National Avg. Salary

$55,510 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

3.7% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

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Interior designer plan the colors, fixtures, and designs of homes, buildings, and office spaces. They may consult on design decisions for new structures and spaces, or they may consult for remodels and redecorations. Most specialize in decorating specific spaces, such as offices, homes, or medical facilities.

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Job Description

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in interior designer roles:

  • Choose paint colors, flooring types, and flooring styles for spaces to present a desired effect
  • Select fixtures such as fans, lighting, faucets, light switches, and electrical outlet covers that match selected designs and decorations
  • Utilize computer-aided design software to plan designs and show designs to clients for approval before implementation
  • Market services to find new clients, and place bids on open projects to secure new work
  • Estimate costs of design materials and decorations, and monitor progress to ensure plans are implemented correctly

A Day in the Life

Interior designers are experts in designing and decorating homes, buildings, and office spaces in a way that creates a desired effect. By combining specific paint colors, flooring types, and fixture selections, interior designers can transform a bland space into something much more. With the right design skills, an interior designer can create doctor’s office waiting rooms that comfort patients, business office spaces that encourage teamwork and collaboration, and homes that sell quickly.

In general, interior designers specialize in decorating specific types of spaces. They may specialize in decorating business offices, medical centers, retail shops, new homes, remodeled homes, restaurants, and many more. By understanding the psychology behind different colors and design choices, they can choose decorations and design elements that create the atmosphere a client desires. They often work with architects and builders at the beginning of a project, adding their recommendations to blueprints.

Most interior designers use specialized computer-aided design (CAD) software to test designs and show designs to clients before purchasing materials or making final decisions. CAD software can be used to illustrate exactly what a space will look like with certain color choices and decorations. Once the interior designer has received approval to move forward, he/she monitors progress to ensure that designs are followed correctly and that all designs and decorations look as imagined once they’re completed.

Typical Work Schedule

Most interior designers work full time schedules. While the bulk of their work is typically conducted during normal business hours, they may need to be available to meet with clients on occasion outside of normal business hours on evenings and weekends.

Typical Employers

The majority of interior designers work for design consulting companies, architectural service companies, or construction and development companies. Additionally, some work for retail businesses, designing the layouts of furniture and home décor stores. Some are also self-employed and take on clients on a freelance basis; these designers commonly work on residential design projects.

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Interior Designer Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

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National Hourly Wage

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How do Interior Designer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Interior Designer's can make an average annual salary of $55,510, or $27 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $35,600 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #318 Nationally for All Careers

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How To Become

The requirements for working as an interior designer—as well as using the title interior designer—vary significantly by state. In some states, use of the title interior designer and practicing in the field requires licensing. In other states, no licensing is required. For this reason, it’s important to review the laws and regulations pertaining to interior design for the state you hope to practice in before beginning your journey towards the career, as well as those of any neighboring states where you might have clients.

For states with the strictest regulations on licensing interior designers, a bachelor’s degree is required. While majoring in interior design is ideal, other art- and design-related degrees may be sufficient as well. However, regardless of your major, you’ll want to make sure that you take courses that allow you to learn how to use computer-aided design software—experience with CAD software will be a requirement for most jobs. Additionally, you’ll want to begin building a portfolio of design work.

Next, you’ll need to find an internship, entry-level position, or apprenticeship role in the field of interior design. To qualify to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam that’s required to earn an interior design license, you’ll need to have both a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience in the field. With the right education and experience, and having passed the licensing exam, you can begin your career as an independent interior designer and begin sharing your expertise with clients.

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Quick Summary

  • Optional

    The licensing requirements for interior designers vary greatly by state. In some states, interior designers may be able to practice with only a high school diploma and relevant experience.

  • Recommended Min. Degree


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Interior Designer. a Bachelor's is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Interior Designer

  • 1.4%   Doctorate
  • 8.7%   Masters
  • 47.4%   Bachelors
  • 12.7%   Associates
  • 17.6%   College
  • 9.8%   High School
  • 2.3%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Interior Designer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,200 jobs for a total of 61,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #491 Nationally for All Careers

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What Companies Employ The Most Interior Designers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Specialized design services 17,700 1,600 2%
Self-employed workers 13,400 400 0%
Furniture stores 4,600 -800 -1%

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