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Become A Design Consultant

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Working As A Design Consultant

  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Design Consultant Do

Interior designers make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

Duties

Interior designers typically do the following:

  • Search for and bid on new projects
  • Determine the client’s goals and requirements for the project
  • Consider how the space will be used and how people will move through the space
  • Sketch preliminary design plans, including electrical and partition layouts
  • Specify materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures
  • Create a timeline for the interior design project and estimate project costs
  • Place orders for materials and oversee the installation of the design elements
  • Conduct the construction administration of the project and coordinate with general building contractors to implement the plans and specifications to build the project
  • Visit the site after the project is complete, to ensure that the client is satisfied

Interior designers work closely with architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, and builders to determine how interior spaces will function, look, and be furnished. Interior designers read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations. For more information on structural engineers, see the profile on civil engineers. For more information on builders, see the profile on construction laborers and helpers.

Although some sketches or drawings may be freehand, most interior designers use computer-aided design (CAD) software for the majority of their drawings. Throughout the design process, interior designers often will use building information modeling (BIM) software to create three-dimensional visualizations that include construction elements such as walls or roofs.

Many designers specialize in a particular type of building, such as homes, hospitals, or hotels; a specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens; or a specific style. Some designers work for home-furnishings stores, providing design services to help customers choose materials and furnishings.

Some interior designers produce designs, plans, and drawings for construction and installation. These may include construction and demolition plans, electrical layouts, and plans needed for building permits. Interior designers may draft the preliminary design into documents that could be as simple as sketches or as inclusive as construction documents, with schedules and attachments.

The following are examples of types of interior designers:

Healthcare designers use the evidence-design process in designing and renovating healthcare centers, clinics, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and residential care facilities. They specialize in making design decisions based on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, residents, and the facility.

Sustainable designers use strategies to improve energy and water efficiencies and indoor air quality, and they specify environmentally preferable products, such as bamboo and cork for floors. They may obtain certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Such certification indicates that a building and its interior space were designed with the use of sustainable concepts.

Universal designers renovate spaces in order to make them more accessible. Often, these designs are used to renovate spaces for elderly people and people with special needs; however, universal designs can benefit anyone. For example, an entranceway without steps may be necessary for someone in a wheelchair, but it is also helpful for someone pushing a baby stroller.

Kitchen and bath designers specialize in kitchens and bathrooms and have expert knowledge of the variety of cabinets, fixtures, appliances, plumbing, and electrical solutions for these rooms.

Corporate designers create interior designs for professional workplaces from small office settings to large-scale corporations within high-rise buildings. They focus on creating spaces that are efficient, functional, and safe for employees. They may incorporate design elements that reflect a company’s brand in their designs.

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How To Become A Design Consultant

Interior designers usually need a bachelor’s degree with a focus on interior design.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is usually required, as are classes in interior design, drawing, and computer-aided design (CAD). A bachelor’s degree in any field is acceptable, and interior design programs are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredits more than 180 professional-level (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) interior design programs.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association accredits kitchen and bath design specialty programs (certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s degree levels) in 45 colleges and universities.

Applicants may be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability for admission to interior design programs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure requirements vary by state. In some states, only licensed designers may do interior design work. In other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may do such work; however, only licensed designers may use the title “interior designer.” In still other states, both licensed and unlicensed designers may call themselves interior designers and do interior design work.

In states where laws restrict the use of the title “interior designer,” only those who pass their state-approved exam, most commonly the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, may call themselves registered interior designers. Qualifications for eligibility to take the NCIDQ exam include a combination of education and experience. For example, applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design and 2 years of experience.

California requires a different exam, administered by the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC). Qualifications for eligibility to take the CCIDC exam include a combination of education and experience.

