Is interior design a good career? This is a question many people are asking themselves these days. With the rise of reality TV shows like “Home Made Simple” and “Fixer Upper”, more and more people are interested in the professional design industry.
But what does it really mean to have a career in interior design?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of working as an interior designer. We’ll also explore the various job duties you can expect to perform. Plus, we’ll even discuss salary expectations and other important factors to consider.
This way, you can make an informed decision about whether or not interior design is right for YOU!
Is Interior Design a Real Career?
First things first – let’s answer the question: Is interior design a real career? The short answer is yes! Interior design is a real, professional field that you can study and pursue as your chosen career path.
Of course, like any other profession, there are both pros and cons to working in interior design. We’ll take a deeper look into those in a little bit!
What Do Interior Designers Do?
Next, let’s explore what interior designers actually do. After all, this is an important factor to consider when trying to answer the question: “Is interior design a good career?”
Generally speaking, interior designers are responsible for creating functional and visually appealing spaces. This can include both residential and commercial properties. To do this, they must be able to work with clients to understand their needs and desires. Then, they must be able to translate those needs into a physical space.
This often requires being able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions that meet the client’s budget and style preferences. Additionally, interior designers must have excellent communication skills. This is necessary in order to be able to effectively communicate with clients, as well as other professionals (like architects and contractors) who may be involved in the project.
Do You Need Schooling To Be an Interior Designer?
In short, the answer is “yes”. In order to be a professional interior designer, you’ll need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Additionally, many states require that designers are licensed. This generally requires passing a exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
Of course, getting a degree and becoming licensed is not an overnight process. It takes time, effort, and dedication. As a point of reference, obtaining a bachelor’s degree alone will take approx. 4 years.
However, if you’re passionate about design and you’re willing to put in the work, it can definitely be worth it!
Interested in a career in design but don’t want to have to complete a bachelor’s degree in order to get started? Stay tuned – because in a little bit, we’ll reveal alternate design career paths you can take with QC Design School!
Working as an Interior Designer: Common Job Duties
Okay, by this point, you have a better idea of what interior designers do and the education/licensing requirements. Now let’s move on to exploring some of the common job duties you can expect to perform as an interior designer!
Keep in mind that these job duties will vary depending on the specific project you’re working on, as well as your individual skillset. However, in general, you can expect to:
- Meet with clients to discuss their needs/desires for the space
- Conduct research and gather information about the project
- Create sketches or computer models of the space
- Select furniture, fixtures, and finishes for the space
- Prepare cost estimates for the project
- Oversee installation of furniture/fixtures/finishes
- Provide post-project follow-up
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into being an interior designer!
Interior Design Career Salary
Now let’s discuss salary expectations. This is often one of the most important factors to consider when trying to answer the question: “Is interior design a good career?”
It’s important to keep in mind that salaries will vary depending on experience, education, location, and other factors. Additionally, it should also be noted that many interior designers are self-employed. When working for yourself, you have the potential to make more money – but you also have the added stress of finding your own clients and projects.
Income Averages By Country
The following salary ranges for interior designers are based on a few examples countries:
- United States: Between approx. $39,000 USD and $73,000 USD per year (Source: Payscale)
- Canada: Between approx. $39,000 CAD and $68,000 CAD per year (Source: Payscale)
- United Kingdom: Between approx. £21,000 GBP and £56,000 GBP per year (Source: Glassdoor)
- New Zealand: Between approx. $46,000 NZD and $77,000 NZD per year (Source: Payscale)
- Australia: Between approx. $45,000 AUD and $76,000 AUD per year (Source: Payscale)
As you can see, there’s a pretty big range in terms of what you can expect to earn as an interior designer. In general, entry-level designers will start out on the lower end of the salary range.
With experience, though, you have the potential to move up and earn a higher salary… And clearly, the salary is pretty darn good in this profession!
What is The Highest Paid Interior Design Job?
When it comes to the highest paid interior design job, it’s important to keep in mind that this will vary depending on a number of factors – including experience, education, and location.
That being said, some of the highest paying interior design jobs include:
As you can see, there are a few different positions that offer a high salary. And while you may not start out in one of these roles, with experience and dedication, it’s definitely possible to work your way up!
Can You Be Successful as an Interior Designer?
Yes, you can absolutely be successful as an interior designer!
However, it’s important to keep in mind that success takes hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck.
