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How Do I Become An Interior Decorator

Is This Really What You Want To Do

How To Become An Interior Designer [Without a Degree or Going Back to School]

You might like decorating your own home, but is this something you want to do for others? A career is built on several years of experience, so it must be something you truly like to do. You need interpersonal skills, an innate ability to detect the right color schemes, and a love for fabrics and design. You should want to build a career on these skill sets so that you can enjoy your choice.

Although it is hard to make a space for yourself in a crowded industry, interior decorating is still a rewarding career. Every day is different, and you get to turn places like commercial and residential properties and rooms into beautiful functional areas for residents and owners to use. Keep in mind, when you take any interior decorating courses, you are setting yourself up for the future. Make sure that interior decorating is something you truly want to pursue. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and effort chasing after a career that you truly need to be inspired by to succeed at.

Associate Degree Or Bachelors Degree

Most design firms require designers to hold at least an undergraduate degree. Students wishing to enter the field should verify that the program they are considering is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

These 10 U.S. schools are renowned worldwide for their interior design programs:

Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury University of California, Berkeley Extension University of California, Los Angeles University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Architecture Florida International University The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida International Academy of Design & Technology, Tampa, Florida West Valley College, Saratoga, California Interior Designers Institute, Newport Beach, California

Here is a summary of the curricula covered by most associate and bachelors degree programs in interior design:

Two-year Associate Degree Programs

The first year of associate level programs generally covers the fundamentals of design and basic skills in both hand drawing and digital drawing. The focus of the second year is typically on more specialized topics such as architectural lighting, color theory, furniture history, and introductory business and marketing concepts.

Common coursework includes the following:

Four-year Bachelors Degrees

Coursework includes the following:

Interior Decorator Salary And Career Path

The career outlook for Interior Decorators is expected to grow at a fast pace through the year 2026.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be a 19% increase in employment opportunities.

However, competition will be intense as there are many creative people who want to go into this field.

Some candidates will benefit from specializing in one aspect of interior decorating, for example, a candidate can specialize in the bathroom or kitchen design.

Many professionals in the industry do this in order to stand out to potential clients.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports wages and salaries for Interior Decorators.

The national median wage for these professionals in 2019 was approximately $60,990 per year.

Wages can depend on the niche an Interior Decorator works in, whether they are self-employed and the industry they work in.

In 2019, the salary range for all Interior Decorators was between $31k and $96k.

The below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually

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What Does An Interior Designer Do

An interior designer:

  • 1. Listens to clients needs, including the clients goals for the space, interests, and budget
  • 2. Sketches design plans of layout, considering how people will use the space
  • 3. Chooses and orders furniture and materials that are cohesive and within the budget
  • 4. Finalizes design plans using computer software
  • 5. Estimates and anticipates all project costs
  • 6. Makes a timeline for the project
  • 7. Supervises the installation of all design elements in the space
  • 8. Sits down with clients to ensure theyre satisfied
  • 9. Seeks out potential clients and bids new projects

Reach Out To Other Decorators

How do I become Interior Decorator?

This is a competitive field, but it’s rare to meet a designer who isn’t willing to share information, advice, and tools of the trade. Overall, it’s a friendly bunch and people want to help others in the field as much as possible. Of course, always be willing to pay forward or back any kindness shown to you.

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How To Become Interior Decorator

To become an Interior Decorator one has to follow the given steps:

Step 1Candidates who have qualified 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized educational Institution have to apply for a Bachelor in Interior Design or BFA or another related area provided by reputed institutes like National Institute of Design, Sai School of Interior Design.

Some colleges and universities and private interior decorating schools offer programs in interior decorating covering courses in modern trends, computer-aided design , colours and fabrics, furniture design, ethics, architecture, lighting, and furnishings.

Step 2After completion of the course, the budding Interior Decorators have to do internships to gain practical experience to make them ready to join some a regular job. Some countries have made it mandatory for the interior decorators to acquire a license. Licensing requirements may vary from country to country or even from state to state but basically include completion of formal training, work experience, and passing a written and practical examination. Some Interior Decorators gain national certification from the National Council of Interior Design Qualification.

Some of the main works of the Interior Decorator are:

  • They meet directly with clients.
  • They also develop decorative plans.
  • They also select decorative elements.
  • The install and arrange decorations.
  • Also, they manage budgets and schedules.
  • Moreover, they also direct subcontractors.

Research Best Colleges And Universities For Interior Designer

1. University of Texas Austin: UT Austin is a highly rated public university located in Austin, Texas. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 37,740 undergraduate students.

2. University of Florida: Florida is a highly rated public university located in Gainesville, Florida. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 31,384 undergraduate students.

3. Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is a highly rated public college located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It is a big institution with an enrollment of 26,603 undergraduate students.

4. University of Wisconsin

5. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

6. Purdue University

8. The Ohio State University

9. Florida State University

17. The University of Alabama

18. Rhode Island School of Design

19. Oklahoma State University

20. Washington State University

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Can You Be An Interior Designer Without Being Able To Draw

While the ability to draw comes in handy, it is by no means a requirement. As long as you are able to visually convey your ideas through sketches, youd be fine. No one expects visually planning and sketches to be pretty!

Do you need to know how do you draw to study interior design?

Yes, knowing how to draw very well is necessary if you are serious about becoming an interior designer. As an interior designer, you need to be able to understand the relationships between materials, color, lighting and texture and the final effect they create on a particular space.

Why do interior designers need to draw?

An experienced architect or interior designer make a drawing first thing almost automatically, instinctively. Well-made drawing establishes credibility with clients from the first meeting. A professional dancer thinks through the act of dancing.

Why should an interior designer need to utilize drafting skills?

Drafting and drawing Interior designers use drafting skills to create visual representations of structures. Taking detailed measurements to draw accurate room sizes, elevations or junctions can help when designing the room.

Is drawing necessary for fashion designing?

How do I become an interior designer in California?

How Much Do Interior Decorators Make


Like many career paths, the salary of an interior decorator will depend on their experience and dedication to the career. Those who are inexperienced or work few hours will make much less than well-versed interior decorators who work full-time and have been for decades.

The average interior decorators salary is $34,771. In higher-income states with major cities, the average jumps exponentially. For example, an interior decorator in New York City, New York, has an average salary of $59,954. In Orlando, Florida, and Fort Worth, Texas, the salaries are $55,304 and $52,719, respectively. An average of $20,000-$25,000 increase.

While the exact amount will vary depending on a few factors, you can expect to make a decent salary as an interior decorator. Of course, the stronger your portfolio and the more clients you acquire, the higher your income.

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One: Research The Home Design Industry

If you want to know how to work as an interior decorator, youll first need to know what the demand is like for this field in your local area. So, do some heavy duty research! Test out some relevant SEO keywords and inquiries in Google, and see what pops up.

What are people nearby looking for, in terms of interior decorating services? Is the demand high where you live? If not, in which ways can you adjust accordingly to appeal to a larger range of clientele and ensure that your career endeavors are a success?

While were on the topic of research, now is also a great time to check out your local competition! Who are the other interior decorators in your area? What are their businesses like? How much do they charge for their services? How would you define their brand?

Theres no pressure for you to start your own business at this stage. But theres absolutely no harm in brainstorming ideas and one of the best ways to brainstorm is to first understand what your competitors are currently doing!

Prepare Relevant Skills For Interior Decorator

1. Artistic and creative abilities

Knowing how lighting, texture, and color can be used most effectively within a space is the fundamentals of being an interior decorator. Thus, artistic and creative abilities are crucial.

2. Communication skills

Interior decorating requires you to listen to your clients, and to understand their expectations. This two-way communication necessitates great communication skills and empathy.

3. Planning skills

You will need to be able to present a plan to a client in a visual manner which includes a whole variety of details, such as a representation of the final product and a cost analysis and timeline.

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What Is The Job Outlook For Interior Decorators

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is the definitive source for occupational information in the United States. Because the BLS lacks a separate entry for interior decorators, it isn’t possible to cite official statistics relating to job growth. Instead we’ll look at the job outlook for interior design, as the BLS description of the field strongly overlaps with the job description for interior decorating.

The BLS estimates the interior design sector will experience a 5% decline between 2019-2029. The trend is likely to affect interior decoration and other related professions. In fact, the art and design field is expected to decline by 4%, according to the BLS. Improving your skills will increase your prospects of securing interior decoration jobs. Your ability to network and sell yourself will matter as the industry becomes increasingly competitive.

How To Become An Interior Decorator: The Ultimate Guide

Can I become an Interior designer in 3 months?

Do you want to know how to become an interior decorator? Youve come to the right place!

Chances are, you have a lot of questions about this new possible career path. Luckily, weve answered ALL of them in the article below. So, sit back and put your feet up. By the time youve finished reading, youll know everything you need to get started ASAP!

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Go To School And Earn An Associate Or Bachelors Degree In Interior Design

Interior designers must be creative, technically proficient, and business-savvy in order to be truly successful. Lucky for you, there are several options to get your interior design education, from the associate level all the way to a doctorate.

