Interior Designer has obtained his or her CIDA certification and online interior design degree, the next step is to identify the most appropriate interior design employment that match their area of expertise.

Furniture designer, exhibition designer, kitchen designer, and lighting designer are the top four job prospects for an interior designer, according to Glassdoor.

What Can I Do with an Interior Design Degree?: Interior Design Careers

Furniture designers, like those in other interior design professions, have a variety of tasks to do, ranging from designing and planning to producing models and prototypes. It is possible that their clientele be single individuals or a group of suppliers for a single organization. A large part of their employment entails designing bespoke furniture to best match a certain area in a home for everyday usage, a showroom to emphasize or complement a product, or an office setting.

Many furniture designers have a strong understanding of architecture, craftsmanship, and carpentry design principles and techniques. They work with a variety of materials such as wood, metal, fabrics, and textiles.

Kitchen Designers

It is the kitchen designer’s responsibility to ensure the beauty and practicality of the area. It is possible that they will collaborate with general contractors or architectural designers to develop a specific floor plan. It is necessary for kitchen designers to understand functional details such as kitchen temperatures of the items being used, equipment maintenance requirements, and replacement procedures for kitchen appliances. Also necessary is the ability to strike a balance between the design and utility of the things that they propose to their customers.

Lighting Designers

The responsibility of a lighting designer is to ensure that sufficient illumination is present throughout the area or place in issue. Working with an electrician or having knowledge of basic wiring is required; this is one of those interior design occupations that requires a significant amount of scientific knowledge. It is essential to be familiar with schematic designs as well as ornamental goods such as lighting fixtures, shades, and luminaries. It is extremely essential that you are familiar with all of the different forms of lighting.

Exhibition Designer

Exhibition designers are interior designers who work in museums, libraries, galleries, and historical institutions. They are also known as exhibition designers. These designers are increasingly being called upon to work in retail stores and boutiques, where they create situations that best demonstrate the products they are promoting. The arrangement of a certain exhibit or the creation of a specific theme for the show and their customer are some of the tasks they carry out. The exhibition designer is in charge of putting together and installing the equipment for the show or exhibition.

A working knowledge of modular stand designs as well as 3D imaging is required.

It is possible that the exhibition designers will also serve as floor management operators, recording information about “traffic” around the exhibits.

Interior Designer Qualifications

Interior designers are concerned not just with the aesthetics of a space, but also with its functionality. On rare occasions, designers from various specialities would come together to collaborate on a single project. So, is interior design a worthwhile profession? Yes, provided you possess the fundamental talents and interior designer credentials required: according to the interior design job description, creativity, a passion for design, and the ability to see the big picture are all required.

Although interior designer credentials do not often require formal schooling, it is required to complete a formal education in order to gain certification in interior design.

Certification is also essential for obtaining the maximum possible wage in the interior design field. Interior design employment, on the other hand, might be more than worth the effort if you enjoy the creative process.

What Does a Career In Interior Design Look Like?

By combining architectural skills with a sharp business sense, interior designers can create stunning and useful indoor environments that are both beautiful and functional. In what way is interior design different from other types of design, and what do interior designers accomplish differently? This article provides answers to these two questions as well as information on how to pursue a career as an interior designer. We also go into the educational qualifications, job experience, and licensing that are required to become an interior designer in this section of the course.

The field necessitates a high level of inventiveness and an appreciation of the arts.

What Is Interior Design?

Interior design influences how people interact with a variety of locations, including homes, companies, and hospitals. Interior designers are responsible for the selection of furnishings, lighting arrangements, and layouts for interior environments. Interior designers, as opposed to interior decorators, take the entire space into consideration when designing a space, and they incorporate architectural features into their designs. And, in contrast to architects, who design the construction of structures, interior designers are concerned with the appearance and feel of a space.

What Do Interior Designers Do?

