How can I become an Interior Designer ? Schools, Cost & Salary

Ways how to become an interior designer are in high demand because it gives a lot of money. Did you know that people always want interior decoration for their houses? Did you also know that the beauty of every home lies in the hands of the interior decorator?

Do you want to know how to get into interior design? Well, I know you have many questions about how to become an interior designer. Honestly, you have come to the right place. So, why not follow me as I show you how to become an interior decorator? However, you will also know the basics of the career, your future job opportunities, and what you need to get started.

However, interior decoration is an interesting job that allows someone to combine their creative skills with business sense. Also, interior professionals design functional spaces and interact with different clients.

Besides, they work closely with architects and civil and mechanical engineers to decide how interior spaces will look and furnish them. Honestly, now is the right time to be an interior designer because of the job’s projection growth.

Who is an Interior Designer?

Well, this is someone that makes interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful. However, the interior decorator does this by knowing space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.

Actually, becoming a professional interior designer takes more than creativity. However, a successful career to becoming an interior decorator comprises formal education and work experience.

Besides, each level of an academic degree opens new and different doors to aspiring designers.

What are the seven elements of interior design?


Actually, space is the foundation for the entire interior design. Hence, the professional interior designer takes note of this. Thus, they are two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces.

However, the two-dimensional space covers the floor (length and width). While three-dimensional space forms the living space (length, width, and height).


The three types of lines are; horizontal, vertical, and dynamic. Well, horizontal lines decorate structures like tables, chairs, and beds. Also, vertical lines apply to windows, doorways, and almirahs. At the same time, horizontal lines add a safe feeling to space and expansive nature.


Actually, forms come by combining two or more shapes. However, this can be shown with the help of other elements like texture, patterns, and colors.

Besides the two types of forms are geometric (man-made) and natural (organic). Also, forms are categorized as open and closed. Well, open forms are those that can be looked into, and closed forms are those that are enclosed by a closed surface.


However, without light, other elements, namely color, texture, and pattern, have no significance. We have task lighting, accent lighting, and mood lighting. Well, task light includes light sources like table and bed lamps. Accent lights show an item like artworks and structures. Mood or ambient lighting sets the mood of the living space and illuminates the overall space.


However, an interior designer must choose colors based on the dweller’s psychology and mindset. For example, red is an excellent choice for the dining room as it encourages appetite, and green for the bedroom as it is the color of calmness and health.

Colors are broadly classified into Primary and Secondary colors and sub-categorized into Tertiary, Complementary, Analogous, and Monochromatic colors.


The texture mainly deals with surfaces and determines how a typical surface looks and feels. Texture adds depth and interest to a living space and defines the appearance of a surface.

However, the texture is made up of visual and actual textures. Visual texture is only visible, while the actual texture is both seen and felt. Textiles such as pillow covers, bedspreads, wall paint or wallpapers have a texture.

However, there must be a dominant texture to define a mood by a professional interior decorator.


Although patterns add interest and life to interior design and work along with colors, patterns tell a story of their own and add the elements of continuity and smooth transition in a living space.

Also, patterns could be of any shape, mostly comprising attractive and repetitive designs. Actually, a design pattern that takes the shape of a droplet-shaped vegetable is one of the most commonly used patterns by professionals on wall paints, pillow covers, and other decorative surfaces.

How much does a professional interior decorator make?

Actually, the median annual wage for interior designers was $53,370 in May 2018. Thus, the median wage is when half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount, and half earned less.

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $94,130.

What qualifications do I need to become an interior decorator?

You will need at least four GCSE A-C passes or equivalent level 2 qualifications, such as the BTEC First Diploma in Art and Design. Also, the BTEC level 3 courses can lead to higher education courses, such as HND, foundation degree or degree courses.

However, the courses in interior decoration include:

  • BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design (3D Design, Interior Design) Level 3
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Architecture, Interior and Product Design
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design (3D Design, Technology, and Interior Design).

Also, the degree courses are:

  • BA Interior Architecture
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
  • BA Spatial Design

How long does it take to become an interior designer?

Honestly, becoming an interior designer can take between two to six years. However, this can only depend on the level and format of the degree you want. Also, the minimum requirement is a Bachelor’s Degree, which typically takes four years to complete.

However, accelerated programs may allow you to complete this degree in two years. Also, some students might decide to take online or evening classes and complete their degrees in more than four years.

Check this out: 15 Best Interior Design Schools In The World

Which schools can I study interior decoration?

The following ten US schools are known worldwide for their excellent programs in interior design:

  • Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York
  • New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury
  • University of California, Berkeley Extension
  • Florida International University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Architecture
  • International Academy of Design & Technology, Tampa, Florida
  • West Valley College, Saratoga, California
  • Interior Designers Institute, Newport Beach, California

However, these schools are accredited by authorities like the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Also, they prepare the students well for national and state-level certification exams in interior design.

Can I learn interior decoration online?

Yes, you can. However, you can make a career in interior designing online through:

  • MIT OpenCourseWare: Principles of Design.
  • DecoratingStudio: Design Fundamentals.
  • Better Homes: Practical Guides.
  • HGTV Design 101: Keep Up to Date With Styles.
  • Coco Kelley: Fresh Takes on the Classics.
  • Howcast: Interior Design Basics.