After all, there is no one formula for success. But if you’re passionate about design, have a strong work ethic, and are always looking to improve your skillset, then there’s no reason why you can’t find success in this field!
Does Interior Design Have a Future?
So far, we’ve answered the question: “Is interior design a good career?” with a resounding YES! But what about the future? Is there potential for growth in this field?
The answer to this question is also yes!
For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are about 7,800 new job openings in interior design every year. Additionally, as more and more people are looking to optimize their living/working space – whether it be through home renovations or office design – the demand for interior designers will only continue to rise.
Therefore, if you’re considering a career in interior design, there’s no need to worry about job security!
Pros and Cons of Interior Design
Now that we’ve answered the question: “Is interior design a good career?”, it’s time to take a look at some of the pros and cons of this profession.
Advantages of Interior Designing
- Interior design is a creative and rewarding field.
- You have the potential to earn a good salary.
- You get to help people transform their living/working spaces.
- There is job security in this field.
- There is potential for growth in this field.
- You can be your own boss!
Disadvantages of Interior Designing
- It can be a competitive field to break into.
- You’ll first need to invest time (at least 4 years) into your schooling.
- You may have to work long hours (especially if you’re self-employed).
- Moreover, you may need to put in extra hours in order to meet deadlines.
- Not everyone is cut out for a career in interior design.
- If you don’t have a strong work ethic and dedication, you likely won’t succeed.
Alternate Design Career Paths That May Interest You
What if you’re interested in a career in professional design, but aren’t interested in having to complete a bachelor’s degree (plus getting licensed, on top of that)?
Luckily, there are other career paths you can pursue that will take a fraction of the time – and this is where QC Design School comes in!
About QC Design School
A faculty of distance learning pioneer, QC Career School, QC Design School is an online international institution that’s been around since 1984 AND holds an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau! All of our training programs are 100% self-paced and able to be done right from the comfort of home.
The best part?
Successful completion of our wide variety of courses will arm you with an internationally-recognized certification + designation in your design field of choice!
Here are a few handy resources to help you better get to know QC Design School:
QC Design School Courses/Certifications
QC Design School offers a wide array of online courses for various areas of professional design. Importantly, these particular fields of design are unregulated – meaning that once you’ve graduated and are armed with your globally-recognized certification, you can start working immediately!
Oh, and did we mention that because QC’s courses are self-paced, YOU get to decide how long or how little time you need to graduate?
To put this into perspective, many of our graduates found that by devoting just 1-2 hours per week to their studies, they were able to finish their program in as little as 3-6 months. If you’re able to dedicate even more time per week to your class, you can easily graduate even sooner than that!
So, what courses/career paths can we help you pursue outside of interior design? Let’s take a look!
Alternate Design Career Path #1: Interior Decorating
In many ways, interior decorating is very much like interior designing – just without the architectural aspect.
Instead, interior decorators focus on the “decor” aspect of interior design. Think: furniture, window treatments, flooring, lighting, and more. This particular field is much less time-intensive to get into than traditional interior design.
Here at QC Design School, we offer a 7-unit Interior Decorating Course that you can complete in as little as 3 short months. Our curriculum has been designed by seasoned industry professionals to give you the best education possible. Plus, once you graduate, you’ll officially be a certified International Design and Decorating Professional (IDDP)!
Interested in a career as an interior decorator? Check out our ULTIMATE Guide on how to become an interior decorator (even with no experience) in 6 easy steps!
Alternate Design Career Path #2: Home Staging
Have you ever gone to an open house and been absolutely amazed by how beautiful and well-designed the space was? Well, that’s probably because it was staged by a professional!
Home staging is all about making a house look its absolute best before putting it on the market. This includes decluttering, rearranging/removing furniture, adding/removing decor, and more.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in home staging, QC Design School offers a Home Staging Course on this very topic! In as little as 3-6 months, you could earn an International Staging and Redesign Professional (ISRP) double certification + designation!
Not sure if home staging is right for you? Check out this blog post to learn everything about this field. This way, you can see if it’s the right fit!
Alternate Design Career Path #3: Professional Organizing
Have you ever seen those TV shows where someone’s entire house is overrun by clutter? And then, in comes a professional organizer to save the day?
Well, that profession is 100% real – and it might just be the perfect fit for you!
Professional organizers help their clients get their homes (and lives) back in order. This can include decluttering, organizing closets/drawers/cabinets, setting up storage solutions, and more.
