How to Become an Interior Designer
Interior designers are professionals whose job is to create functional spaces that meet the needs of their clients. They plan, coordinate and manage the various trades involved in the construction of a space. Throughout the process, they use computer-aided design (CAD) software and other tools. Aside from drafting plans and specifications, interior designers may also generate three-dimensional visualizations.
An expert interior designer has both construction experience and specialized training. He or she works with other experts to develop construction documents, including plans for building permits and demolition, and specifications for electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems. Qualified interior designers also work closely with architects to develop floor plans.
To become an interior designer, you will need to obtain a degree and take an examination. There are several professional organizations for interior design, including the American Society of Interior Designers. These groups develop, maintain and update standards of practice in the industry.
Many of these organizations also offer mentoring programs to help prospective interior designers develop the skills they need to succeed. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation reviews and accredits university course content as being suitable for professional practice.
A professional interior designer must have a bachelor’s degree. Some schools offer undergraduate and graduate courses in architecture, lighting design, and environmental science. Other programs focus on a specific design specialty.
The education requirements for a license vary depending on the state and locality. Licensed professionals are required to have two years of professional experience. Often, they will be required to register with a governing council and pass an exam. In addition, they may be required to live in their own home while working.
You can find a list of educational requirements on the Office of the Professions website. Several states require licensed professionals to have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Others specify that you must have an accredited educational program. Choosing a program can have a significant impact on your future career options.
Once you have determined whether you want to pursue an education program, you should contact a faculty member to talk about the course’s philosophy and curriculum. This will help you determine whether the program is a good fit for you. Ask questions about how the course will prepare you for a career in interior design, and what you can expect in terms of placement and job prospects.
Most states allow interior designers to take the NCIDQ examination. This test requires a qualifying educational background, work experience, and adherence to regulatory standards in the United States and Canada.
A number of accrediting bodies, including the Council for Interior Design Qualification, administer the exam. It is based on an independent analysis of the profession and is available in more than half of the U.S., as well as in the rest of Canada. Whether you are preparing for an NCIDQ Exam, or looking for more information on the profession, you can find resources on the NCIDQ Website.
Achieving accreditation from CIDA demonstrates a commitment to quality. Successful interior design firms combine creativity with execution. For instance, they are known to specialize in creating functional areas for people with special needs, such as the elderly.