How can I become an interior designer?

1. Earn A Degree in Interior Design

Honestly, formal education is not a must here. However, most interior design firms expect designers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. A degree in the specific field is preferred. But, one in another area is of great value like coursework in interior design, such as drawing and computer-aided design (CAD). Also, associate, master’s and doctoral degrees are also available.

However, programs in interior design can be found at many major colleges and universities, the specialized art and design institutes. Similarly, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredit approximately 300 post-secondary institutions with art and design programs.

Quality degree and certificate programs in the field may also be found online. But, students should always check a program’s accreditation before enrolling.

2. Pass the qualification exam of the National Council for Interior Design

Well, not all states need the interior decorators to have a license. However, some prevent unlicensed designers from doing interior design work. Others permit both licensed and unlicensed designers to practice design. But, they only allow licensed professionals to use the title of “interior designer.”

Licensure requires passing a state-approved exam, like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. To qualify for taking the NCIDQ exam, students must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and experience.

Similarly, interior designers may also consider voluntary certification in a specific area. Specialty certifications are independent of the NCIDQ and are commonly available through professional and trade associations.

See also: 17 Interior Design Scholarships | 2023

3. Take some free of charge projects

Actually, new designers may find it difficult to get hired without existing work experience. However, many new interior designers start out by practicing their craft for free. Designers can offer their services to friends and family or even small businesses unable to pay a professional interior decorator.

4. Make a portfolio

However, try to take quality photographs of your work and compile them into a professional portfolio. A high-quality, comprehensive portfolio is crucial for professional interior decorators seeking clients.

Although it allows potential clients to view your best work, it shows your ability to present yourself professionally. In addition to photos, include a selection of your designs and sketches, and don’t be afraid to present examples from various projects.

Additionally, many interior designers today maintain online versions of their portfolios.

5. Searching for continuing education opportunities

There are many professional certifications designers can undertake. However, some institutions have certificates in specialty areas, like sustainable design, spatial theory, corporate interior design and designing historic spaces.

Furthermore, organizations offer conferences, workshops, and summits throughout the year. The International Interior Design Association and the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Design Society regularly host events.

What programs do professional interior decorators use?

Well, this popular 3D modeling computer program is one of the most basic interior design software tools. SketchUp is available in two versions. SketchUp Make (freeware version) and SketchUp Pro (paid version).

Besides, it comes with an online open-source library of free model assemblies called 3D Warehouse. It also supports third-party plugins to improve the functionality of the software.

However, considering its basic nature, professional interior decorators often face difficulty in modeling complex surfaces and visualizing complex 3D models using SketchUp.

Autodesk 3Ds Max provides excellent tools for rendering, simulating, and visualizing interiors. However, the software is pretty easy to begin. Too it includes a ton of functionalities.

Also, it offers a flexible plugin architecture to support many third-party applications. Materials and tutorial videos are available online, making 3Dx Max easy to learn.

However, Autodesk 3Ds Max provides excellent tools for rendering, simulating, and visualizing interiors. Although the software is pretty easy to begin. Too it includes a ton of functionalities.

Also, it offers a flexible plugin architecture to support many third-party applications. In fact, materials and tutorial videos are available on the internet, making 3Dx Max easy to learn.

Actually, Autodesk AutoCad is one of the most essential but difficult software tools used in interior design. Autocad is software used in almost all architectural and interior design firms. This, however, makes it a must-learn software tool for interior designers.

However, this tool offers excellent tools for 3D animation and visualization of interiors to realize hyper-realistic and detailed visions of the proposed design plan.

Autodesk Revit is a building design and construction software enabling professionals to construct buildings and models digitally.

However, this tool allows the decorator to create plans, elevations, and sections in a quick manner.

Infurnia is the most complete and feature-rich online interior design software available. Besides, this tool allows designers to create detailed multi-story floor plans in both 2d and 3d. Also, they can create a detailed kitchen design by customizing cabinets’ sizes and finishes. (

What is the job outlook for professional interior decorators?

Well, employment for interior designers was expected to grow 4 percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS reports. The highest growth was predicted for interior decorators working in specialized design companies.

Also, the BLS stated that designers specializing in kitchen design and those working in high-income areas might have the best job prospects.


Basically, interior designers use their training and talents to create spaces that suit their client’s needs. To become one, you need a degree in interior design is required. Some states, however, mandate licensing before practice.

Frequently Asked Questions On How can I become an Interior Designer in 2023? Schools, Cost & Salary

Is drawing vital for interior design?

Yes, drawing is essential for interior design. However, interior designers need to make initial sketches of their plan and make the necessary changes based on the client’s requirements before finalizing the plan using a CAD(Computer aided design).

What is the educational requirement to become an Interior designer?

No, maths is not required. You can do this course anytime with the 10th SSC certificate. It might be necessary if you are pursuing a career in architecture.

What is the difference between an interior designer and decorator?

Well, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.

What is the salary of an interior designer?

According to the BLS, the highest-paid interior designers are in DC, RI, NY, TX, and CA. The average salary in DC is $86410.



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