How to Become an Interior Designer

Interior design is an interesting field.  Experts working in the industry combine creative skills with business acumen as they work together with different clients to design functional spaces. With the industry expected to continue growing, the time is right to consider a career as an interior designer.

Becoming an interior designer starts with your passion for beauty, and your interest in applying it in your work. If you have a love for designing, then you’ll definitely have the capacity to turn something that may seem outdated into a useful work of art.

But having that desire to become an interior designer is not enough. Without acquiring the proper knowledge, education, and skills, you will struggle professionally. It is necessary to equip yourself with the basic knowledge and skills for creating amazing, and artistic spaces.

What is interior design?

Interior design is all about how you experience spaces. It’s an essential and powerful part of your life and influences how you work, heal and even live. Functional workspaces, comfortable homes and scenic public spaces – that’s interior design at work.

The fundamental meaning is that it’s design for the interior of a building, typically a home. This comprises everything from living rooms to bedrooms to kitchens and bathrooms, and even work cubicles and meeting rooms. It includes everything from kitchen cupboards to paint colors as well. If you’re interested in home decorating and design, a career in interior design could mean a lot of different things to you. You could design living rooms or bedrooms or home offices.

What does an interior designer do?

A normal day in the life of Designers is varied and fast-paced. On a basic level, an Interior designer designs and creates working spaces for different clients, either as part of a design firm or as a freelancer. A designer often specializes in a particular area, such as corporate workspaces, home design, and green spaces. The picturesque space that interior designers create is the outcome of creative thinking, months of planning and a lot of hard work. The following are the main obligations of interior designers:

  • Source new projects and clients
  • Create a timeline of the projects
  • Prepare quotes, briefs and sketches
  • Prepare comprehensive drawings from initial sketches
  • Evaluate the client’s needs throughout the project
  • Find fixtures and fittings, and furniture
  • Attend regular client meetings and regular site visits

This is not a complete list. Interior designers must be quick and flexible to react to problems that can come up during a project.

What qualifications do interior designers need?

There are a number of paths that an interior designer can take to succeed in the industry. As a common rule, an interior designer must have the credentials that show a high-level of artistic talent and design ability. The following are a few ways to prove these skills:

  • Higher education – Most interior designers have at least a bachelor’s degree. Design and art schools, universities and traditional colleges offer degree programs in interior design, typically leading to bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.
  • Short specialist courses – Create your portfolio and sign up for as many short courses and workshops as possible. These are great for helping to develop skills like technical drawing, CAD or Photoshop.
  • Interior design diploma – These are short, intensive courses that generally take a year to complete.

Take the time to work out a career action plan so that you know what kind of designer you want to be and you can realize your goals.


The time it takes to be a licensed interior designer differs by state. For instance, in some states, it can takes more than four years to meet the experience and education prerequisites to become qualified to take a licensing examination.

What can I expect to earn?

The salary of interior designers is very much reliant on the level of experience. Junior and entry level positions start at the lower end of the scale, while a head designer can earn much more. On the other hand, most freelance designers prefer to set their own hourly rates.

The median annual earnings of an interior designer in the United States was $48,000 in 2016. An interior designer who worked for engineering or architectural firms earned the highest median salary, at $55,000 in 2016.

The perks and challenges of being an interior designer

There are always ups and downs to every career. The following are some pros and cons of being an interior designer:


  • You’ll have the satisfaction of witnessing your creative vision come to life.
  • Besides designing something beautiful, you’ll design and create a space that people can enjoy and feel comfortable.
  • You get to be creative in a lot of ways. From the furniture you add to a room to the colors you use.
  • You get to be your own boss and set your own working hours.


  • Interior design takes a lot of training and most designers have a degree, so you’ll need to be very committed.
  • Sometimes it’s challenging to persuade others to accept your ideas.  It takes a thick skin and lots of persistence.
  • Depending on the client’s budget, you may find yourself limited on materials.


Becoming an interior designer requires a lot of hard work and commitment. You will not start earning the big bucks right away; however with perseverance and dedication you can quickly advance your career and start earning a great living. A successful interior designer is one that puts all of their dedication and energy into making the vision of the client become a reality.