Interior Designer Education, Career Paths, and Duties

Those interested in becoming an interior designer may wish to take the time to learn more about the education, career paths, and duties of the field. The following article outlines some of the most important elements of this profession.

Education requirements

Obtaining an education in interior design can give you a jumpstart on your career. While there are a variety of positions in the field, most require a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree can also help, but may not be necessary. In addition, there are some universities that offer self-paced interior design certificates. Depending on your level of interest in the field, you can get a certificate in one of several subjects, including construction, materials, and art.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam is a test that evaluates a candidate’s knowledge of interior design. This certification can be obtained by completing an approved educational program, passing a state-approved exam, and having at least two years of experience. Those with a bachelor’s degree who pass the NCIDQ exam can call themselves registered interior designers.

Work environment

Those who work as interior designers are responsible for creating beautiful and functional indoor spaces. They may also spend part of their day working with contractors and suppliers. They may produce construction documents, drawings, and presentations.

They can work in an office setting or in a home environment. Some may travel to meet with clients. The workday of an interior designer can vary depending on the client and the type of project.

Many interior designers work for corporations or firms. These firms typically have several staff members. Larger firms have over 100 employees. Smaller firms may have only a few designers.

Most interior designers work at least 40 hours a week. Some may work evenings or weekends. They are paid per job or annually. Those who work for large corporations in need of renovated space are usually paid very well.

Common duties

Typically, interior designers work closely with architects, engineers, contractors, and construction laborers to design and create interior spaces. They use their creativity to create a beautiful and functional space.

They plan the layout of a space, and coordinate with many different vendors to obtain the materials needed. They produce construction documents such as construction drawings, blueprints, and specifications. They also coordinate purchase orders, schedules, and deliveries.

They must have an artistic flair, strong interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. They may also need to learn about building codes and inspection regulations. They must have a basic understanding of sustainable design practices, as well as public safety and accessibility standards.

Interior designers often specialize in specific applications, such as residential design or commercial design. They may move into related areas, such as theatre set design or exhibition design. Their day-to-day duties may include creating mood boards and generating 2D or 3D visualizations. They must be careful to choose the right materials, furnishings, and decorative objects to complement the overall aesthetic of the space.

Common certifications

Those who are interested in becoming interior designers can take a variety of certification paths. These options vary by state, and are designed to help those who are seeking entry-level employment or to increase their professional credentials.

The most common pathway for aspiring interior designers in regulated states is to earn a degree. This degree provides access to most national and state certifications. However, there are also voluntary interior design certifications available through trade associations or professional organizations.

To become a Certified Interior Designer, you must meet the minimum educational and professional experience requirements. The certification enables you to validate your credentials with potential clients and employers. Those who have been certified are more likely to find work in a reputable firm.

A master’s or bachelor’s degree is usually necessary for entry into the profession. Candidates are required to have two years of full-time experience, and they will need to complete an examination.

Career paths

Whether you are just beginning your interior design career or are looking for a change, there are many career paths for interior designers to choose from. These careers allow you to put your creative skills to work and earn a good salary.

You can work with private clients, or on large-scale commercial projects. In the latter, you will be tasked with selecting furniture, fixtures, and fabrics.

If you would rather specialize in a certain area, you can enroll in graduate programs. These programs can increase your knowledge in specific areas of design, such as urban planning or marine design. You can also participate in professional organizations to continue your education. Some professional organizations offer online training courses. Interior designers also have the option of working in the fashion industry. A degree in fashion design can help you develop your creative skills. This includes creating prototypes and using computer-aided design programs.