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How To Get A Job As An Interior Decorator

Things To Do Before You Hire A Decorator

HOW TO GET AN INTERIOR DESIGN JOB? A step by step guide for Interior Designers

Lauren Flanagan is an interior design expert with over 15 years of experience writing, editing, and producing articles for renowned Canadian publications and shows for HGTV on home decor. She worked in high-end home decor retail before discovering her passion was to share what she knew in publications and on television.

Hiring a design professional to work on your home can be a great investment. Whether you know what you want but don’t know how to get it, you don’t have the first clue where to start, or you simply don’t have the time to invest, a professional interior designer or decorator can help channel your ideas and turn them into something beautiful. They can lend their experience and their creativity to your home, creating a restful and welcoming retreat that’s unique to you and your loved ones.

While hiring a design pro can be a great solution to your decorating problems, they won’t just magically appear one day and solve everything. You need to play a part in the process as well. In order to make the most of the experience, make sure you’ve taken care of the following things before you hire a designer or decorator.

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

What Is The Average Salary For An Interior Decorator

Interior decorators earn around $16.06 per hour in the United States. Using the typical 40-hour week in our calculations, we estimate a US-based interior decorator earns $33,404 per year on average. However, you should understand that individual incomes will vary according to experience, location, client, qualifications and marketing expertise.

Related: How Much Do Interior Designers Make?

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Differences Between An Interior Designer And An Interior Decorator

Contrary to popular belief, interior design and interior decorating are two different jobs. People often think of them as the same because of their goals: making an interior aesthetically pleasing, cohesive, beautiful, and functional. However, interior decorators primarily focus on beautifying an existing space with furniture or adorning it with other means of decoration to achieve a specific aesthetic level. An example of interior decoration would be adding a vivid rug to an otherwise drab room.

On the other hand, interior designers design the space itself instead of merely beautifying it. Interior design is the specialized science and art of comprehending peoples behavior and emotions in a manner that allows the creation of functional spaces within a building. If we put it simply, interior designers decorate, but interior decorators do not design.

Interior Designers: Salary Career Path Job Outlook Education And More

How to get a job in interior design (without a formal eduction)  The ...
Education Required
A bachelors degree is usually required in order to become an interior designer, as are classes in interior design, drawing, and computer-aided design . A bachelors degree in any field is acceptable, and interior design programs are available at the associates, bachelors, and masters degree levels.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 5%
Licensure requirements vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work. In other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do such work however, only licensed designers may use the title interior designer. In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves interior designers and do interior design work.
Median pay: How much do Interior Designers make?
$49,810 Annual Salary
$23.95 per hour

Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

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Is Becoming An Interior Designer Right For Me

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You dont want to waste your time doing something you dont want to do. If youre new here, you should read about:

Still unsure if becoming an interior designer is the right career path?Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an interior designer or another similar career!

Described by our users as being shockingly accurate, you might discover careers you havent thought of before.

How To Become An Interior Decorator

This article was co-authored by Suzanne Lasky, ASID. Suzanne Lasky is an Interior Designer and the Founder of S Interior Design, a design consulting company based in Scottsdale, Arizona specializing in new home builds, home remodels, and all related design options for residential and small business clients. Suzanne has over 19 years of interior design and consulting experience. She is an Allied Member of the ASID . She earned a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University and an AAS in Interior Design from Scottsdale Community College.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 17 testimonials and 94% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 419,684 times.

If you have a love of decorating and a knack for arranging furniture and choosing décor and color, a career as an interior decorator may be perfect for you. To become a “decorator” you don’t need an extensive education or a fancy degree, just a good eye and a passion for the job. However, if you are interested in interior design, you will need to take specialized courses and gain the proper licensing from the state, depending on which state you are in.

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The Value Of A Degree In Interior Design

Many people believe that a degree in interior design is the easiest to pursue. Others think they would do well in this career simply because they are good at decorating their home. However, it is crucial to remember the higher responsibilities of becoming an interior designer than being a person with an aesthetic sense. Idea, inspiration, creativity, and devotion are essential to designing work, and it is not always a bed of roses. Interior designers often face strict deadlines, need to complete a task within a specified budget, and deal with a wide array of artisans or contractors.

Although these points may seem daunting, a career in interior design is worth it if you have the skills for it. Interior designers are free to express and channel their creativity and individuality in their work and attain satisfaction by receiving a clients appreciation.

How Much Does A Freelance Interior Designer Earn

11 Jobs You Can Get With Your Interior Design Degree

While the total amount that a freelance designer can earn depends somewhat on the number of hours that youre willing to work, there are certainly some standard ranges for the hourly amount that youll likely charge.

According to expert sources, most freelance interior designers charge between $50 $200 per hour for their services. Experienced designers with proven portfolios will be able to charge more for their work.

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How To Be A Good Interior Decorator

A good Interior Decorator has product knowledge, creativity, and listening skills. You should become very familiar with interior design techniques, styles, furniture, lighting, color theory, and resources for unique interior decor items. It is imperative to understand your clients wishes, their budget, and to complete projects on time. Word-of-mouth referrals are often the way you connect with new clients in this field, so it is important to maintain a good reputation.

How To Become An Interior Decorator: Skills Education Salaries And Outlook

Interior decorators have an eye for color and can improve the aesthetics and functionality of interior spaces. These professionals play a vital role in the home construction and remodeling industry, where they use their creative skills to improve living and working spaces.

In this article, we discuss how you can become an interior decorator and provide information on both the skills and education required by the job as well as salaries and the job outlook in the field of interior design.

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Have Something To Say

  • Be engaging in the interview please- we want personality and this is key. You would be surprised how many people come in and have nothing to say. On the phone too- some never make it past this stage because they do not have a single thing to talk about it. We are in sales folks like it or not and you must be able to converse.

Writing A Resume And Please Please Send A Cover Letter

Getting Started in an Interior Design Career
  • *****Write your resume with an emphasis to the skills that will translate to the new position- do not fabricate but you can surely pull out the skills you used to manage a busy Dentist office to managing projects in a design firm or managing customers or managing tasks. Absolutely. But key to be sure you actually relate your skills to the job you are interviewing to get. ***** And we rarely even look at a resume without a cover letter- because we ask for it- if you cannot follow directions then why would we think you would when hired?

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Online Interior Design Schools

There are many renowned interior design programs offering online learning options for students seeking a nontraditional education. Still, anyone interested in obtaining a degree online should do some research before enrolling at an institution. Review the list below for a few things to look for in a potential distance program.

Proper Accreditation

Prospective students need to check that the Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredits the programs they are considering. While a school can choose not to apply for accreditation from this specific organization, but it should be accredited by an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education to ensure that it meets quality standards. In addition, students should ensure that institutions as a whole have appropriate regional or national accreditation.

Faculty With Experience and Education Relevant to Your Goals

While all faculty members have a baseline of interior design experience and qualifications, students looking to specialize should see if the department has a faculty member focused on that area. For instance, if a student wants to specialize in historic preservation, he or she should find out if the school has professors who are experts in that area.

Proper Preparation for Certification

Opportunities to Build a Portfolio

Education For Interior Designers

A bachelor’s degree is usually required in order to become an interior designer, as are classes in interior design, drawing, and computer-aided design . A bachelor’s degree in any field is acceptable, and interior design programs are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 350 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes that have programs in art and design. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredits more than 180 professional-level interior design programs.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association accredits kitchen and bath design specialty programs in more than 40 colleges and universities.

Applicants may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability for admission to interior design programs.

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Interior Designer Salary Data

According to the BLS, in 2014 the median annual wage for interior designers nationally was $48,400. Professionals in the 90th percentile can expect to earn just shy of $90,000. Like other industries, experience, geographical factors and the type of interior design being completed also influence annual salaries. Interior designers in the architecture and engineering industry have the highest median wage.

States/areas with the highest yearly mean wages for interior designers are as follows:


Use the map below to compare interior design salary estimates by state:

Note The Use Of The New Space

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

Most gigs will specify what the new floor should be used for. Take note of this and ensure that basic furniture for that purpose is present in your design.

Desks in offices, beds and dressers in bedrooms, toilet, sink and shower in bathrooms will all help you meet the criteria. Any extras are optional with maintaining the budget being preferred.

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Licenses Certifications And Registrations For Interior Designers

Licensure requirements vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work. In other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do such work however, only licensed designers may use the title “interior designer.” In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves interior designers and do interior design work.

In states where laws restrict the use of the title “interior designer,” only candidates who pass their state-approved exam, most commonly the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, may call themselves registered interior designers. Qualifications for eligibility to take the NCIDQ exam include at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design and 2 years of work experience.

California requires a different exam, administered by the California Council for Interior Design Certification . Qualifications for eligibility to take the CCIDC exam include a combination of education and experience.

Voluntary certification in an interior design specialty, such as environmental design, allows designers to demonstrate expertise in a particular area of the occupation. Interior designers often specialize to distinguish the type of design work they do and to promote their expertise. Certifications usually are available through professional and trade associations and are independent from the NCIDQ licensing examination.

Out Into The Real World

Interior design is a practical craft. It is not enough to sit behind the desk or on your bed and keep practicing with no results. You need to start looking for potential clients and offer your design services. You can even propose some design plans and showcase your portfolio to prove that you are a professional-level interior designer.

For the most part, clients are always looking for an accredited interior designer with some work experience. But you cant get that experience till you go out there and start implementing your design services. Having an interior design degree can help you pitch yourself as a qualified interior designer, but it wont happen by itself.

Read also The Complete Guide To Prepare An Interior Design Contract

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Interior Decorator Job Description

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Interior decorators help determine the look and feel of a clients home by selecting and placing decorative elements such as paint, textiles, and furniture. This client-facing role involves meeting directly with clients to get a sense of how they intend to use their space and how they want it to feel. Interior decorators work within their clients budgets to bring a room to life.

This role shares some similarities with, but also differs significantly from, the role of an interior designer. The primary difference is that interior decorators dont make architectural changes and instead work to improve the existing room. Most interior decorators work as freelancers or consultants, although some work within larger organizations.

You Need To Have A Knack For Design

How To Get A Job As An Interior Decorator

This is obvious in order to be an interior designer, you must have a flair for arrangements according to space, colour, textures and tones. If you enjoy decorating your home and even get compliments each and every time a guest arrives, that doesnt mean you are ready to be an interior designer. The best way to start your career is to follow your passion. Doing something you like will have you happy to go to work each and every day and help to enjoy it.

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How To Know Which Room To Renovate In Dream Home Decorator

Mostly the job will specify a room or say you can choose but this isn’t always the case. Some gigs do require some guesswork. For example, which kid’s bedroom do you decorate if there is more than one?

The Charm household from Realm of Magic also throws up some questions when they ask you to renovate the living room. Do they mean the small cozy space pictured above or the more open sitting space you see below?

In the case of the Charm’s, they were paying handsomely so we decided to take a chance and renovate both rooms. This paid off and they were happy. However, this is not always the case. Renovating the ‘wrong’ kid’s bedroom for the Spencer-Lewis household resulted in some bad rep and hate mail.

It seems that most clients will accept whichever room you decorate, as long as it can be used for that purpose. Sometimes you’ll get it wrong but this may not be down to choosing the incorrect room. Things can go wrong, even when you think you did everything right. This leads us to believe some reactions are as random as the likes and dislikes that Sims are assigned.

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