Steps to becoming an interior designer


There are a number of benefits to becoming an interior designer, namely the flexibility you have in your education, the higher-than-average income you will earn, and the higher-than-average job growth you will enjoy.

Flexibility in Your Education Options

Many interior designers have bachelor’s degrees, but this is not always the case. Interior design programs are available at all three main levels of postsecondary education: the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Because of the range of options, you can enter the program that makes the most sense to you. And if you are in a hurry to get your career started and don’t have a lot of money to spend on school, you can earn an associate’s degree and start gaining experience. You can always transfer your credits and go back to earn a bachelor’s degree and then get licensed whenever you want. The other main flexible component to being an interior designer is that you don’t always have to start school over again if you have a bachelor’s degree in something else. Sometimes you can find work with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field if you go back and take interior design classes in topics like drawing, design, and CAD (computer-aided design). There are also a number of certifications you can earn to promote your specialty in a particular area of interior design, such as kitchen or bathroom design.

Higher than Average Pay

Interior designers made an average of $47,600 a year in 2012, although the range for salary spans from $25,670 to $86,900 annually. To put this in perspective, the average income across all occupations is only $34,750 a year. Not only do interior designers make more money than most people in most occupations, but they also make more money than most people in arts, design, entertainment, media, and sports occupations. Across all these fields the average salary is slightly less – around $43,930. Even if you earned at the very bottom of the scale for interior designers, you still wouldn’t be making that much less than people in other occupations. You are most likely to earn at this low end of the spectrum if you are new to the occupation, work in a low-paying industry (such as for a furniture store), or live in a low-wage region (most likely a city or state where the cost of living is low). And if you earn at the top end of the scale, you will be making more than two and a half times the national income average!

Higher than Average Job Growth

The interior design field is expected to grow by about 13% from 2012 to 2022, which is 2% faster than the national average across all occupations. It is also much faster than the mere 7% expected from other arts, design, entertainment, media, and sports occupations. Interior designers who work for specialized design services, where workers specialize in a particular type of design, such as sustainability or universal practices, will enjoy job growth of a whopping 20%. This is due to the growing demand from consumers that their offices and homes meet very specific conditions, such as being easily accessible or cutting down on environmental waste.


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