Interior design has been an interest of human cultures since the first person decided to do something to make their living environment beautiful. Since interior design is a reflection of culture, it provides an important link to our society’s history. Recently there has been an interest on more than just mere aesthetics in interior design-color and design have been found to have far-reaching effects on individuals.
Since designers now have the possibility of implementing profound changes in their clients’ lives, it’s important that anyone planning on a career in interior design learns more than just the basics of color and fabric. People want to know how to decorate on a budget, the durability of materials-even how kid-friendly their décor will be! A career in this form of design can be rewarding-as long as you give it the preparation it deserves.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-2011, demand for interior professionals is expected to increase as more homeowners and businesses need their services. Those designers with the talent, schooling, and specialization-especially into “green technology” have the best prospects for successful careers. Since many designers contract their services or perform freelance work, it’s also a good idea to have business sense (or at least some classes to help you out) and good communication and interpersonal skills. Many professionals find success in specializing in a specific field, such as home interior design, creating more efficient and ergonomic office surroundings, or modifying homes and businesses to assist clients with disabilities. In addition, it’s a good idea to have some training in CAD (computer-aided drafting) and other software applications.
Entry-level positions in design require completion of a training program from professional design schools or from colleges or universities. Where you get your certificate matters: getting your associate’s degree or a certificate completing a two- to three-year program usually qualifies you to be an assistant interior design professional, and a bachelor’s degree usually allows you to qualify for an apprenticeship program. There are about 300 accredited schools a budding interior designer can attend, and many of them can assist in finding employment. In addition, it’s important to compile a portfolio of your work-sketches and photographs in this collection enable employers to see how you use space, color, and design. After your training, you most likely will start as an assistant or apprentice, working one or more years with an experienced designer until you exhibit the aptitude to work on your own. At this point, depending on the state, you may find that you need to be licensed to continue your career.
Interior design professionals, on average, earn a salary between $33,160 and $47,519, according to payscale.com. Most (92%) of interior designers are female, and the majority (85%) of interior designers have been beautifying living space for less than ten years. The best cities to work in as an interior designer are San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles-and freelance interior designers tend to be the highest-paid.
If you have the flair, the education, and the versatility to expand your working knowledge to meet the needs of an ever-expanding market, a career in interior design-making it beautiful, one space at a time– just might work for you.