Interior designers collaborate closely with their clients to produce functional and aesthetically pleasing indoor environments. They study plans and adhere to architectural rules in order to create warm and inviting rooms. In addition to selecting the color scheme for a home or structure, interior designers must also calculate the lighting requirements and pick furnishings. During the initial phase of a project, interior designers interact with customers in order to better understand their requirements.

Following the approval of a design, these artistic specialists begin sourcing materials such as flooring, wall finishes, furniture, and other fittings.

Interior designers make it a point to finish their projects within severe schedule and financial constraints.

Where Do Interior Designers Work?

Interior designers operate in a variety of settings, including design firms, architectural offices, and their own businesses. Some interior designers work in the wholesale trade or in furniture stores in addition to their design work. The designer’s work environment has an impact on his or her schedule and responsibilities. Freelance interior designers work on their own schedules, but they must also find clientele to work with. Designers who are employed by a design firm enjoy greater job security and predictability.

Interior designers frequently travel as part of their job, in part because they work so closely with their clients and spend so much time sourcing unique furnishings. In order to meet with clients, the career may also necessitate working evenings and weekends.


In addition to working for design firms and architectural offices, interior designers also run their own businesses. The wholesale trade and furniture stores are two places where some interior designers work as well. The designer’s timetable and duties are influenced by the work environment. The hours of independent interior designers are flexible, but they must also find new clientele. Stability is an advantage for designers who are engaged by a design business. During their design process, many interior designers work from offices while also visiting clients’ homes or businesses.

Evening and weekend hours may be required to meet with customers in this profession.

Soft Skills

  • Communication, creativity, innovation, meticulousness, time management, and organization are all important.

Hard Skills

  • Problem-solving skills, visualization, computer-aided design (CAD), color theory, and budgeting are all important.

Featured Online Programs

Prospective interior designers who are interested in learning how to become an interior designer can begin by reading this step-by-step tutorial. Each step along the way, from receiving a degree to acquiring job experience to passing an interior design test, brings applicants closer to achieving their goal of becoming an interior designer.

See also:  How Much Do Interior Designers Make

1.Earn a Degree

A bachelor’s degree in interior design provides students with training in architecture, design theory, and business. In addition to materials and textiles, interior design programs educate students to color palettes and lighting as well as furniture. Bachelor’s degrees are often required for interior designers. Certificates, on the other hand, can also prepare graduates for professions in the interior design field. Candidates who hold a certificate will be required to gain extra work experience in order to qualify for a license.

Students should receive a certificate or degree in interior design from a program that has been accredited.

2.Gain Professional Experience

Candidates must first have relevant professional experience before pursuing a career as an interior designer. Work experience in interior design should be completed under supervision in order for students to start accruing work hours that will contribute toward their license and certification requirements. The amount of work experience required varies based on the student’s educational background. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in interior design or a bachelor’s degree in another subject combined with an interior design certificate are required to have at least two years of full-time job experience before taking the National Council for Interior Design Certification (NCIDQ) test.

3.Pass the NCIDQ Exam

The majority of interior designers must pass an exam in order to qualify for a state license and to become certified as an interior designer. The NCIDQ exam assesses applicants’ knowledge of design creation, bidding, and project completion procedures. In some areas, only applicants who pass the National Council of Interior Designers (NCIDQ) test are permitted to use the term Interior Designer.

The requirements differ from one state to the next. Instead than using the NCIDQ test, California needs a separate type of examination. As a result, interior designers should conduct study about the regulations in their respective jurisdictions.

4.Build a Design Portfolio

A solid design portfolio is required in order to land a job as an interior designer. The majority of designers begin their careers as students. During their time in an interior design degree, students build up their portfolio by completing projects and assignments. A designer’s perspective and approach to interior design should be communicated to potential employers or clients through their portfolio. A vision may be brought to life through sketches, moodboards, and photographs. Throughout their careers, interior designers continue to build their portfolios of completed projects.