Voluntary certification in an interior design specialty, such as healthcare interior design, allows designers to demonstrate expertise in a particular area of the occupation. Interior designers often specialize to distinguish the type of design work they do and to promote their expertise. Certifications usually are available through professional and trade associations and are independent from the NCIDQ licensing examination.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Interior designers use their sense of style to develop designs that are aesthetically pleasing.

Creativity. Interior designers need to be imaginative in selecting furnishings and fabrics and in creating spaces that serve the client’s needs and fit the client’s lifestyle.

Detail oriented. Interior designers need to be precise in measuring interior spaces and creating drawings, so that it can be used by other workers such as engineers or other designers.

Interpersonal skills. Interior designers need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and others. Much of their time is spent soliciting new clients and new work and collaborating with other designers, engineers, and general building contractors on ongoing projects.

Problem-solving skills. Interior designers must address challenges, such as construction delays and the high cost or sudden unavailability of certain materials, while keeping the project on time and within budget.

Visualization. Interior designers need a strong sense of proportion and visual awareness in order to understand how pieces of a design will fit together to create the intended interior environment.

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Design Consultant Career Paths

Design Consultant
Interior Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager Operations Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager/Design Manager Construction Manager Property Manager
Community Association Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Design Consultant Senior Graphic Designer Project Manager
Delivery Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Assistant Director Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Project Manager
Director
7 Yearsyrs
Design Director Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Design And Sales Consultant Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Senior Designer
Principal Designer
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Product Director
11 Yearsyrs
Design Director Senior Art Director User Experience Designer
Product Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Creative Director Marketing Communications Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design And Sales Consultant Showroom Manager Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Showroom Manager Sales Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Showroom Manager Interior Designer Project Coordinator
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Specialist Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Kitchen And Bath Designer Designer Production Manager
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Program Manager General Manager
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Design Consultant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Interior Designer 4.2 years
Design Director 4.1 years
Design Specialist 3.5 years
Design Coordinator 3.1 years
Design Consultant 3.0 years
Brand Consultant 1.9 years
Design Internship 0.6 years
Top Careers Before Design Consultant
Designer 10.4%
Internship 8.0%
Consultant 5.7%
Manager 3.7%
Owner 3.2%
Top Careers After Design Consultant
Consultant 10.4%
Designer 8.1%
Owner 5.0%
Manager 4.3%
Internship 3.1%

Do you work as a Design Consultant?

Design Consultant Demographics

Gender

Female

49.0%

Male

48.7%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

10.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.1%

French

12.3%

German

6.3%

Japanese

5.5%

Mandarin

5.0%

Chinese

4.8%

Russian

4.5%

Italian

3.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Hindi

2.0%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Portuguese

1.5%

Greek

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Tagalog

1.0%

Dutch

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Hebrew

0.5%
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Design Consultant Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

