How to Become an Interior Designer

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014


Interiors are redesigned and redecorated to improve appeal and functionality for existing or new occupants. The current state of the economy and slowdown in new building construction means that existing homes and buildings are changing hands and being renovated and repurposed. Specialized professionals — called interior designers — transform working and living spaces.

What does an interior designer do?

Interior designers transform and enhance the aesthetics and function of interior spaces. They concentrate on how color, lighting, texture, finish, art, furniture, windows, and space work with each other to meet the needs and desires of the people occupying a structure.

Interior designers plan and improve the spaces of offices, hospitals, schools, hotels, shopping centers, airports, restaurants, theaters and private homes. They work closely with clients to determine needs, objectives, budget and time frame. Interior designers frequently use computer-aided design (CAD) technology to design sketches and estimate costs. They supervise the implementation of design elements and collaborate with the client to make sure objectives are met.

Interior designers are involved in a variety of tasks from decorating (choosing style, color, and furniture) to architectural detailing (selecting crown molding and providing renovation ideas). Interior designers may specialize in select areas, such as commercial or residential spaces, kitchen and bath, closet or lighting. Click here to find out how to become an interior designer.

What kind of training & skills does an interior designer need?

For most entry-level interior designer jobs, a bachelor degree in interior design is recommended. Two- and three-year certificates or associate degrees may be sufficient for assistant positions. After completion of formal education, interior design graduates may enter apprenticeship programs to gain experience before they take a licensing exam, which is required in several states. Click here for a list of online interior design degree programs.

Graduates of at least a 2-year interior design degree and work experience can qualify for membership in a professional association such as the American Society of Interior Designers. Membership indicates an interior designer’s professional standing and qualifications.

What are the prospects for a career in interior design? Job outlook

Opportunities for jobs in interior design is projected to increase faster than average for all professions, growing 19%, from 72,000 jobs in 2013 to more than 85,000 jobs in 2016. (1)

Interior designer jobs are expected to be good for those with formal education, significant work experience, and familiarity with computer-aided design software. Interior designers with knowledge of environmentally-sensitive (green) designs and ergonomics will also experience favorable job opportunities. Click here to find your path to an interior design career.

Interior designer salary: How much do interior designers make?

As of 2013, the average entry-level interior designer salary ranged between $30,388 and $43,353. The highest 10% of interior designer salaries exceeded $48,779 annually. (2)

For anyone considering how to become an interior designer, this is a great career choice for people who are creative, imaginative, persistent, and have solid technical knowledge. Strong communication, problem solving, and time management skills are also important as well as be able work under deadline pressure and stress. Since the styles and client’s tastes change frequently, interior designers must be able to adapt to change and incorporate new ideas and react to changing trends. Click here to get a list of programs to get your interior designer degree online. 

If you are serious about a career in arts and design, check out our list of the best online graphic design schools.

Becoming an Interior Designer Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an Interior Designer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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