5.Get Hired or Start Your Own Firm

Interior designers work in a wide range of environments. Around 27 percent of the workforce is employed by specialized design services, with another 20 percent employed by architectural or engineering organizations. Finally, 22% go on to establish their own company and work as self-employed graphic designers. Each job choice has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Interior designers who establish their own businesses benefit from the freedom that comes with it, but the journey can be difficult due to the unpredictable nature of the work.

Interior designers, no matter where they choose to work, must network in order to advance their careers.

Things to Know Before Becoming an Interior Designer

Interior design is something that many people are interested in. But, what should you be aware of before choosing a profession in the field of interior design? Consider the following subjects as you learn about how to become an interior designer in your study. The ideal lighting, furniture, and color palette for a place may be determined by an interior designer after taking a look at the area. While programs teach students to think critically about settings, students’ innate abilities play a significant impact in their success.

  1. Interior designers and decorators have significant overlap in their work.
  2. Rooms are furnished in a fashionable manner by interior designers.
  3. What is the definition of interior design?
  4. Interior designers need to have excellent architectural and commercial capabilities in addition to their creative abilities.
  5. Interior design programs assist students in developing these abilities.

Interior Designer Salary Information

Careers in the arts and design can provide a variety of financial opportunities. Interior designers earn salaries that are at the lower end of the art and design pay scale.

Interior designers, on the other hand, can raise their earnings as they get more expertise and pursue speciality qualifications. Interior design wages are also influenced by factors such as location and industry.

Career Median Annual Salary (2020)
Art Directors $97,270
Architects $82,320
Landscape Architects $70,630
Drafters $57,960
Interior Designers $57,060


Interior Designer Professional Organizations

IDS is a trade association that represents home interior designers. The society provides tools for professional growth, as well as information on educational programs and job advertisements, among other things. In addition, the Interior Design Society grants scholarships to interior design students. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) encourages interior designers to broaden their knowledge and network with one another. The society encourages education and information acquisition in order to advance the profession.

IIDA has approximately 15,000 members in almost 60 countries, according to its website.

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) offers a student membership that connects students with professional development opportunities.

Sites such as the association’s website provide information on showrooms, designers, and professional lighting experts, among other things.

Ask an Interior Design Expert

The interior designs of Victoria Sanchez, one of America’s most celebrated interior designers, have been created for hundreds of high-profile clientele over the past three decades. Sanchez, who has been dubbed a “style maker” in the world of home décor by Luxe magazine, is an award-winning designer who provides a wide range of services, from project management and space planning to kitchen and bath design and furniture selection. They are supported by the region’s top contractors, painters, architects, kitchen and bath professionals, flooring specialists, audio-visual specialists, and other professionals in the field of construction.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your career?

When we unveil a project to a customer, I’ve been known to shed a few tears of happiness with them. Being able to watch clients beaming with delight and witnessing the moment when everything comes together is the most satisfying element of completing a job. Customers with whom I cry happy tears are the same customers with whom I attend graduation parties, family birthday celebrations, and even go on vacations with. Have a business that transforms customers into friends is a blessing that keeps on giving!

What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

In this industry, the most difficult aspect is educating clients on not only the design process, but also on why every designer has a different fee method, procurement process, and other factors that differ from one another.

It is difficult for the average consumer to comprehend why pricing is so erratic and why everyone appears to have such a diverse range of business plans. It’s a stumbling block that can certainly be overcome, but it gives the impression that our industry is disorganized.

What type of person is successful in an interior design career? What type of person may not be the best fit?

It is necessary to have a business background and a degree in interior design from a recognized institution in order to be considered a successful designer. Like most industries, a designer’s job is to anticipate and respond to what customers want and need. Not just the type of sofa or table, but also contracts, obligations, resources, price, and other factors to consider. When it comes to interior design, the old adage “the devil is in the details” is certainly true! This is not the company for someone who is looking forward to beautiful textiles and wallpapers, as well as just positive responses from their clientele.

What’s a typical day for an interior designer? What tasks do you typically work on?

