You can live your dream of being an interior designer. You just have to follow a few simple steps. Learn how to become an interior designer in this guide.
Do you have a knack for playing with colors, choosing décor, and decorating? If you receive compliments from family and friends for your interior design taste, then a career in interior design is right for you.
If this is true, you probably have questions. For instance, which are the best schools to learn interior designing? How much do interior designers make and more?
The entry interior designer salary is $36,314 to $50,230. Still interested? If you want to learn how to become an interior designer, then you are in the right place.
In this post, we have listed 5 simple steps to help you learn how to become an interior designer.
Step One – Earn Your Interior Design Degree
The interior design field is diverse and, in some cases, you may not require any prior training to qualify for a job. But, if you want to stay ahead of other candidates, earn your interior design degree. This is true if you will be working for an interior design firm.
A degree in interior design explores the design software, professional, and architectural standards. The program takes 8 semesters. Thanks to formal training in interior design, not only will you have strong business and marketing skills but discipline too.
Remember, look for a school that offers interior design specific accreditation programs. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Check out New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Design.
Step Two – Get Your License
After graduating with your bachelor’s degree in interior design, get your license. This requires you to pass a licensing exam. By doing so, you can now use the title interior designer.
What you need to know is that in some states, you cannot work as an interior decorator without a license. Before taking a licensing exam, have 2 years’ experience. Example of a licensing exam is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.
Step Three – Volunteer or Undertake Pro Bono Projects
Volunteering or taking on pro bono projects allows you to gain on-job experience making it easy for you to get hired. When it comes to pro bono projects, you can start with family and friends.
You can also volunteer to help local non-profit organizations. Or help small businesses unable to afford a professional interior designer. Remember, the aim of volunteering is to develop your skills.
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Step Four – How to Become an Interior Designer: Build Your Portfolio
While pro bono projects don’t offer monetary compensation, they do have a hidden perk – content for your portfolio. It is important to take quality photographs of all your work and build a professional portfolio. This is a crucial tool when searching for a job.
Apart from the selection of photos, include your sketches and designs. Don’t be afraid to create your own Pinterest and Instagram page to showcase your work. Just remember, watermark all your images.
You can also have your own website to host your portfolio.
Step Five – Stay Abreast with Emerging Trends
As an interior designer, it is important to keep up with emerging trends. For instance, what are the new elements to add in a minimalist bathroom, or living room? What are the latest ideas for decorating a pavilion, or gazebo?
Apart from keeping up with emerging trends, look for continuing education opportunities. You can attend conferences, summits, and workshops offered by different organizations. You can also pursue certification in sustainable design or corporate interior design.
Having built your portfolio, you are ready to look for a job. There are hundreds of interior design jobs. Start with job listing sites, social media platforms, family and friends.
You can also network with professional interior designers at summits and workshops.
Interior Designer Tips to Keep in Mind
Now that you have learned how to become an interior designer, here are a few tips to keep in mind. Learn the local building codes and laws. While it’s not exciting, it’s a requirement.
Also, keep building your portfolio and continue learning.
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