Interior Design

Interior designers are tasked with taking a space inside a residential or commercial area and making it appealing. They must select a design that will not only make the space usable, but also attractive to those who are using it.

An interior designer works with the property owner to devise a concept for the space and then makes recommendations to bring the idea to life.
Prior to the 19th century, not much thought was given to the planning of the interior of a home or business. The focus remained solely on the design of the outside of the structures. Now, homeowners and business owners alike know that the best way to make their properties appealing is to be deliberate in how the exterior and interior designs work together.

Because of this “aha” moment, interior designers now are in high demand for both residential and commercial properties.

Education Requirements

Some people just possess a natural ability to know what looks good. However, knowing what looks good is not the sole requirement for working as an interior designer. Clients want to be assured a professional in the industry has the appropriate training to take their idea and bring it to fruition.

There are associate degree programs in interior design – commonly offered through community colleges and technical/trade schools. However, in today’s market, interior designers who possess a bachelor degree are in the highest demand.

Interior design programs should include courses on using the technology associated with interior design and creative methods for adding flair to any home or office space. Courses common to accredited interior design programs are computerized design, computer-aided drafting (CAD), building and safety codes, lighting and textiles, sustainable and environmental design and materials and specifications.

Master degree programs in interior design are available both online and in traditional settings. Coursework common to this advanced-degree program include the sustainability and social aspects of interior design and management skills.

In addition to a formal education, interior designers are required by 26 states to obtain a valid license prior to practicing their craft. In order to qualify for the license, candidates must possess a master’s degree in interior design and pass the National Council of Interior Design Qualification exam. Interior designers also may be required to obtain additional licensing and permits through the city, county or state in which they practice.

Future Outlook

Demand for interior designers is expected to be among the highest in comparison to other business and industry tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Between now and 2020, growth in the industry is projected at 19 percent.

The average annual salary for interior designers is $46,280, with the top 10 percent of wage earners making $84,000 or more.

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