A regular day is never the same as the previous one. As I have previously stated to students, interior design is composed of 20% design and 80% administration. I like to spend the majority of my time working directly with customers, visiting sites, and defining products, but I also spend a significant amount of time dealing with my vendors to iron out special details, negotiate price, and other issues.

What kind of hours do you keep?

We typically work from 9 to 5, or later if we have a deadline to meet. As the company’s owner and main designer, I will also put in a half-day on Saturdays and Sundays when the office is closed to complete a project or complete other responsibilities.

Who are your co-workers?

Here in Santa Fe, I have an assistant designer who has a degree in architecture and is well-versed not only in computer-aided design (CAD), but also in finishing and space planning, which is quite beneficial while working on building projects. In addition, I have a project manager who ensures that proposals, purchase orders, and invoices are processed on time, as well as accounting and bookkeeping. We are now on the lookout for a new design assistant, however it should go without saying that hiring has been difficult in the last year.

What knowledge do you utilize?

On a daily basis, I put my diplomatic abilities to good use! It doesn’t matter if it’s with a client, a vendor, or your own employees. One of the most essential things in my toolbelt is the network of contacts I have built over the course of my decades in this field. Because of this, we are able to complete tasks and fulfill deadlines, among other things. Trying to run a successful business with only a phone is a very different scenario than trying to run a successful business with personal relationships.

If the ideas don’t translate into money, there isn’t much use in having a business.

Since becoming an interior designer, has there been anything about the role that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

A great deal of practical information exists in many areas that is not taught in schools, and this is especially true in the sciences. This, I believe, is a significant challenge that interior design curriculums should pay close attention to. Instead of a single design curriculum that applies to all situations, I propose that three should be offered: residential, commercial, and technical presentation. As a result, each student will have the opportunity to take courses in marketing, business law, accounting for business, and so on.

It is my belief that if we can place more emphasis on the business side of the profession, we will graduate more business-minded designers, who will in turn help more designers to be successful in the industry.

Common Questions About Interior Designer Education Paths

The majority of interior designers have a bachelor’s degree and have received training in either design or architecture. In addition, several jurisdictions demand an interior design license in order to practice as an interior designer.

How Do I Start My Career in Interior Design?

Many interior designers begin their careers by pursuing a degree in interior design from an accredited institution. These programs instruct students in color theory, lighting, computer-aided design, and interior design aesthetics, among other subjects.

Do Interior Designers Get Paid Well?

Interior designers receive a compensation that is significantly more than the national average. Locale, industry, and level of experience all influence how much you get paid. Interior designers who work in architectural services, for example, earn far more than those who engage in wholesale commerce or retail.

Can You Be a Self-Taught Interior Designer?

Yes, interior designers may learn their trade on their own. Many states, on the other hand, require a college degree in order to become a licensed interior designer. A Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University has been awarded to Genevieve Carlton. Following her doctorate in early modern European history, Carlton worked as an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville, where she developed new courses on the history of science, Renaissance Italy and the Salem Witch Trials, among other topics of interest.

In addition, she was awarded tenure by a unanimous vote before being transferred to Seattle.

Learn more, do more.

By determining space requirements and selecting decorative items such as colors, lighting, and materials, interior designers help to make interior spaces more functional, safe, and beautiful. 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 typically 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 up. 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.
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In order to design interior spaces that will function properly and look attractively, interior designers collaborate closely with architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers and other construction laborers and helpers 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 draft preliminary design documents that range from simple sketches to detailed construction documents complete with schedules and attachments. The following are some examples of the different sorts of interior designers available:

Alternative Jobs With an Interior Design Degree

The capacity to express oneself creatively and artistically are two qualities required to work as an interior designer. Both of these talents can transfer readily into other occupations if you have a degree in interior design but are seeking for alternative interior design employment prospects. Having a foundation of fundamental skills in your toolkit allows designers to move beyond the traditional role of designing home interiors to work in corporate environments, marketing companies, the real estate industry, or to specialize in a particular area of the business that meets specialized needs.

