How to Become an Interior Designer in 2024 | Everything You Need to Know


Are you creative and want to become an interior designer? If yes, this article will guide you through how to become an interior designer.

So, keep reading.


Here, we discussed ways to become an interior designer, the best interior decorator certification, schools, and salaries of an interior designer. 

This content will guide you through all you need to know about becoming an interior designer.


If you are interested in self-employment or want to work for small firms through which you can earn hourly pay, you should consider the interior design.

Interior decorators can work as self-employed small business owners, so they stand the chance of partaking in its advantages or disadvantages. 

Interior decorators combine creative skills with business acumen in designing functional spaces and interacting with various clients.


In the guide below, we discussed the following, which is necessary for upcoming interior decorators like you. 

They include: how to become an interior designer, an interior decorator’s salary, the best interior decorator certification, and what interior decorators do. 

Yes, all for you. 

To spice things up, this article also contains answers to questions professionals and upcoming interior designers frequently ask. So, enjoy the ride!

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How To Become An Interior Designer

How to Become an Interior Designer

The following are the steps to becoming an interior designer and include: 

Step 1: Earn A Degree in Interior Design

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required by individuals who want to be interior designers before most interior design firms offer them employment.

However, having a formal education is not an absolute must to become a professional interior designer.

A degree in interior design will be generally acceptable as long as it is accompanied by coursework in interior design, for example drawing and computer-aided design (CAD).

Degrees on the associate, master’s, and doctoral levels are available.

If you are an intending interior decorator, you may also find quality degree and certificate programs online. Still, there’s a need to check a program’s accreditation before signing up for the program.

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Step 2: Pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam

Most states require the licensure of interior designers, prohibiting unlicensed designers from doing interior design work.

Others grant permission to licensed and unlicensed designers’ interior design but only permit licensed professionals to use the title of “interior designer.”

If this is the case in the state where you are doing the interior design business, and you wish to be addressed with the title of “interior designer,” then you have to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.

To be eligible for the NCIDQ exam, you must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and two years of on-the-job training.

Step 3: Take Some Pro Bono Projects

Those new to the interior decorator business may find it hard to get hired without work experience. It is impossible to gain experience without getting some work done.

To take some pro bono projects wherein you do interior design work for free.

You can start by practicing your craft, offering services to friends and family, or volunteering to help local non-profit services, organizations, or even small businesses for free!

Individuals new to the art of interior design can even work in their own homes. 

Taking a pro bono project aims to develop the skills needed when real paying jobs come along.

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Step 4: Build a Portfolio

Ensure that you take quality photographs of all of your work and make a professional portfolio out of it.

Have you ever thought of what the most crucial tool is for interior designers looking out for clients?

A high-quality, comprehensive portfolio!

Building a portfolio which is among the steps on how to become an interior designer, not only permits potential clients to view your best work; it will also show off your ability to present yourself in a professional and well-organized way.

Aside from the photos, we also advise including your designs and sketches.

Have you ever thought of taking your professional portfolio online?

If not, then do so ASAP because that will do a great deal!

Step 5: Look for Continuing Education opportunities

This aims to stay abreast of trends and changes by attending interior design conferences wherein professional certifications are given to designers.

Several institutions and establishments have certificates in specialty areas, such as sustainable design, corporate interior design, spatial theory, and designing historic spaces.

Many organizations offer several conferences, workshops, and summits throughout the year.

For instance, the International Interior Design Association often hosts events like the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Design Society.

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Interior Decorator Salary

There is a great variation in the salaries for interior decorators, depending on experience, specialty, and employer.

According to, in August 2019, the median salary for interior decorators was about $39,502. The highest earners in the interior design business made more than $107,877.

December 2019 had interior designers earning a median hourly wage of $23.62 an hour, which was dependent on a 40-hour week and translates into $39,004 annually.

As of May 2018, they earned a median hourly wage of $25.66, or $53,370 annually, which is according to the report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Certified interior decorators (CIDs) who work 40 hours a week may be paid a median annual wage of $39,004 yearly, as reported by

What are the Seven Elements of Interior Design?

Here are the seven elements of interior designing:

  1. Color
  2. Line
  3. Textures
  4. Pattern
  5. Space
  6. Form
  7. Light

Striking a balance between all these elements will make your interior design stand out.

