Interior Design Career
What Does the Job of an Interior Designer Encompass?
For many years the job of an interior designer had to do with decorating living or business spaces by using the appropriate selection of furnishings, lighting, floor and window treatments, artwork, and the use of color.
For the most part, these are the primary functions of interior designers but recently the tasks of interior designers have expanded to architectural aspects such as planning for interior detailing, the placement of windows, stairways, escalators, and building renovation elements.
A great deal of communication is needed during this phase to make sure that the concepts of the client and the interior designer are in phase.
Interior design jobs can be as small as a one room treatment of a kitchen, bathroom or living room to taking on projects for entire office buildings, retail stores or public locations.
These projects are often done under tight deadlines and the interior designer must be able to work well under pressure and multitask effectively.
What Steps Are Necessary to Prepare for an Interior Design Career?
Entry-level interior design jobs require a college degree in design. Professional design schools offer programs that take 2-4 years to complete. There are also 2-3 year certificate programs in interior design offered by community colleges, art schools, and online education centers. Some graphic design schools also include interior design in their curriculum.
Some graduates of interior design programs gain needed work experience by interning or serving in a design apprenticeship program. These apprenticeships are 1-3 years in length and provide career training for aspiring interior designers.
Apprenticeships are usually done at a design firm or architectural firm under the watchful eye of a professional designer.
The Qualities Employers Seek from Prospective Candidates
Many employers of interior designers want individuals who are proficient in using computer aided design (CAD) software. A basic understanding of engineering and architecture is also desirable.
Those seeking employment as interior designers should be creative, efficient, and have strong communication skills. They should also be constantly attuned to what is going on in the interior design industry in order to maintain a current perspective of what is fashionable and what is not.
The Job Outlook for Interior Designers
The future looks bright for interior design positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19 percent increase in interior design jobs from 2010 to 2018. Although they predict substantial openings for interior design jobs, the competition for these spots is likely to be extremely high.
In 2008 the mean annual wage for interior designers was $51,020.