Is Interior Design A Good Career?
The choice of the most suitable career is not only about selecting a source of income. It also involves thinking of a professional path that will bring satisfaction. An ideal profession is supposed to be exciting every time, inspiring one to move beyond the expected results. Undoubtedly, a career is a serious decision that needs plenty of thinking. Many of us have our passions and individual incentives to drive us toward a fulfilling career, but hard work and commitment are also essential.
Is interior design a good career? Yes, interior design is a good career option, especially for those who showcase their passion in the simplest of situations. It offers one a chance to exercise their inborn talents and comes with excellent job satisfaction. Additionally, getting an interior design degree takes a short time and the employment opportunities are fun.
Although talent remains a strong asset for interior designers, their professional career mostly depends on their efforts and hard work. Even designers with an accurate attention to detail and exceptional talent have to undergo a formal education process to introduce them to the tools and techniques behind the art. Before choosing an interior design career, keep in mind that there are new challenges to face each day. In this article, I aim to answer questions such as, is interior design a good job? Is interior design hard? And I’ll also look at how to start a career in interior design.
Is Interior Design a Good Career?
Before making a leap into interior design, there are several things a person should know about the design industry. Interior designers come across challenges each day; some of them may not be appealing, whereas others might be exciting and open bigger doors.
Here, are important things to note before diving into interior design.
- Interior Decorators are Different From Interior Designers
The main difference between interior decorators and designers is education. Anybody can become an interior decorator. Those who love to play with colors and fabrics can become decorators by just making business cards and promoting themselves to customers. On the other hand, interior designers must possess an accredited education to join the industry.
- A Knack for Design Is Essential
It might appear obvious, but in order to enter the interior design field, one must have an innate flair for hues, spatial arrangements, architecture, and fabrics. If a person enjoys decorating rooms and receives numerous compliments on their décor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can become an interior designer. However, it is definitely a good sign. The foremost step to a thriving career is to follow one’s passion. When a person does something they love, it never feels like work.
- It isn’t all Textiles and Fun
Sure, color, fabrics, and furniture play a significant role in interior design. But, there are many other tasks that are needed of designers, many of which might appear more like work than fun. Interior designers need to gain education about design history, the structural integrity of buildings, spatial concepts, building codes, etc.
Professionals in this field require a broad range of skills since they not only help homeowners but also architects, business people, builders, and government agencies. In order to succeed in interior design, a person must be educated and well-rounded too.
- It’s Necessary to be a People Person
Without a doubt, many people are finicky, particularly when it comes to their houses. Although some customers know what they want, others might think they know what they require only to find out that they hate the end-product.
A successful interior designer is a people pleaser and knows how to mitigate. He or she can steer a customer towards a favorable decision while making them feel they’re in full control. Interior designs are consistently balancing their design choices with their customer’s desires. All in all, it’s not a smooth journey.
- Designers Need to Create A Portfolio
Similar to how a photo says a thousand words, an interior designer’s portfolio also does the same thing. A person can talk all day long about fabrics and colors, but unless they have an exemplary portfolio that displays their designs and projects, their successes will be few and rare.
For those who are new to the job market, it might be necessary to offer services for free or at lower rates. That is probably the best way to start a portfolio. It’s also an excellent way to get accustomed to local merchandisers and develop a rapport for future work.
Most people start at the bottom of most careers. With a little effort, experience and sufficient marketing, a person can become a success in the interior design world.
Average Interior Design Salary USA and the UK
For any expat wondering how many interior designers make in the USA or UK, the average salary depends on several factors. Such variables include education, work experience, location and the size of the company.
In the USA, the average interior designer salary is $48,373. An entry-level professional with less than 1-year experience in the field earns an average of $39,181. An interior designer with 1-4 years of experience earns about $44,867, and one with 5-9 years of experience earns $52,923 on average. A designer with 10-19 years of experience makes about $57,808 and one with at least 20 years of experiences earns an average of $60,867.
UK interior designers have an average salary of £25,397. Entry-level positions with an experience of less than one year come with a salary of about £19,847. Interior designers who have experience of 1 to 4 years make an average of £24,371. Work experience of 5-9 years comes with a salary of £29,732, while 10-19 years of experience come with a wage of £36,210. Interior designers with work experience of 20 years or more make £39,802 on average.
How to Start a Career in Interior Design
Many interior design professionals start their career by getting a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in interior design. In school, interior design students are taught to loosen up their preconceptions.
They learn how to put their ideas on paper for all sorts of projects, perhaps beginning with a single room and then culminating the design and specifications for a bigger building. During the course, they study interior technology, lighting, trade skills, building and furniture construction, and decorative finishes. Students might also take up computer-aided design during the course.
A degree in interior design equips a person with the specific creative and technical capabilities they’ll need to become a success. Degrees holders can venture out into a variety of jobs including interior & spatial designer, production designer, visual merchandiser, and exhibition designer. They can also work as architects, architectural technologists, estate managers, furniture designers, graphic designers, product designers, stylists, and textile designers.
Sure, employers look at the academic qualifications of interior design, but most of them focus on their personality and experience. Obtaining relevant work experience while in college or university is of paramount importance. Interior design students need to try to acquire experience in at least three different organizations. That way, they’ll experience a variety of work environments and grow their understanding of work processes.
Is Interior Design Hard?
I totally get why many people assume that interior design is just about selecting fabrics and color charts. However, this is not the case.
For a person to become a success in interior design, they need to have a sound business mind and creativity. They need to be able to create a design that meets a customer’s brief, their budget and sees it actualized. Therefore, in addition to drawing sketches and considering materials and fittings, they have to calculate expenses, recommend people for the job and supervise the progress.
Working hours can be long and irregular, but the compensation is not too bad once a person has some experience.
The interior design industry is extremely competitive, and customers are becoming more knowledgeable and demanding of their designers. Breaking into the field and establishing a ground to develop a respectable reputation needs a lot of skill and professionalism.
Moreover, interior design is a profile that needs good communication skills. It’s crucial for the designer to have the ability to translate ideas on to paper via drawings and specifications. But at the same time, they should also be competent enough to direct and manage construction workers and craftsmen.
Is Interior Design a Good Job?
Interior design is without a doubt a good job prospect. However, like any other job out there, it comes with its own pros and cons.
- Ability to exercise one’s inborn artistic talents and ideas
- High job satisfaction
- Decent pay
- Relatively short study time
· It’s a female-friendly career, but men are increasingly starting to realize the benefits of interior design
· Job options are exciting: interior designers can choose to work for celebrities, elite people, luxury hotels, special events and so on.
· High travel: Interior designers usually have to travel back and forth from clients’ homes or business to shops and other places.
· Some clients are hard to please: At times, interior designers have to deal with clients who constantly change their minds, or are impolite.
It’s clear to see that a career in interior design is not easy all the time. Interior designers need to know plenty of information about the design, architectural elements, anthropometrics, building codes, etc. An expert interior designer can design a whole home or small condominium and have it built.
Interior design professionals are not just decorators. That can be a huge part of their occupation, but they can also draw houses and demolition plans, and handle AutoCAD and 3D rendering software. Such elements take great skill to master. They come in handy when a homeowner is looking for somebody to not only decorate, but also design their home.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.