Interior Design

By Grace Gentry

Educational Requirements

Colleges for me:

  • Academy of Art University of San Fransisco, California
  • Cornish College of the Arts of Seattle, Washington
  • New York School of Interior Design of New York, New York
  • Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York

Suggestions courses for when applying to college for interior design:

  • AP Art History
  • Computer-assisted drafting
  • AP Studio Art

College Checklist:

  • Is the department accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation?

  • Does the department concentrate more on architecture and construction or visual effects and personal expression?
  • How many professors are in the department? Make sure you'll get the attention you deserve.
  • Do students take on a variety of challenging projects? Check out their work, if possible.
  • Are studios and computer labs equipped with the latest? Do students have their own desks?

Helpful Characteristics:

Creative, flexible, and good with people. You'll need to work within a budget and satisfy your clients' tastes. You may hate the clients taste in design, but if your client wants it, you'll have to fit it in.

Degree Type:

This major is often offered at the associate's and at the bachelor's level.

Typical Major a Courses:

  • Construction documents & processes
  • Design studio
  • Graphic communications
  • History of design
  • Interior design finish materials
  • Interior design theory
  • Professional practice

Potential Employers

Interior Design Job Overview:

Interior designers are tasked with the overall design and function of indoor living spaces. They often work with architects, contractors, and clients to determine the most functional room layout, preferred color schemes, appropriate window treatments, and even the most aesthetically pleasing hardware and lighting fixtures. Interior designer jobs require the ability to work independently and make safe, functional, aesthetic decisions, but they also require designers to work within the confines of client demands and specifications.

Much of an interior designer's responsibilities include reading and interpreting blue prints, choosing color palettes, obtaining and providing samples for the client, planning indoor architectural details, submitting drawings to construction inspectors, and estimating project budgets.

Interior Designer Job Education Requirements:

With such a focus on computer-aided design and color theory, most interior designer jobs require candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree in interior design. Certificates, associate's degrees, and master's degrees are also available, and can help enhance qualifications for someone on the interior design track with appropriate coursework. Those wanting to pursue a specialized interior design career, such as bath or kitchen design, will need a combination of relevant coursework and experience.

Interior Designer Job Market:

The job outlook for interior designers is expected to grow as fast as average through 2022. This is likely to keep up with client demand that home and office interiors meet accessibility and environmentally-friendly conditions. It's important to note that interior designers depend largely on the construction industry, so when construction business is booming, interior designers are more likely to find clients. Long-term projects like those found in hotels, hospitals, schools, and other public facilities can create work for many years.

Interior Designer Job Salary Information:

Interior designers earn a median salary of $47,600, but entry- level designers begin at around $25,600.

Risks and Benefits

There are always ups & downs to every career. Here are the advantages of the job of an interior designer.


This field is competitive, requires expensive education, rapidly changing so you must constantly educate yourself, and requires professional networking. If you work as an independent interior designer expect to be very involved in promoting your services and doing more of that at times than design. It requires alot of people skills so its not for everyone.


Creativity: Being an interior designer means you get be creative in many ways. From the colors you get to use, to the furniture you get to add. Work Schedule: Unless you work in a store, you can pretty much set your own hours. So fitting family time in isn't a problem. Nor is the grocery shopping, the gym, and the play dates.

Job Details

What Interior Designers Do:

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.

Work Environment:

Many interior designers work for the specialized design services industry or for the architectural, engineering, and related services industry. In 2014, about 1 in 4 were self-employed.

How to become an interior designer:

Interior designers usually need a bachelor’s degree with a focus on interior design.


The median annual wage for interior designers was $48,400 in May 2014.

Job Outlook:

Employment of interior designers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Designers will be needed to respond to consumer expectations that the interiors of homes and offices meet certain conditions, such as being environmentally friendly and more easily accessible.