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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Design Specialist
Top Careers After Design Specialist
Hispanic or Latino10.7%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix12.2%
Savannah College of Art and Design8.0%
Pennsylvania State University8.0%
University of Houston8.0%
San Jose State University5.5%
Iowa State University4.6%
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez4.2%
International Academy of Design and Technology4.2%
Brigham Young University3.8%
Arizona State University3.8%
Fashion Institute of Technology3.8%
Michigan State University3.4%
Kansas State University3.4%
University of Texas at San Antonio3.4%
Virginia Commonwealth University3.4%
University of Connecticut3.4%
University of Georgia3.4%
Southern New Hampshire University3.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Film Operations and Design Specialist||SEG Holdco, LLC||Santa Monica, CA||Sep 25, 2016||$210,000|
|Piping Design Specialist 6||Ch2M Hill Engineers, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 26, 2016||$155,044|
|Film Operations & Design Specialist||Survivor Entertainment Group, Inc.||Santa Monica, CA||Sep 25, 2014||$150,000|
|Industrial Design Specialist||Nokia USA Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Aug 21, 2016||$146,450|
|Design Specialist||Activision Publishing, Inc.||Santa Monica, CA||Sep 23, 2014||$139,862|
|Product Design Specialist||Facebook, Inc.||Menlo Park, CA||Jun 20, 2016||$138,427|
|Propeller Design Specialist||American Bureau of Shipping (Abs)||Houston, TX||Dec 16, 2013||$125,000|
|Lead Design Specialist||Technip USA, Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 01, 2014||$122,200|
|Piping Designer Specialist||Wood Group Mustang||Houston, TX||Sep 24, 2013||$120,640|
|Process Design Specialist 5||Ch2M Hill Engineers, Inc.||Portland, OR||Oct 01, 2014||$118,202|
|Computer Design Specialist-Animation||Turtle Rock Studios, Inc.||Lake Forest, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$118,000|
|Process Design Specialist||Ch2M Hill Engineers Inc.||Portland, OR||Jun 04, 2015||$114,742|
|Device Design Specialist||NNE Pharmaplan, Inc.||Emeryville, CA||Apr 25, 2013||$112,840 -
|Designer, Yarn Specialist||LF Distribution International Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 24, 2016||$89,411|
|Virtual Architectural Design Specialist||Stantec Architecture Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Dec 11, 2013||$89,045|
|High Performance Design Specialist||WSP USA Corp||San Francisco, CA||May 02, 2014||$86,758|
|Human/Computer Interface Design Specialist||Blackwell Global Consulting, LLC||Dunwoody, GA||Oct 05, 2016||$85,800 -
|Designer, Yarn Specialist||LF Distribution International Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 26, 2014||$84,407|
|Design Specialist II||Climatec||Irvine, CA||Sep 09, 2016||$84,198|
|Design Specialist for Supply Chain Applications, R&D||Manhattan Associates, Inc.||Atlanta, GA||Jul 10, 2015||$83,346 -
|Designer, Yarn Specialist||LF USA, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 20, 2013||$64,407|
|Specialist Designer||Globallogic, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Aug 27, 2015||$63,856 -
|Mechanical Engineering Design Specialist||McLanahan Corporation||Hollidaysburg, PA||Aug 21, 2014||$63,000 -
|Mapping and Design Specialist||Chihuo Inc.||El Monte, CA||Sep 16, 2016||$62,610|
|Home Products Design Specialist||Woodcrafters Home Products, LLC||Weslaco, TX||Dec 27, 2016||$62,067|
|Architectural Designer/Sustainable Design Specialist||Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 09, 2016||$60,000|
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