If you’re interested in becoming a professional organizer, QC Design School offers an online Professional Organizing Course that you can complete in as little as 12 weeks. By the time you graduate, you’ll be able to add QC’s globally-recognized Advanced International Organizing Professional (AIOP) certification to your resume… Which will be sure to WOW all your clients!
Want to know how YOU can become a professional organizer in just 7 simple steps? This Ultimate Guide will answer EVERY question you have about this design career!
Alternate Design Career Path #4: Color Consulting
Have you ever gone to paint a room in your house, only to be completely overwhelmed by all the color options? If so, then you’re not alone!
Choosing the perfect paint color (or colors) for a space can be tricky. But, it’s also a skill that can be learned with some practice. And, once you learn it, you can help others do the same!
If you’re interested in becoming a certified color consultant, QC Design School’s Color Consultant Course is the way to go. Here, you can earn your International Color Consulting Professional (ICCP) certification + designation while being expertly guided by design industry sensation, Jane Lockhart!
Pro Tip: Learn the ins and outs of being a color consultant – as well as how to start working as one in 4 easy steps – by checking out our Ultimate Guide here!
Alternate Design Career Path #5: Feng Shui Design
Ever heard of Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that’s all about creating harmony and balance in a space. And, as you can probably imagine, this requires some pretty specific design knowledge!
If you’re interested in becoming a certified Feng Shui designer, QC’s self-paced, online Feng Shui Design Course will make you a master of the craft in as little as 12 short weeks. By completing this program, you’ll be able to walk away an Advanced Feng Shui Design Professional (AFDP)… Making YOU the go-to expert in this field!
Not sure if Feng Shui design is right for you? This blog post will give you a crash course on everything you need to know about this practice – from what it is and how it works, to how YOU can launch a career as a Feng Shui Consultant in just 7 steps!
Alternate Design Career Path #6: Floral Design
Love working with flowers and greenery?
If you enjoy getting your hands dirty and creating beautiful arrangements, then a career in floral design might be the perfect fit for you!
As a floral designer, you’ll be responsible for creating arrangements that elevate and refine your clients’ homes – both internally and externally. In order to do this job properly, you’ll need to have a good understanding of which flowers are in-season, as well as how to care for them.
This is where QC Design School’s Floral Design Course comes in handy! This 6-unit program will give you the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of professional floristry. Upon completion of the program, you’ll receive an International Floral Design Professional (IFDP) certification + designation.
Not to mention, the business training included within your course will arm you with all the skills needed to launch your very own floral design business, too!
Ready to get started? You can find the full details on QC’s Floral Design Course right here!
Alternate Design Career Path #7: Aging in Place Design
Aging in place design is all about making homes accessible and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. You’ll be responsible for making expert recommendations on how clients can improve their living space(s) with long-term safety at top of mind. This can include recommending that they incorporate features like grab bars, non-slip flooring, and wider doorways into their homes.
Thus, with your help, clients can age comfortably – and safely – in the comfort of their own homes!
What’s great about this design field is that it’s always growing! After all, the population continues to age. As a result, there will forever be an increasing demand for designers who specialize in this design niche.
Interested in pursuing this career path? Then you definitely need to enroll in QC Design School’s Aging in Place Course! In just 3-6 months, you can become a certified Aging in Place Professional (APDP) and start booking clients ASAP!
Learn more about QC’s Aging in Place Course here!
Alternate Design Career Path #8: Landscape Design
If you’re interested in a design career that involves working with nature, then landscape design is right up your alley!
As a landscape designer, you’ll be responsible for creating and maintaining outdoor living spaces – like gardens, yards, parks, and more. This can involve everything from planting trees and shrubs, to making recommendations on installing irrigation systems, etc.
In order to pursue this career path, we recommend enrolling in QC Design School’s Landscape Design Course! As a result of this 5-unit online training program, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become a globally-recognized International Landscape Design Professional (ILDP)!
Curious about landscape design, what this career path entails, and how YOU can become a landscape designer without any experience? Check out this Ultimate Guide! By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll be a seasoned expert!
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what a career in interior design looks like! That said, if you want to pursue an alternate path to interior design, QC Design School can help. In just 12 weeks, you can become internationally-certified and get your brand-new job started!
Still undecided on whether or not interior design is the right fit for you? Why not explore some of the other great design career options we’ve listed above? From floral design and landscape design, to Feng Shui consulting and aging in place design – there’s bound to be an alternate path that piques your interest!
Have any questions? Then feel free to reach out to us in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!