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Working As an Interior Design Internship

  • 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

  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Interior Design Internship 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 An Interior Design Internship

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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Interior Design Internship Career Paths

Interior Design Internship
Interior Designer Project Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Office Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Designer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Manager Property Manager
Real Estate Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Project Manager Owner
Owner And Founder
6 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Store Manager Regional Sales Manager
Business Development Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Owner Owner And Founder
Founder, Co-Owner
5 Yearsyrs
Design And Production Assistant Senior Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Design And Production Assistant Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design And Production Assistant Freelance Designer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Consultant Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Computer Aided Design Designer Assistant Project Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Computer Aided Design Designer Construction Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design And Sales Consultant Owner & Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Junior Designer Project Designer Interior Designer/Project Manager
Interior Design Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Interior Design Internship?

Average Yearly Salary
$42,000
Show Salaries
$31,000
Min 10%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$42,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
SAP America
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
0.7 years
How much does an Interior Design Internship make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Interior Design Internship in the United States is $42,617 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $56,000.

Real Interior Design Internship Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Interior Design Intern Hastings Architecture Associates, LLC Nashville, TN Sep 08, 2016 $42,000
Intern Interior Designer Lord, AECK & Sargent, Inc. Atlanta, GA Aug 09, 2016 $42,000
Interior Design Intern J-TEK Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $41,260
Interior Architecture Intern Gabellini Sheppard Associates LLP New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $41,122
Intern Interior Designer VOA Associates Incorporated New York, NY Aug 25, 2015 $40,277 -
$56,503
Intern Interiror Designer VOA Associates Incorporated New York, NY Aug 25, 2015 $40,227 -
$56,503
Interior Design Intern Michael Willis Architects Oakland, CA Jan 08, 2010 $35,757
Interior Designer-Intern Architecture Redwood Manufacturing Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 30, 2014 $33,750
Interior Design Intern Childs-Dreyfus, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 19, 2016 $33,000
Interior Intern Architect J. Price Architecture, Inc. Liberty, MO Sep 08, 2014 $30,000

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Top Skills for An Interior Design Internship

  1. Furniture Selection
  2. CAD
  3. Design Firm
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in furniture selections and documentation of specifications.
  • Produced renderings, digital presentations, AutoCAD drawings and assisted with concept development for commercial and residential projects.
  • Hired by internationally recognized commercial design firm for duration of internship required by bachelor program.
  • Produced preliminary programming, adjacency matrices, space planning and preliminary floor plans.
  • Worked with international architects and designers on space planning, construction documentation and on-site measurement.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Interior Design Interns

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Alaska
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Maine
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Connecticut
  9. Maryland
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (223 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)

Interior Design Internship Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,214 Interior Design Internship resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Interior Design Internship Resume

View Resume Examples

Interior Design Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

75.3%

Unknown

13.0%

Male

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

10.7%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.3%

French

14.4%

Chinese

7.9%

Mandarin

6.0%

Arabic

6.0%

Korean

4.6%

Italian

4.6%

Portuguese

4.2%

Russian

3.2%

German

3.2%

Japanese

2.3%

Cantonese

1.9%

Polish

1.4%

Swahili

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Hindi

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Armenian

0.9%

Dutch

0.5%
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Interior Design Internship Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.3%

Pratt Institute-Main

8.2%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

6.2%

International Academy of Design and Technology

5.8%

Iowa State University

5.8%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.6%

Parsons the New School for Design

5.2%

New York School of Interior Design

5.1%

Drexel University

4.7%

Academy of Art University

4.5%

Oklahoma State University

4.5%

Philadelphia University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Harrington College of Design

4.1%

Mississippi State University

3.7%

Purdue University

3.6%

Art Institute of California - Inland

3.4%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.4%

University of Georgia

3.4%
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Majors

Interior Design

69.5%

Interior Architecture

7.3%

Architecture

4.6%

Fine Arts

3.4%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Business

2.7%

Communication

1.1%

Environmental Design

1.0%

Marketing

0.9%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

0.9%

Mechanical Engineering

0.9%

Liberal Arts

0.8%

Psychology

0.7%

Sustainability

0.6%

Family And Consumer Sciences

0.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.5%

Education

0.5%

Drafting And Design

0.4%

Project Management

0.4%

Computer Applications

0.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

69.2%

Masters

11.4%

Other

8.5%

Associate

7.7%

Certificate

2.2%

Diploma

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.3%
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Updated May 19, 2020