Want to Design Spaces for a Living? Become an Interior Designer in These 4 Steps

Interior Designer talking to a man over prints


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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
So you're a hoarder of throw pillows, your home is always sparkling clean and you're obsessed with all things design. Pursuing a career as an interior designer would, then, make a lot of sense. But what exactly does an interior designer do, how can you become an interior designer and where can you find a job as an interior designer?

Let's look into all of the above.

What does an interior designer do?

An interior designer is someone who helps clients bring their visions for a space alive. An interior designer might work with individual homeowners, businesses planning office spaces and other clients in order to design and transform a space.
There are also different kinds of interior designers. For example, sustainable interior designers use strategies to improve energy and water systems in homes, offices and other spaces. There are also designers dedicated to just certain spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, as well as designers dedicated to just certain design aspects like lighting.

So, is interior design a good career? You decide! If you're passionate about design and love helping clients see their visions come to fruition, a job as an interior designer might be perfect for you.

How do you become an interior designer?

What qualifications do you need to be an interior designer? While no formal education is necessarily needed to become an interior designer, some companies may require you to have a degree in design and other qualifications. Even if you choose to work independently and/or start your own business, you will want to meet the following criterial in order to have credibility.

Here's how to become an interior designer in four simple steps.

1. Get to know other interior designers.

Get to know other well-known, successful interior designers. You can start searching them on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, for example. Read their design blogs, read up on books by interior designers and check out articles about design trends. The point is to start familiarizing yourself with all things interior design!
Some of the most famous interior designers, for example, include Kelly Wearstler, Marcel Wanders and Joanna Gaines. You can follow Gaines' blog, for example, Magnolia Homes.

2. Start an interior design blog or social media page.

Start making a name for yourself and showcasing your creative talent by putting together a design blog or by creating a Pinterest board or Instagram page (something visual!) with your designs. You can start collecting ideas and showing people your unique style and various concepts for different kinds of spaces. You can even just use it for yourself to start sourcing inspiration.

3. Get a degree in design.

Most professional interior designers will hold a bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field. Many will go to design-specific schools to get their degrees. In school, they're learn how to work with light, colors and shapes. They'll learn how to read blueprints and create mockups. And they'll learn how to work with clients to help bring their visions to life.
You can also get a design in business or a more general field and then just get working experience with a design firm. If you have connections, you might be able to land a job with someone willing to give you a chance and show you the ropes.

4. Apply for a Job.

Apply for work! You can find interior design jobs online on a whole host of job board platforms, like Fairygodboss' job board! You can also put out notes on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn to let your friends and professional networks know that you are offering interior design services. You never know who might reach out!
Just give it some time, however. Because interior design is such a creative career, it can be a lot of fun and it attracts a lot of creative types. This means that the competition for interior design jobs can be high in some areas.

How long does it take to become an interior designer? Depending on your skills and experiences, it can take multiple years to become an interior designer — and even more years to become a truly successful interior designer. Because most interior designers have bachelor's degrees, it takes the bulk of them about four or so years to become educated professionals. That said, you can become an interior designer in even less time if you find the work experience.

Do interior designers get paid well?

You can make a nice salary as an interior designer. Of course, your salary will depend on several factors like where you work, for whom you
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers earn about $53,370 per year on average. And, fortunately, the projected job growth for 2018 to 2028 is 4% for interior designers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that there are opportunities available given a demand for interior designer — and, once you land one of those opportunities, you can good money doing what you love.
So there you are! Becoming an interior designer takes creativity and effort. But if you get yourself a degree in design and start up a portfolio of your designs, you can get started finding work an interior designer in no time.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.