Decorating homes is viewed by many people as one of the most interesting and exciting activities at which they can spend their days. Choosing the right furniture, draperies and floor covering is both challenging and fun at the same time. For creative people who have a flair for choosing the right look for a room, a career as an interior designer can be a way to earn a living while doing something they love.
To become an interior designer, most people attend college and obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Because interior designers spend much of their time working with architects, engineers and building contractors they should be skilled in blueprint reading and computer-aided drafting (CAD). While in college, future interior designers take classes in art, building construction, fabrics, blueprint reading, computer-aided drafting, residential and commercial design and more. A Bachelor’s degree will be sufficient for most entry-level jobs, with some designers going on to earn Master’s degrees after several years of work experience. Upon completing their studies, some designers choose to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, which when passed gives them the title of Licensed Interior Designer.
Interior designers generally work in clean and comfortable settings. Most designers work for architectural and engineering firms or specialty design agencies, with 25 percent of interior designers choosing to be self-employed. Furniture stores also employ interior designers to assist customers with choosing merchandise for their homes, and some stores will include design services as a way to gain business from new customers. Most interior designers work full-time jobs, with those who are self-employed often working in excess of 60 hours per week. Some interior designers work part-time, with most being employed in smaller furniture stores or with architectural firms that use them only occasionally.
Full-time interior designers can expect to earn average annual salaries in excess of $47,000. Entry-level designers in furniture stores average $30,000 per year, while those in architectural firms average closer to $40,000 annually. Self-employed interior designers who gain a good reputation with clients can earn more than $100,000 per year, and through word-of-mouth may have opportunities to work with celebrities who purchase homes and need design services. Many celebrity homes have unique designs that may contain urethane cement flooring, while other have elaborate flooring or walkways that require concrete polishing. Designers who have a thorough knowledge of building construction are often best suited for these jobs, since they will be called upon to oversee many different activities.
For people who can walk into a home and instantly visualize different design possibilities, are creative, great at solving problems and love a new challenge interior design is a perfect career choice.