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How to Become an Interior Designer in 2021

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

So, keep reading.

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

This content will guide 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 be earning an hourly pay, then you should give interior design thought.

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

Interior decorators combine creative skills with business acumen in their designing functional spaces as well as interacting with a variety of clients.

In this guide below, we have discussed the following which is very necessary to be known by upcoming interior decorators like you. 

They include: how to become an interior designer, interior decorator salary, best interior decorator certification, as well as what interior decorators do. 

Yes, all for you. 

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

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Before we go further to discussing the processes involved in becoming an interior designer, we would like to recommend these online programs for you.

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How To Become An Interior Designer

How to Become an Interior Designer

To become an interior designer, the following are steps to become 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 interior designers before they are offered employment by most interior design firms.

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

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

Degrees on the associate, masters and doctoral levels are also available.

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

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

Most states require the licensure of interior designers hence prohibit unlicensed designers from doing interior design work.

Others grant permission to both 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 sit for the NCIDQ exam, you are to commonly hold the minimum of a bachelor’s degree as well as two years on-the-job training

Step 3: Take Some Pro Bono projects

Those who are new to the interior decorator business may find it hard to get hired without existing work experience and it is obviously 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 out by practising the craft, offering services to friends and family, or volunteering to help local non-profit services as well as organizations, or even small business all for free!.

Individuals new to the art of interior designing can even work on their own homes. 

Taking a pro bono project is aimed at your developing the skills needed when real paying jobs come along.

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 is that most crucial tool for interior designers looking out for client?

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, rather it will, in addition, show off your ability to present yourself in a professional and well-organized way.

Aside from the photos, we also advise that you include a selection of 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 is aimed at staying abreast of trends and changes through attending interior design conferences wherein professional certifications are given to designers.

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

All through the year several conferences, workshops and summits are offered by many organizations.

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

Find Scholarships to Study Abroad in 2021

Click on any of the following countries to find scholarships for your study abroad destination.

Find more scholarships in 2021 always visit our scholarship search engine at https://www.academicrelated.com/

Interior Decorator Salary

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

According to PayScale.com, 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 a year, as reported by Payscale.com.

What are the seven elements of interior designing?

Here are the seven elements ic 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.

Best Interior Decorator Certification

Interior Decorator Certificate Course Online

Start Date: April 27, 2021.

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 approach for interior decorating and starting off as a professional interior decorator.   

Course Topics

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

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

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 make use of elements such as paint, lighting, and fabric to create living spaces that suite their owner’s personality.


This job can be likened to that of 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.

An Interior Designer, on the other hand, must hold a four-year degree.

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

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

What this means is that you change paint colours, add curtains, remove throw pillows, as well as install carpets.

Designers, on the other hand, can change architectural aspects-they can remove walls, add skylights, or take out windows.

As an Interior Decorator, you want to ensure your client is always happy and on the same page with you.

Actually, good communication skills as well as the ability to give an explanation to your vision assists a lot in this job.

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

Having up-to-date latest design trends, and learning as much as possible about various fabrics and styles will assist you to get clients and keep them happy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Interior Design a good career?

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

How much does 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 hurt anyone. If you have interest in or have the ability to pursue an education, look for programs that have been 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 be in possession of at least a bachelor’s degree. Programs in interior design can be found at a good number of major colleges as well as universities, likewise in specialized art and design institute.

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, then 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 talent, passion and zeal to become an interior designer, then you can start up even without any form of 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 make use of the information on this content to become an amazing interior designer by following the best route.

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

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