Learn Basic Design Skills

Whatever expertise you pick, you will need to initially learn the fundamentals of interior design before moving on to more advanced topics. While obtaining a degree is not required in every case, many organizations would prefer designers who have a bachelor’s degree or, at the absolute least, have taken some formal interior design classes prior to starting their careers. Among the course topics that should be covered are:

  • The history of building types and design styles
  • Drawing and the usage of CAD (computer-aided drawing)
  • And modern architecture are all topics covered in this course. The Color Theory of Things
  • What is the best way to integrate textiles and fabrics? Furniture, art, and decor
  • Lighting
  • The business of interior design (working with customers and establishing a portfolio)
  • And other topics.

In some states, such as California, you may be required to get certification in order to operate as a licensed interior designer in your state of residency. If you want to call yourself a “interior designer” in a state that requires license, you will almost certainly need to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) test. It is possible that you may need to take extra courses in order to work in a specialized sector if you select one of the numerous alternative occupations for interior designers.

Interior Designer Job Description

Several fundamental responsibilities lie within the purview of an interior designer’s job description, and many of these responsibilities will move into related fields. The following are the most important responsibilities:

  • Assisting the customer in determining their objectives and requirements
  • Developing a vision for their place. Prepare floor layouts and give samples of furniture, textiles, and colors, among other things. Create a project timeline and cost estimates for the project
  • Place an order for materials
  • Collaborate with contractors to finish the construction of walls, plumbing, electrical outlets, and other features
  • Decorate the space with design elements and accessories. Ascertain if the client is satisfied with the project’s outcome.

In general, no matter the exact profession you select, the abilities of vision formulation, design, materials procurement, project management, and client interactions will all be required. In reality, several interior designers begin their careers as generalists before discovering a passion for a certain area of speciality and making the switch to that area of specialty.

Stage Homes for Sale

Staging homes for sale is a niche specialty that can be developed within the interior design industry. Professional home stagers can assist homeowners in obtaining the highest possible price for their properties when they put them on the market, which can help them achieve their financial goals. Instruction in decluttering, arranging furniture in an appealing manner, and decorating the home to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere often results in homes selling not only faster, but also for a higher price than they were originally listed for.

It is also possible that home staging pros will propose and participate in small aesthetic repairs to the home or improvements to the front of the home in order to maximize curb appeal.

Design Exhibitions or Store Displays

In the retail industry, where creative abilities are used to advertise items or services to consumers, there may be additional interior design job prospects. A designer with great creative and sketching abilities may discover their vocation as an exhibition space designer or as a designer of retail displays and displays. If you have ever visited a specialist conference, it is probable that you have seen the enormous, vibrant displays that are shown at each and every business booth. Each aspect has been meticulously created to transmit a corporate message and encourage people to purchase items from a certain company.

Through sophisticated and frequently interactive displays that use interior design, architecture, visual and sensory aids, multimedia, and 3D pictures, businesses deliver their message to their target audience.

Design Showroom or Museum Lighting

On a similar vein, an exhibition designer may choose to specialize in a particular area of lighting design. A lighting designer will have the knowledge and experience to understand the many types of lights available and how to effectively utilize them to improve a showroom or exhibit. In addition, they understand the varied moods that different types of bulbs and fixtures may produce, how to wire an exhibit to code, and how to strategically arrange light fixtures to increase visibility while complementing each piece inside a display exhibition.

Working in a retail showroom generating floor displays, providing lighting for shows in museums, or even developing lighting modifications for an outdoor location are all possibilities in this sector.

Head Outdoors as a Landscape Design Architect

In spite of the fact that interior designers, by definition, are concerned with improving indoor living spaces, some of the most recent trends in design involve extending living rooms to the exterior of the home. Because of this, interior design career opportunities are expanding to include assisting homeowners and businesses in creating beautiful outdoor living and working environments. In addition to applying principles of aesthetics and color to the design of seating areas and water features, terraced lawns and gardens, lighted decks and gazebos, as well as the construction of outdoor kitchen and dining areas, designers can also create outdoor kitchens and dining areas.

