Interior designer essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $47,600
- 2012, number of jobs: 40,750
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 19 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Interior designers; what they do:
Interior designers create the tone, mood, and attitude of a location through the decorating choices. Interior designers may design homes, offices, airport terminals, shopping malls, restaurants and other spaces. Interior designers often specialize in one or two specific types of locations.
Interior designer careers include communicating with clients and acquiring a deep understanding of the client’s goals for a particular space. Interior designer careers also involve creating sketches of their ideas for the space, or using computer-aided design software.
An interior designer determines the necessary materials to create a space, such as furnishings, lighting, wall coverings, flooring and artwork. When designing a space interior designers consider the use of the space and assure things remain easily assessable and practical.
Upon completion of a project, an interior designer closely inspects the project, ensures customer satisfaction and makes changes or alterations if needed. Interior designers find work through client recommendations as well as personally finding and bidding on jobs.
Sustainable designers specialize in utilizing energy and water efficient strategies, as well as improving air quality designs. Sustainable designers also specialize in environmentally preferable products. Some sustainable designers become certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Universal designers renovate spaces with the intention of making them more accessible for individuals such as the elderly or those with special needs.
Kitchen and bath designers specialize in cabinets, fixtures, appliances, plumbing and electrical solutions for kitchen and bathroom spaces.
Lighting designers specialize in lighting for homes, businesses, or public spaces.
Closet designers maximize and organize storage and closet spaces.
Interior designers job titles:
- Modern Interior Designer
- Interior Design Coordinator
- Interior Design Consultant
- Interior Design Director
- Certified Kitchen Designer
- Color and Materials Designer
- Commercial Interior Designer
- Decorating Consultant
- Director of Interiors
Interior Designers Education, Certification and License Requirements
An interior designer career or modern interior designer career typically begins with a Bachelor of Interior Design degree or a degree in another field along with interior design classes.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, or the National Kitchen and Bath Association have provided accreditation for most interior design programs.
Interior designer programs cover subjects such as:
- 2 and 3-D Design
- Hue and tint systems
- Computer-aided design
- Overview of interior design
- Modern architecture and design
Interior designers need a license in all states, however requirements vary. Some states require individuals to pass the state-approved National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam before they may use the professional title of ‘interior designer.’
Interior designers may obtain voluntary certification in design specialties, such as kitchen and baths. Professional and trade associations, independent of the NCIDQ licensing exam, provide interior designer certifications.
Interior Designers Job Outlook
Forecast: 19 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for interior designers, about on par with the average for all occupations.
The changing consumer expectations for home and businesses, such as wanting more environmentally sound homes, increases the demand for interior designers. The economy’s health greatly affects the demand for interior designers; fewer people hire an interior designer during an economic downturn.
The highest employment growth for interior designers may occur in the specialized design field.
Interior Designers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $47,600
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $66,330
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $34,910
- Specialized design services
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Furniture and home furnishing stores
- Building material and supplies dealers
- Construction industry