Interior Designer at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Interior Designer

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Interior Designer

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Interior Designer

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
California 6,540 $60,100 $29
Connecticut 920 $63,960 $31
District of Columbia 550 $66,830 $32

Becoming an Interior Designer

To qualify for an interior design career you need to have a bachelor's degree in interior design. Interior design programs include study in basic illustration, color theory, Computer Aided Design (CAD) rendering, project management, and more. These courses give students the chance to acquire hands-on experience and develop the practical skills they'll use in their careers. Students also have the chance to develop a professional portfolio show they can showcase their skills to employers. A portfolio is typically required by employers as part of the application process.

More than 150 bachelor's and master's degree programs in interior design are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The National Kitchen and Bath Association also accredits certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree interior design programs with a focus in kitchen and bath design at more than 60 colleges and universities across the country. Accreditation shows that a college or university's academic programs meet an external set of academic standards that can be relied on to prepare students for their careers.

  • Color Theory
  • CAD Rendering
  • Materials and Sources
  • Project Management

Many states restrict the use of "interior designer" as a professional title unless the person passes a licensing exam, commonly provided by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). The NCIDQ exam features multiple choice questions and practice design problems that cover building systems, construction standards, contract administration, design application, and project coordination. There are various ways you can qualify for the exam. Typically you need a degree in either interior design or architecture and some work experience. You can see the NCIDQ's eligibility requirements here. There are some voluntary interior design certifications in certain specializations, such as in kitchen or bath design, which are offered by trade or professional organizations.