How To Become An Interior Designer

How To Become An Interior Designer

An interior designer designs how a particular space should look and feel. They sketch or use the computer to create visualization for a living, eating or shopping space. They will be manipulating lighting, furniture and other fixtures to make a space functional and aesthetically pleasing.

In this profession, you will talk with various clients to determine what they want to achieve with a particular space. You’ll have the opportunity to sketch the preliminary plan and figure out the materials needed to make the plan come to life. You’ll be collaborating closely with engineers and architects for your projects. You’ll also need to have knowledge of building codes and other regulations to create safe interior spaces.

To become a successful interior designer, you will need to possess a strong sense of proportion and visualization. You want to be able to create a picture in your head of how a space will look like even before the actual work has begun. Artistic ability, attention to detail, creativity and problem-solving skills are all important characteristics that aspiring interior designers need to develop.

Why Become An Interior Designer

Although this career is intertwined with that of architectures and engineers, it will focus more on the design of functional, safe and beautiful living areas and not on the technical aspects of the building and construction of structures.

One of the best reasons for becoming an interior designer is that it gives you the chance to showcase your artistic talent and skill for making bare interior spaces livable. It also pays reasonably well and gives you a chance to work as an independent contractor once you have established yourself in the field.

Interior Designer Work Environment

Interior designers usually work fulltime for industries that provide specialized design services, architectural and engineering firms, furniture stores, merchant wholesalers and construction firms. Their offices are clean and comfortable, equipped with drafting tables and/or computers that are able to produce designs in 2D or 3D.

Part of their work involves visiting clients in the sites where the job needs to be done, such as homes, restaurants or office buildings. They can meet clients in the evenings or weekends depending on the latter’s schedule.

Interior Designer Salary

The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that interior designers received a mean annual wage of $54,200 or a median wage of $23.32 per hour.

Average Interior Designer Salary

Interior Designer Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 District of Columbia $38.92 $80,950
#2 Rhode Island $34.68 $72,130
#3 New York $31.61 $65,760
#4 California $31.22 $64,940
#5 Massachusetts $30.18 $62,780
#6 Connecticut $29.43 $61,220
#7 Alabama $29.34 $61,020
#8 Texas $29.26 $60,850
#9 Missouri $29.20 $60,730
#10 Hawaii $29.05 $60,430
#11 Illinois $28.19 $58,640
#12 Maryland $28.05 $58,350
#13 Washington $28.04 $58,320
#14 Colorado $28.01 $58,260
#15 Wyoming $26.80 $55,740
#16 Minnesota $26.37 $54,850
#17 Kentucky $26.17 $54,430
#18 Oregon $25.47 $52,980
#19 Virginia $25.29 $52,610
#20 Nevada $25.20 $52,410
#21 New Jersey $24.97 $51,930
#22 Arizona $24.65 $51,270
#23 Georgia $24.65 $51,280
#24 Indiana $24.45 $50,850
#25 New Mexico $24.43 $50,820
#26 Michigan $24.35 $50,640
#27 Pennsylvania $24.13 $50,180
#28 Florida $23.60 $49,090
#29 New Hampshire $23.38 $48,630
#30 North Carolina $23.37 $48,620
#31 Ohio $23.37 $48,600
#32 Delaware $23.21 $48,270
#33 North Dakota $23.16 $48,160
#34 South Dakota $23.02 $47,880
#35 Vermont $22.92 $47,680
#36 Alaska $22.77 $47,360
#37 Arkansas $22.21 $46,200
#38 Nebraska $22.03 $45,820
#39 Idaho $21.84 $45,430
#40 South Carolina $21.43 $44,580
#41 Tennessee $21.03 $43,740
#42 Maine $20.69 $43,030
#43 Louisiana $20.69 $43,040
#44 Kansas $20.67 $43,000
#45 West Virginia $20.45 $42,540
#46 Wisconsin $20.36 $42,350
#47 Mississippi $19.87 $41,330
#48 Oklahoma $19.79 $41,160
#49 Iowa $19.37 $40,280
#50 Montana $18.22 $37,890
#51 Puerto Rico $15.98 $33,240

Interior Designer Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the employment rate of interior designers from 2012 to 2022 will grow at 13 percent which is as fast as the average for all job types. The need to have homes and offices to become environmentally-friendly will stimulate the demand for interior designers. The demand for interior designers in the specialized design services industry will even be greater, with a growth rate of 20 percent in that same ten-year period.

There will be more jobs in affluent areas as those who have money are more likely to engage the services of interior designers in their renovation and remodeling projects.

Interior Designer Degree

Interior designers usually hold a bachelor’s degree in interior design or related field with a concentration in interior design. To gain admission to interior design programs, applicants may have to show proof of their artistic ability through sketches and drawings.

Different states have different requirements when it comes to licensing interior designers. There are states where only those who pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam can become registered interior designers.

In California, another test is taken by those who want to become interior designers. It is administered by the California Council for Interior Design Certification. A bachelor’s degree and work experience are required before aspiring interior designers can take these exams.

Interior designers who want to showcase their expertise in a particular field, such as kitchen design, may voluntarily get certification attesting to the fact.

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