Specialize in Corporate or Healthcare Spaces

Another area of specialty for interior designers is the creation of business environments. Corporate office buildings, major retail venues such as malls, healthcare facilities, and physicians’ offices are all examples of projects that fall under this category. Creating comfortable waiting rooms in the lobby or communal areas on each floor of a corporate office building may set the tone for the entire complex, according to the designer. These individuals may be in responsible of selecting carpets, elevator décor, artwork in the lobby, and the design of the signage displayed around the building.

Desks that are strategically situated and have easy access to electrical outlets, well-lit workstations, conference rooms with wiring that can support technological demands, and pleasant break rooms are all examples of what might fall under the purview of prospective design obligations.

Designers might concentrate on providing a serene environment in which patients can get treatment. It is necessary to include provisions for medical equipment as well as furnishings that give the facility a homey feel.

Design Sustainable Living and Work Spaces

As far as design trends are concerned, it is becoming increasingly fashionable to construct environmentally friendly buildings and spaces by employing environmentally friendly materials. Designers working in this industry strive to include environmentally friendly materials and design aspects into their construction projects wherever possible. Facilities could feature the latest in energy efficient lighting, cork or recycled-material flooring, and plant installations that help to improve air quality while also increasing the utilization of natural light and ventilation.

Design Universal Environments for Accessibility

A career in design that creates accessible environments for disabled people may be a good choice for those who want to go beyond the aesthetics of the design industry and use their creativity to help people in need on a more practical level. Designers who specialize in this field can either design rooms and entire homes from the ground up or renovate existing homes to make them more user-friendly and accessible to everyone. The installation of ramps, railings, and showers is only the beginning of the process.

Restoration and Preservation

A career in restoration and preservation may be of interest to designers who have an interest in historic structures and architecture. In order to prevent deterioration or demolition of historic buildings, they must be renovated and returned to their original state as soon as possible. Designers must have a strong background in history and architecture, as well as specific knowledge of what constitutes an appropriate representation of each historical period. To make historically accurate replicas, it is vital to have a thorough study of period paint colors, ornamental objects and household commodities, fabric and décor styles from certain periods of history.

It is necessary to follow all applicable government rules while restoring the interiors of historic sites to their original condition.

Some designers may choose to work with private clients who own historic homes and who wish to modernize their living spaces while maintaining the character of the original home as a source of inspiration for their work.

Interior Designer Salary

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the median annual pay for an interior designer in 2018 was $57,000. Between 2018 and 2028, the number of available positions in the field is predicted to increase by four percent.

Employability will be highest for designers that react to customer demands for ecologically friendly environments that are more easily accessible. Other degree holders may find themselves needing to expand their horizons into similar fields.

Interior Designers salary

  • Highest paid 10% earn more than $97,920 ($47.08/hour)
  • Median paid 10% earn $57,060 ($27.43/hour)
  • Lowest paid 10% earn less than $33,020 ($15.88/hour)
  • Average paid 10% earn less than $57,060 ($27.43/hour).

Closely Related Career Opportunities

Those with a degree in interior design may decide to pursue a career in a closely connected profession when their work prospects alter or their passions and interests shift. Some of these changes will be rather straightforward due to the abilities that have already been acquired. A smooth transition into the graphic design profession should be possible, for example, because designers must be skilled at sketching as well as possess a solid understanding of design and layout principles. Those who have a strong interest in art might pursue a career as a craft artist or as a multimedia animator, for example.

Additional courses in painting or computer programming may be required, but many of the core abilities required for these occupations have already been gained and developed by the individual in question.

A new set of design abilities will need to be learnt and put into practice, but the core design talents that have previously been gained and developed will only help to enrich the new profession.

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