17.7%

Savannah College of Art and Design

9.3%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.3%

Pratt Institute-Main

5.0%

Rhode Island School of Design

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Academy of Art University

4.3%

Syracuse University

4.1%

New York University

4.1%

Parsons the New School for Design

4.0%

Michigan State University

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.6%

International Academy of Design and Technology

3.6%

Drexel University

3.6%

Auburn University

3.5%

University of Texas at Austin

3.5%

San Diego State University

3.5%

University of Florida

3.3%

University of Houston

3.3%
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Majors

Interior Design

18.5%

Graphic Design

17.8%

Business

12.9%

Fine Arts

6.6%

Architecture

4.9%

Electrical Engineering

4.7%

Mechanical Engineering

4.0%

Marketing

3.7%

Communication

3.4%

Computer Science

3.2%

Management

3.2%

Drafting And Design

3.1%

Psychology

2.3%

Education

2.0%

Design And Visual Communication

1.9%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.5%

English

1.5%

Engineering

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.4%

Other

20.5%

Masters

16.2%

Associate

9.2%

Certificate

4.7%

Doctorate

1.9%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Temporary

Real Design Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Design Consultant Noramtec Consultants Americas, Inc. Wichita, KS Oct 02, 2013 $177,395
Lead Experience Design Consultant Thoughtworks, Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 16, 2016 $150,000
Design Consultant Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 26, 2016 $146,187 -
$221,187
Design Consultant, Staff Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Apr 02, 2016 $145,392 -
$165,392
Design Consultant, Staff Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 23, 2015 $142,667 -
$152,667
Design Consultant Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA May 01, 2015 $140,977 -
$215,977
Strategic User Experience Design Consultant Sap Labs, LLC Palo Alto, CA Aug 25, 2015 $139,725
Strategic User Experience Design Consultant Sap Labs, LLC Palo Alto, CA Aug 25, 2016 $136,950 -
$232,800
Design Consultant, SR. II Synopsys, Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 29, 2016 $133,000 -
$153,000
Strategic User Experience Design Consultant Sap Labs, LLC Palo Alto, CA May 13, 2016 $132,900 -
$225,900
Design Consultant Synopsys, Inc. Austin, TX Aug 23, 2016 $132,838 -
$207,838
Design Consultant Synopsys, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 05, 2015 $129,540 -
$204,540
Solution Design Consultant T-Systems North America, Inc. Downers Grove, IL Sep 04, 2015 $128,667
Solutions Design Consultant de Lage Landen Financial Services Inc. Wayne, PA Mar 16, 2016 $128,520
Senior Desktop Design Consultant Thomson Reuters (Markets) LLC New York, NY Sep 04, 2014 $99,160
Solutions Design Consultant de Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc. Wayne, PA Oct 01, 2013 $98,963
Product Design Consultant Philips Electronics North America Corporation Andover, MA Oct 01, 2014 $96,752
Internal Strategic Design Consultant Sap Labs, LLC Palo Alto, CA Sep 14, 2016 $96,279
Design Consultant Noramtec Consultants Americas, Inc. Wichita, KS Apr 01, 2013 $95,000
Solutions Design Consultant de Lage Landen Financial Services Inc. Wayne, PA Jul 01, 2015 $93,250
Solutions Design Consultant de Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc. Wayne, PA Jul 01, 2015 $93,250
Business Design Consultant Fidelity Technology Group LLC Boston, MA Aug 12, 2015 $82,243 -
$127,317
Technical Design Consultant L&T Technology Services Limited Wyoming, MN May 09, 2016 $82,000 -
$92,000
Technical Design Consultant L&T Technology Services Limited Decatur, IL Jan 19, 2015 $81,600
Technical Design Consultant L&T Technology Services Limited Decatur, IL Aug 28, 2014 $81,600
Program Design Consultant, Vice President State Street Bank and Trust Company Boston, MA Sep 21, 2014 $81,000 -
$90,000
Technical Design Consultant L&T Technology Services Limited Burr Ridge, IL Jun 20, 2014 $80,000
Senior Design Consultant Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Sep 20, 2015 $80,000 -
$182,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Design Consultant

Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$53,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$128,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Toll Brothers
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Design Consultant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Design Consultant in the United States is $82,702 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $128,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Design Consultant?

Have you worked as a Design Consultant? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Design Consultant.

Top Skills for A Design Consultant

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Company Website
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Established working product knowledge of over 200 domestic and international furniture manufacturers.
  • Re-designed company's logo, letterhead and general business correspondence as well as updated photography for company website.
  • Cultivated a loyal and consistent client base through one-on-one customer service by maintaining an excellent record of honesty and reliability.
  • Worked as a team with another graphic designer to design the yearly Connecticut Traffic Safety Challenge report for the department.
  • Assisted clients with many aspects of design including floor plans, furniture selection, window treatments, paint and fabric selections.

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Top 10 Best States for Design Consultants

  1. Rhode Island
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. California
  5. Delaware
  6. Texas
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. Arkansas
  10. Montana
  • (33 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)
  • (279 jobs)
  • (1,156 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (525 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (202 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)

Top Design Consultant Employers

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