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How to Start a Career as an Interior Designer

interior designed living roomDo friends or loved ones admire you for your natural ability for spatial composition?

Just know exactly where a splash of color is needed to bring a room to life?

Maybe you'd love spending hours rooting through antique stores for that one perfect piece to complete a room.

Then a career as an interior designer may be the perfect way to create a career around your inborn talent.

That said, interior design is not a terribly easy industry to get into for hobbyists with no formal training. Some of the skills that a good interior designer must possess -- such as the ability to read blueprints, to understand fire and building codes, and to be able to use up-to-date CAD software to help create designs -- are all difficult to learn without a rigorous education.

Most employers recommend, at the minimum, a four year degree just for entry level jobs. And in some states, interior designers are also licensed by the state.

"Anyone who can incorporate an understanding of ergonomics, environmental sensitivity, or the needs of the elderly into their interior design will do well right now..."

Today, about a quarter of the interior design industry is self employed, so a hobbyist with a good business sense will have the advantage if they were motivated to learn. And, some of the most essential skills to being an interior designer, such as an eye for color, style, and the ability to make customers happy are not easy to train in a school.

There is also a lot of variety within the interior design industry. Anyone who can incorporate an understanding of ergonomics, environmental sensitivity, or the needs of the elderly into their interior design will do well right now, as these are all parts of the industry that will remain popular heading into the 21st century.

The growth of the interior design industry is expected to be good over the next ten years, almost double the national average, and competition for interior design jobs will remain high. The average wage for interior designers is about $42,000 a year, but wages vary greatly depending on experience, reputation, employer, and specialty.

More about careers in interior design around the Web:


American Society of Interior Designers - Major US association and career central for those looking for more information on training and educational requirements, including a database of student chapters searchable by US state.

So, you want to be an interior designer? - Good overview for students with suggested classes to take while still in high school, required post education, and typical ways to launch a career with related resources.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Interior Designers - US Department of Labor career guide with information on educational requirements and training, job outlook and typical earnings.


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