Interior designers plan, design, and furnish the interiors of spaces according to clients’ needs and requirements. They aim is to create and implements designs that are practical, aesthetic and purposeful.
They often specialise in a particular area of interior design, working on only a specific type of space such as private homes, museums, department stores, offices or hotels.
Duties and responsibilities
- Search for and bid on new projects
- Meet clients to discuss their ideas and requirements
- Develop plans and designs suited to clients’ needs, budget and type of space
- Prepare initial sketches for client approval, and create detailed drawings from approved sketches
- Advise on use of space, colour schemes, fabrics and furniture
- Determine project costs and prepare estimates
- Select, design or purchase furniture, textiles, fittings, and wall and floor coverings
- Oversee design site and coordinate with building contractors and suppliers
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Long hours to suit clients’ schedules and deadlines
Interior designers primarily work in an office setting, but their workday involves a lot of travelling to clients’ design sites to discuss plans and oversee the project’s progression. They also, after an initial consultation with their client, visit shops to purchase furniture, equipment and supplies for creating the desired space.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject
Most employers prefer candidates with a formal education comprising coursework in interior design, drawing and CAD software.
Some states require a licence to be able to work as an interior designer. This entails passing a state-approved exam, usually the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, which requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in interior design and two years of professional work experience.
If you choose to specialise in a particular area of interior design, completing voluntary certification in your chosen area will improve your reputation and overall job prospects.
Once they’ve gained adequate experience and built up a portfolio and a good client and supplier base, many interior designers go on to complete business management courses and start their own business. Others move into visual merchandising, furniture design or theatre set design.