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Interior Designer

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All About Interior Designers

Career Description Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.

Life As an Interior Designer

  • Design plans to be safe and to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Research and explore the use of new materials, technologies, and products to incorporate into designs.
  • Design spaces to be environmentally friendly, using sustainable, recycled materials when feasible.
  • Formulate environmental plan to be practical, esthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity or selling merchandise.
  • Render design ideas in form of paste-ups or drawings.
  • Review and detail shop drawings for construction plans.

Qualities of an Interior Designer

When polled, Interior Designers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Interior Design Project Manager
  • Interior Designer
  • Design Assistant
  • Design Consultant
  • Interior Design Coordinator

Job Opportunities for Interior Designers

In the United States, there were 66,500 jobs for Interior Designer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,000 new jobs for Interior Designer by 2026. The BLS estimates 6,500 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Interior Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Interior Designer are Utah, Oregon, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Interior Designer

The salary for Interior Designers ranges between about $29,970 and $94,130 a year.

Salary Ranges for Interior Designers

Interior Designers who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Rhode Island, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Interior Designers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $57,780
Alaska $71,150
Arkansas $66,840
California $68,440
Colorado $58,580
Delaware $59,240
District of Columbia $79,230
Florida $50,410
Georgia $53,800
Hawaii $65,300
Idaho $54,380
Illinois $52,150
Indiana $42,610
Iowa $44,800
Kansas $54,630
Kentucky $52,590
Louisiana $42,210
Maine $46,180
Maryland $66,140
Massachusetts $66,250
Michigan $51,030
Minnesota $61,220
Mississippi $56,960
Missouri $60,570
Montana $58,550
Nebraska $45,200
Nevada $56,520
New Hampshire $54,020
New Jersey $57,980
New Mexico $52,370
New York $66,790
North Carolina $54,650
North Dakota $48,960
Ohio $55,230
Oklahoma $47,630
Oregon $57,100
Pennsylvania $57,730
Rhode Island $75,110
South Carolina $47,680
South Dakota $57,620
Tennessee $49,590
Texas $56,430
Utah $62,220
Vermont $53,720
Virginia $52,670
Washington $63,480
West Virginia $52,490
Wisconsin $47,580
Wyoming $60,550

What Tools & Technology do Interior Designers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Interior Designers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • IBM Notes
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • McNeel Rhino software
  • Autodesk 3ds Max

Becoming an Interior Designer

Individuals working as an Interior Designer have obtained the following education levels:

Interior Designer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Interior Designer?

Interior Designer Work Experience

Where do Interior Designers Work?

Interior Designer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Interior Designer Industries

Those interested in being an Interior Designer may also be interested in:

Those who work as an Interior Designer sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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