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Best Interior Decorator Certification

Interior Decorator Certificate Course Online

Start Date: April 27,

Course Fee: $129.00

Course Length: 6 weeks part-time

This is a part-time online interior decorator certificate course, and here, you will be taught how to become an interior decorator.

You will also learn the essential principles and practical step-by-step approaches for interior decorating, starting as a professional interior decorator.   

Course Topics

The course topics that will be discussed during this online class include the following:

Introduction to Interior Decorating

  • Interior Decorating vs. Interior Design
  • Benefits of Being an Interior Decorator
  • How to Get Interior Decorating Experience

How to Decorate

  • Design Elements
  • Decorating Styles
  • Room Elements
  • Interior Decorating Instructions

Getting Hired as an Interior Decorator

  • Finding Job Openings
  • Interior Decorating Jobs with Retailers
  • Who Employs Interior Decorators
  • Interior Decorating Jobs with Home Builders
  • Interior Decorating and Design Firms

Starting Your Own Interior Decorating Business

  • Where to Get Help
  • Interior Decorating Franchises
  • Setting Up Your Interior Decorating Business
  • Setting Your Fees as an Interior Decorator
  • Working with Suppliers and Contractors

Working with Clients

  • Finding Interior Decorating Clients
  • Identifying Client Needs
  • Client Consultations
  • Preparing for Your Follow-Up Meeting
  • Preparing Interior Decorating Project Budgets
  • Meeting to Present the Decorating Plan

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The Best Course to Do to Become an Interior Designer

The best courses to become an interior designer include:

  • Degrees
  • Diplomas & Vocational Courses
  • Mentorships
  • Apprenticeships
  • Hobby Or Arts Classes Top of Form

What Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Interior decorators use paint, lighting, and fabric to create living spaces that suit their owners’ personalities.

This job can be likened to an interior designer, but with some huge disparities.

The main one is schooling.

An Interior Decorator does not need formal training by way of education, but you can make up your mind to get certified via online or community college classes.

On the other hand, an Interior Designer must hold a four-year degree.

A Decorator also differs from a Designer in what he/she is allowed to alter within a room.

As a Decorator, your only focus is on the room as it’s in existence.

You change paint colors, add curtains, remove throw pillows, and install carpets.

On the other hand, designers can change architectural aspects-they can remove walls, add skylights, or taking out windows.

As an interior decorator, you want to ensure your client is always happy and on the same page as you.

Good communication skills and the ability to explain your vision greatly assist this job.

You can work with various spaces, from a restaurant to a house to an office to a yacht.

Having up-to-date knowledge of the latest design trends and learning as much as possible about various fabrics and styles will assist you in getting clients and keeping them happy.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Interior Design a good career?

Interior design is a good career option for individuals with creativity and ideas. It has good scope and presents a lot of opportunities. You may also go after your interior designer or interior architect career. However, studying a design course (Interior or Fashion Course) at the best college will be an advantage.

How much do Interior Designers earn?

This question has been answered in the article under the Interior Decorator Salary.

Can you be an interior designer without a degree?

Technically, a degree is not needed to become an interior decorator. Be that as it may, knowledge never hurts anyone. If you are interested in or can pursue an education, look for programs accredited by Certified Interior Decorators International (CID) and/or the Interior Design Society (IDS). This will give you an edge over others.

Is it easy to get a job as an interior designer?

While one mustn’t get a formal education, most interior design firms expect designers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Programs in interior design can be found at a good number of major colleges and universities, likewise in specialized art and design institutes.

How many years does it take to become an interior designer?

The number of years it may take you to become an interior designer will depend on the level you plan to take interior designing to.

Typically it takes between 2 to 6 years to become an interior designer.
If you want to do Interior designing in a very professional way, you will have to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which takes a minimum of 4 years to complete.

Conclusion: How to Become an Interior Designer

If you have the talent, passion, and zeal to become an interior designer, you can start without training or education.

You can become a self-taught interior designer.

But, getting some form of training or even a formal education will not hurt you, rather, it can help polish your skill.

On that note, I will advise that you use the information in this content to become an amazing interior designer by following the best route.

If you have friends or family who want to know how to become an interior designer, kindly share This article with them.

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