Where do interior designers work?
An interior designer may work in an office or a studio. Work might also take place at the clients’ site, which may be office spaces, retail locations, leisure spaces, residential areas, ships, aircrafts and even public buildings, to discuss project details and so on. Upon commencement of the project, an interior designer can expect to spend more time on site.
Opportunities and options
Of all the interior design specialisations, medical interior design earns the most. A medical interior designer is one who takes up design projects that involve healthcare buildings such as dental offices, clinics and hospitals. You can choose to be self-employed or freelance after you have had a strong background in interior design with sufficient experience and reliable network of contacts. Then, you can choose to work in favourable settings such as a shared studio. A freelance designer usually sets his own hourly rate and, being your own boss, your income is definitely higher.
How to become an interior designer
Start by researching on colleges or universities that offer degree courses on interior design. Getting a degree is only the first step; subsequently, you can increase your employability by creating a portfolio, saving samples of your interior design work, building your own designer contacts, and more. To enhance your portfolio, you may need to consider taking up various projects, including unpaid ones. Becoming an intern for an interior design or architectural firm can also increase your work experience besides padding your portfolio. You can become a professional interior designer after completing the education and work experience requirements, by applying to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in the US. The NCIDQ is an independent state and provincial credentialing body that provides the public with the means of identifying competent interior designers. The requirements for undertaking the exam are:
- Four to five years of interior design education with two years of full-time work experience in interior design, or
- Three years of interior design education with three years of full-time work experience in interior design, or
- Two years of interior design education with four years of full-time work experience in interior design
Interior design can be a rewarding career when you see your clients’ looks of joy as they step into their revamped homes or offices for the first time. If you have watched TV programmes such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition or Restaurant Makeover, you would be able to visualise the delight of those who step into a new and redesigned space.