How to Become an Interior Designer

Interior designers work to bring out the best of inside spaces.

They design and furnish homes, shops, restaurants, and offices spaces.

An interior designer’s job is to make a space of a room look great, feel welcoming, and stand out from the crowd.

If you love design, textiles, furniture, and art, then it’s likely that you would want to become an interior designer.

You’ll need to be a creative thinker, as creativity is a must.

You will also need to have good problem solving skills, be organized and also have strong interpersonal skills.

You will need to spend time talking with clients about their needs, and also finding work.

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Being an interior designer is about more than making a space look good.

You’ll also need to be able to read building blueprints, and have a good knowledge of building codes.

Safety is important in the design of buildings and even in the placement and material of furniture.

Education Requirements to Become an Interior Designer

To become an interior designer, you’ll need to complete a four year bachelors degree in interior design.

These days, most design work is done on computers.

While you’re at college, choose electives which give you a good understanding of computer assisted design, or CAD.

Many college students apply for internship programs over their summer break.

These will make a big difference when you are applying for jobs, and will help you to start making contacts in the industry.

If you do any design work while you are at college, take photos and start making a portfolio.

It is also possible to study interior design at a vocation school.

2 and 4 year programs are available.

Some firms also offer apprenticeship programs than run between 1-3 years for those that prefer to learn on the job, or have not completed a bachelors degree.

In most states you will be required to be licensed to work as an interior designer.

You can find state specific information at the NCIDQ website.

NCIDQ also run an internship program that places student designers in work experience programs in some of the most prestigious firms in the country.

Placement in these programs is highly regarded.

Interior Designer Job Description

An interior designer works to put together components of an interior space.

They may work with architects to design building layouts, choose colors schemes, select furniture, and other decor and accessories.

An interior designer must ensure that a room not only looks good, but is also practical, and follows and applicable safety regulations.

Here are some of the tasks of an interior designer:

  • Working with architects to discuss building planning
  • Meeting with clients to discuss design needs
  • Reading blue prints
  • Putting together design ideas and presenting them to clients
  • Sourcing textiles, furniture and accessories
  • Keeping up to date with current trends
  • Ensuring all projects meet safety regulations

Interior Designer Salary and Career Path

Many interior designers start their career out in firms, working with other designers.

Some are employed by builders or architects.

Many interior designers are self-employed, and work on a freelance basis.

Interior designers are employed across the residential and commercial sectors.

Some designers will move on to own their own firms or businesses.

Others will work in specialized areas, such as interior design for residential homes, workplaces, or public buildings.

Some end up working in related fields, such as textiles, or fashion.

The median wage for an interior designer is $45,000 a year.

There is a lot of opportunity to earn well above this though.

The top 10% earn in excess of $80,000.

Those who work as a freelancer, or own their own firms have the potential to make a lot more than those with salary roles.

Those with an interest in design and creative ability will likely enjoy working as an interior designer.

It’s a challenging role, that offers those who do this kind of work a lot of variety.

Employment is stable and growth average, so it’s a good industry to be qualified in.

Interior design can be challenging, and sometimes competitive, but those with a strong work ethic will have no problems.

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