Working as an interior designer requires having a great imagination and a generous amount of creativity with which to design and develop the right look and feel for rooms and other interior spaces. The working conditions are generally variable in nature, as some projects may involve working with completed structures while others may involve working outdoors or with structures that are still being built. Most commonly, however, the interior designer works within office settings that are usually well-lighted. They often work with computers as well, in order to create designs and layouts for their projects.
An interior designer may be self-employed or may be employed by large corporations or within design firms. Variable hours are common within this field, as the interior designer needs to be able to work around the client’s needs. As a result, the job can be quite stressful at times. Budgetary concerns, the need to please clients, and the need to meet deadlines can also put the interior designer under a great deal of pressure.
Educational Requirements for an Interior Designer
An interior designer should have at least a bachelor’s degree in order to gain an entry-level position within the field. Interior design programs generally take two to four years to complete, with two-year programs offering certificates or associate degrees upon completion. Those who complete a four-year interior design program may then qualify for a formal design apprenticeship program, while a two-year program will qualify those interested in this career to become assistants to interior designers.
There are literally hundreds of different colleges in the United States that offer programs in art and design. To get into such programs, those interested in the field usually must submit sketches or other artistic works to the school of choice. Computer design, drawing, perspective, spatial planning, color, fabrics, furniture design, architecture, and ergonomics are the most common classes within such programs.
After completing a degree, most interior designers enter a one to three year apprenticeship program in a design or architecture firm under the supervision of an established interior designer in order to gain experience before taking an exam to become licensed.
A program called the Interior Design Experience Program is also offered by the National Council of Interior Design. This program is designed to help entry-level interior designers gain valuable experience by offering mentoring services and workshops for new designers. The National Council of Interior Design administers the licensing exam for Interior Design Qualification. To take the exam, a candidate must have at least six years of education and/or experience in interior design, as well as at least two years of postsecondary educational experience. When an interior designer passes the exam, he or she is then granted one of three potential titles as determined by the state. These titles include Certified Interior Designer, Registered Interior Designer, or Licensed Interior Designer.