Interior designers do much more than make aesthetic choices about a room. Their work can also help improve a room’s functionality, boost worker productivity, improve indoor air quality, and enhance its safety. With an education in interior design, you could work in an interior design firm, start a firm of your own, provide design services in a retail setting (at a furniture or home improvement store, for example), work as a consultant to engineering or architectural firms, or become an interior design educator. You could even go into film or theater set design.
What Will My Studies in Interior Design Entail?
Interior design schools vary, but you can expect your studies to include:
– Construction documents
– Graphic communications
– The history of design
– Design theory
– Finishes and materials
Your studies in interior design will also heavily incorporate studio work, where you will be expected to solve real-world interior design problems. Interior designers are generally expected to obtain at least an associate’s degree, and a bachelor’s degree is preferred among apprenticeship programs. Upon graduation, you’ll complete a 1-3 year apprenticeship, followed by a licensure exam; many states require licensure in order to practice as a full-fledged designer.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that an increasing awareness among employers about ergonomic design and indoor air quality; a need to accommodate homes and healthcare facilities for a growing aged population; and a focus on energy efficient design are all driving demand for interior designers. These jobs are projected to see 19 percent growth (faster than average) for the 2008-2018 period. The median annual salary for interior designers in May 2009 was $46,180.