Job description

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

    • 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, qualities and knowledge

Creativity
Attention to detail
Interpersonal
Active listening
Problem-solving
Visualisation
Negotiation
Customer service
Time management
Coordination
Cad software
Design
Mathematics

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

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.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$30k

Median

$53k

Top 10%

$94k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Undergraduate

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

4years

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.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

4%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

2.9k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

2.2%

Career progression

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.