A Career In Couches: How to Become An Interior Designer

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Nov 1, 2018

Nov 1, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Not everyone has the creative flair needed for interior design, but you'll need more than a good sense of style for a career in this lucrative field.

The average salary for an interior designer is around $51,000 a year. You'll earn more as you gain experience and exposure.

If you love the idea of creating beautiful designs for a living, read on to find out how to become an interior designer.

How to Become an Interior Designer in 4 Steps

Like any creative field, you need talents that extend beyond what you can learn from books. Before you go to all the trouble and expense of studying towards becoming an interior designer, you need to figure out if you've got what it takes.

Some of the qualities that will ensure your success include flexibility. You'll need to deal with the aspects of design that are less fun, like building codes.

People skills are essential when dealing with clients. Attention to detail is a must and a problem-solving mindset will stand you in good stead.

Most importantly, you should have a natural flair for creating harmony between all the elements of design, as outlined here by Kre8 Constructions.

If your personality and skills fit the bill, keep reading.

1. Enroll at College

The major difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is education.

To become an accredited interior designer, you need a Bachelor's Degree. You can major in any field, as long as you include coursework in interior design. For example, computer-aided design and drawing.

A host of universities, interior design schools, and colleges throughout the US offer specific interior design courses.

2. Get Some Experience

Once you have the paperwork behind you, you need to find an experienced designer to take you under their wing. This is the best way to learn how to be an interior designer.

Keep a lookout for job boards and set up online alerts for entry-level interior design jobs.

Your college or university will most likely have a list of places that are offering internships. You could land a job thanks to contacts that you make during your studies.

3. Pass Your Qualifying Exam

Depending on where you intend to work, you may need to pass a state-approved exam before you can become a fully-fledged interior designer.

This is usually the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.

You need 2 years on-the-job-training to qualify for this exam as well as the relevant tertiary education. Once you've passed that, you can work on your own or continue working for an interior design firm.

4. Work on Your Portfolio

Without proof of what you can do, you'll have a hard time finding clients. Keep photos of all the work you do during your internship.

It's a good idea to do some pro-bono work to plump up your portfolio and gain some experience working alone.

A beautifully crafted portfolio is an extra opportunity to show off your creative flair.

Grow Your Interior Design Career

There's no limit to the amount of diverse and creative things you can get up to as an interior designer - as long as you stay up to date with the latest trends.

Online courses, seminars, and workshops will help you learn how to become an interior designer par excellence.

Keep reading our blog for more inspiration on how to make the most of your work life.