Become interior Designers can create an entire career that blends creativity and utility to serve others. Interior designers create spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical, providing the necessary solutions and functions for clients.
Interior designers can work from architecture firms to furniture stores, and in the US, about one-third of them are self-employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in the interior design industry was approximately $ 61,000 as of May 2019. With improvements on house construction and enhancements, interior designers will not fall short on projects.
Interior design is the space plan. It is the layout and arrangement of rooms in homes, hotels, office buildings, restaurants and other businesses. Due to the broad scope of their business, interior designers can have a wide range of clients, including large real estate developers, corporate businesses, and individual home owners.
As of May 2019, there were about 78,000 interior designers in the US, but the BLS estimated that employment in the profession would decline by 5% from 2019 to 2029.
Interior designers perform a variety of tasks daily. They sketch the layout of the room, calculate the cost and establish the project deadline. Interior designers make many decisions about space, color schemes, furniture styles, and appropriate materials. Throughout the life of a project, interior designers continuously communicate with their clients to ensure that they are addressing their needs for safe, attractive and functional interiors.
While they spend their days largely on site and on projects, self-employed interior designers also devote substantial time and resources to marketing. This includes creating and maintaining a website that showcases their work. Whether or not working for themselves, interior designers often have to bid for projects, especially large-scale commercial ones, outlining their vision for the interior and the expenses associated with design.
Interior designers require both soft and hard skills. They must be proficient with various design tools. While computers have eliminated the need to create layouts by hand, an artistic bent can help interior designers quickly sketch their plans for a client. In general, interior designers are creative with an innate sense of aesthetics, color and texture.
Interior designers are also general managers who have acumen to oversee people, develop and follow budgets, and move projects forward. In order to manage both their clients and projects, interior designers need to possess interpersonal and communication skills. Such talents also work in networking and are in search of assignments.
In addition, most interior designers are specialists. For example, some designs only kitchen. Others work exclusively in restaurants. Because of that, interior designers need to understand how spaces function in different industries. An interior designer exits a dining establishment, for example, needs to know the specific flow of a restaurant, including how food is prepared and served.
In addition to mastering their design and people skills, interior designers require training in building codes, construction and local laws. While most states allow interior designers to work in residential locations without a license, some issue licenses for projects in commercial buildings. While not always required, state registration and certificates open the door to more lucrative work. Even when interior designers work with homeowners, a certification can instill a sense of confidence and trust for customers.
The industry’s gold-standard certification, which many states require from registered interior designers, is undergoing a three-part National Council for Interior Design Qualification or NCIDQ exam. To take the exam, interior designers require an interior design or architecture degree, as well as at least two years of professional experience. Students completing their final year of study toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree who do not have the necessary work experience may take the test fundamentals.
How long does it take to become an interior designer?
Depending on what degree an interior designer has, the career path can take at least two years, the time required to obtain an associate’s degree in interior design. Interior designers with associate degrees require a minimum of three years of full-time work experience if they choose to take the NCIDQ exam and get certified. With whom Bachelor Degree – Which usually takes four years – Two years of experience is required to qualify for the exam. As a result, it can take five to six years for formal study and on-the-job learning to become a certified interior designer.
Interior Designers vs. Interior Decorators: What’s the Difference?
While the titles of interior designer and interior decorator are often used interchangeably, the two professions are different. In short, interior designers can make decorations, but interior decorators cannot design. Interior decorators pick up furniture, flooring, lighting and textures for a room. Interior designers do all of this, but they can also design – indeed – space.
Interior designers often work together with developers and architects to shape a building, for example, participating in decisions about the curvature of walls or the height of the roof. Unlike interior decorators, interior designers consider building codes, fire safety, accessibility and aesthetics, among other things.
In addition, interior designers have theoretical and research knowledge about human behavior and design, which guides them in building functional, safe and inclusive interiors. His special skills stem from formal study, training, and experience that interior decorators do not have. Interior designers may have to take the NCIDQ exam to practice in some states. Interior decorators do not require a license.
What tools and software does the interior designer need?
While the ability to draw interiors by hand is a useful talent for interior designers, proficiency in computer aided design, or CAD, is a modern one. CAD allows interior designers to branch out their ideas in 2D and 3D models such as textures and colors. Augmented reality devices take this capability a step further, which allows interior designers to directly apply changes and enhancements to the uploaded image of the space.
In addition to design tools, interior designers must have a sound understanding on workflow and project management software. Those who conduct their business may have to use online payroll applications and content-creation platforms to promote their practice.
The average salary for an interior designer was around $ 61,000 as of May 2019. According to the BLS, the lowest-earning 10% spent an average of about $ 32,000 and the top 10% spent an average of $ 96,000. Salary varies by location. For example, a midcoker interior designer in Houston can earn 5,000 to $ 10,000 less than an equivalent based in New York City. The average salary in the industry’s top-paying states of Rhode Island, California and Arizona is $ 70,000.
Becoming an interior designer usually takes several steps, which may include obtaining a degree or diploma, learning specialized software, and obtaining a license. For self-employed interior designers, a successful career also requires determined self-promotion. Establishing a practice can be daunting at first, it provides interior designers with the freedom to pursue their unique interests in the industry. However, working for an established firm will help internal designers to establish their credibility and tap the company’s reputation to gain customers.
Study, get a degree (or not)
Interior designers require at least an associate degree to be registered. Getting a degree teaches them the basics about construction, design theory and history, communication and business. Designers can also learn a variety of business tools, such as CAD, independently through online courses. Some universities also offer self-paced interior design certificates to help students enter the field.
Get recognized / certified and work experience
While most states offer certifications for interior designers, a handful require licenses for work in code-based settings, which typically means large-scale commercial projects. The best way for interior designers to validate their skills is the NCIDQ exam. The exam consists of three parts – Fundamental, or IDFX; Professional, or IDPX; And Practicum, or PRAC. Overall, the exam evaluates an individual’s understanding of a textbook and experience in interior design.
Get an internship or small jobs to get started
The best way to get a start is to find an interior design internship, which will help aspiring professionals better understand the daily duties of the business. Even a small job for a relative or friend can provide a beneficial experience for young interior designers.
Develop Your Interior Design Portfolio
Internships or small jobs are also opportunities to compete for full-time jobs and to create interior design portfolios to showcase to clients. A great portfolio should showcase the designer’s eye for aesthetics and functionality, which are often difficult to balance. This sketch should also reveal the designer’s process along with the mood board and, if possible, images of the completed project. Projects showcasing an idea of color and light stand out, as these aspects of interior design can be particularly difficult.
Network and Establish Your Niche
Like any other profession, networking is important. There are many professional organizations that can join aspiring interior designer peers to meet, find patrons, and learn. some of them are:
There are also several associations for niche expertise, which can help interior designers focus on specific aspects of their practice and profession, such as lighting and kitchen design, for example. Some of those special organizations include: