A career in interior design offers tremendous opportunities for those who wish
to wield their creative flair for design. Not to be confused with interior
decorators who specialize solely in beautifying an internal area, graduates of interior design schools are professionals licensed to design
and develop interior spaces.
and Responsibilities of Interior Design School Graduates
Graduates of interior design schools are responsible for developing the layout of an
interior space from a holistic perspective, melding elements like architecture
and decor. By planning the spatial use of an interior and adorning it with
appropriate furnishings and fittings, interior designers create functional
stylized spaces. After completing interior design courses, graduates are expected to:
communicate with clients to understand their needs
present creative solutions to develop functional and aesthetically-pleasing
Create and develop
plans that document the design concept
such as labor and materialsÂ
Ensure the design
plan meets environmental, health, and safety guidelines, as well as building
and construction codes
space management and placement of furniture and fittings
maintain budgets for design projects
tasks with other industry professionals such as architects, plumbers,
In addition, graduates need to be extremely organized and
have excellent project and time-management skills. Ideally, they should be
customer-oriented and flexible in adapting to the changing needs of their
clients. Being a team-player is also essential as interior designers must work
closely with other professionals who are needed in the development and
completion of design projects. they possess a keen
eye for detail and have an appreciation for all things artistic and aesthetic.
After Interior Design Courses
Graduates of interior design courses can work as junior designers, design
assistants, intermediate designers, senior designers and project managers. The
areas of focus include space planning, visual merchandizing, the design of
furniture and fixtures, and much more; the career opportunities are certainly
They may choose to focus on residential or
commercial work, while some designers even specialize in industry-specific areas
such as hospitality or retail. Those who wish to further specialize in certain
design disciplines may be required to pass examinations which grant them
Education and Training
Having a formal education is vital to anyone considering a
profession in this industry. Schools provide the technical and
creative skills necessary to become professional interior designers. All
university interior design programs require at least a high school education and
Schools offer a variety of interior design degrees such as a
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, Bachelor of Science in Interior
Design, Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design and graduate interior
design programs which offer a Masters of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
Students can choose an interior design program at a private or state university
or community college, while others may opt for a degree online.
Before selecting a school, it would be wise to thoroughly
research several different programs which offer
interior design degrees. Researching the various programs
available will help you determine which is most suitable in attaining your
The cost of an education varies greatly from school to school.
It is imperative that you carefully think about tuition fees and the
affordability of an interior design school before narrowing down your choices. A
more expensive program is not always necessarily an indicator of
a better school. Do find out if you are eligible for student
loans or government financial assistance.
Interior Design School Graduates
Upon graduation, a career in interior design would begin with entry-level work
to obtain experience. Several American states require that graduates gain
licensing or certification before they are allowed to practice. To do this,
graduates are required to sit for a qualifying
examination in order to become certified by the
National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
If you choose to pursue a bachelor's degree, you should
expect to spend about 6 years in total completing your education
and work experience before taking the NCIDQ exam. Pursuing a certificate or
associate's degree would require a greater amount of work experience before you
qualify for the NCIDQ exam.
One should research the accreditation of schools to ensure that
the interior design courses meet the high educational standard set forth by the
accrediting body. Currently an estimated 150 programs across the US are
accredited by The Council for Interior Design
Accreditation. A complete list of
accredited programs available in each state will help you
in selecting an interior design school.
an Interior Design Career
A career in interior design promises:
work with a wide variety of talented professionals
The ability to
specialize in specific areas
for creative expression
School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects
Salaries may vary
according to factors such as experience, community recognition and project size.
In 2004, the median annual salary for interior design schools graduates was $40,670. Whilst the
lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,440, the upper most 10 percent earned
more than $71,200. As more experience accrues, salary levels rise
commensurately. Long-term prospects include specialization and the opportunity
of becoming a partner or owner of a design firm, earning up to $200,000 a year.