The most traditional way to learn the skills you will need is through a bachelors degree program at a university or college. But if youre unsure if interior design is the career path you want to take, or arent ready to fully commit to a bachelors degree program, an associates degree is a good way to start and get your foot in the door.

If you are a creative person or have some sort of artistic ability, and someone who is particularly intrigued by interior design, an associates degree program might be the perfect way to learn the fundamentals. From here, you can continue your education if you decide an interior design career is the career path you want to take. In most cases, you can later transfer your earned credits into a bachelors degree program.

You can go in several different directions with an associates degree program. If you want to start working in the professional world as soon as possible, you should consider an Associate of Applied Science degree as an assistant interior designer. But if you find that you want to continue your education in interior design and earn your bachelors degree, you should go for an Associate of Arts.

Interior Designer And Interior Decorator Are The Same Thing Right

Wrong. In fact, an interior decorator is quite different from an interior designer. The main difference is education: To become an interior designer, you will most likely need to earn an associate or bachelors degree from an accredited institution or interior design school before you can begin work in the interior design field.

Meanwhile, anyone can become an interior decorator, no matter what education, interior decorator school you attended, or training you have. If you simply just enjoy playing with fabrics and colors, you can print out some business cards and declare yourself an interior decorator. There are no licensing requirements involved for interior decorating.

Also, while an interior decorator simply decorates a space, interior design goes much deeper. An interior designer will design and create living and working spaces as well as many other building projects. These may be homes and apartments, corporate offices, theaters, and more. There are also different specialties an interior designer may have. It takes creativity, the ability to work independently and with contractors, a good eye and ear to listen to your clients needs then bring them to life. Youll oversee an interior design project from start to finish.

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Components Of A Successful Interior Design Career: Skills Credentials Tools And Technology

Interior Design Skills

In addition to an innate sense of style and creativity when selecting design elements for clients, the most important skill interior designers can possess is the ability to communicate and listen well. At the core of their role, designers must be able to understand their clients’ desires and translate those to design teams, engineers and other professionals working on the project. Designers should be able to look at any space and visualize how different components will come together. The free flow of ideas is essential, as they may need to pitch numerous designs before landing on the winner. Strong problem-solving skills go a long way when keeping projects within the stated budget and timeline.

Interior Design Credentials

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification is the most recognized certification of interior designers. Operating in a similar fashion as the legal profession’s bar exam, in many states this qualification is required before students can begin practicing interior design. Students considering this career should research their state’s regulations fully.

Other bodies offering designation include the American Society of Interior Designers and Certified Interior Designers . While prestigious, these do not meet the same regulatory requirements as the NCIDQ.

Many organizations also offer specialty designations in areas such as healthcare, residential kitchen and bath, remodeling and green building.

  • Adobe Illustrator

What’s It Like To Be An Interior Decorator


Interior Decorators plan and implement decoration schemes for residential homes and commercial properties like offices, shops, restaurants and hotels. They assist in the design and planning of the spaces colour scheme, lighting and furniture, and overall aesthetic, and supervise and coordinate the activities of tradesman including Painters and Carpet Layers.

Tasks and duties

  • Performing inspections of client premises to establish existing design and take measurements.
  • Advising clients on the selection of colour schemes, layout, lighting, furniture, floor coverings, curtains, paint, wallpaper, curtains and blinds.
  • Providing design sketches, specifications and quotes for client approval.
  • Supervising and coordinating the installation and layout of furniture and furnishings and ensuring subcontractor work meets quality, safety and cost expectations within established deadline.
  • Selling to the public or tradespeople in a retail setting.
  • Meeting with clients and other tradespeople such as architects, electricians and builders to discuss project requirements.
  • Selecting suppliers of materials and labour.

Interior Decorators may also work in a consultant role or in a sales role in trade and retail shops. They are often self-employed or may manage a team of staff, and interact with members of the public daily, advising them on a broad range of matters relating to the look and feel of their home or business.

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Job Duties Of An Interior Decorator

As an interior decorator, you will be a professional that uses technical and creative skills together. Your client will be the main focus. Working with them to create the type of home decor they desire is your main job duty. This is done by using fabrics, paint, textiles, and other materials.

Your main job will be to come up with the necessary solutions for your clients. They will want you to enhance their home and make it look the way they desire. Some of the job duties you will tackle include:

  • Come up with sample designs
  • Research and analyze what your client wants and requires
  • Make sure your design concepts are safe, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and meet the public health standards
  • Choose the necessary fabrics and other materials to fit the design concept
  • Figure out the cost and make sure it fits within your clients budget
  • Help pick the right furniture for the space

You will be the one in charge of making the ideas of your client come to life.

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