Is a Career in Interior Design Right for You?

It Requires a Knack for Art and Business

An interior design career requires knowledge of art and business.
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To become an interior designer you'll need specific coursework such as interior design, drawing and computer-aided design (CAD) along with a bachelor’s degree in almost any field. To gain additional training and knowledge, there are many interior design programs available.

There are also more than 300 postsecondary colleges and universities that offer programs in interior design and more than 150 professional-level interior design programs.

There are also specific licensing requirements for interior designers depending on the state. To take the exam, applicants most often have to have a bachelor’s degree plus 2 years of experience. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam is the most common qualifying exam that’s available and, once passed, applicants may call themselves registered interior designers.

Interior design is a business, and if you're planning to run your own interior design firm, it's important to hone your business acumen so you can run a successful operation.

Are you wondering if you have what it takes to become an interior designer? There are a number of valuable qualities that are important to have to start a career and to be successful. Let's examine some key factors.

Are You Artistic?

First of all, interior designers are usually highly creative people who possess their own sense of style. They often enjoy a keen sense of fashion. They are naturally good at combining colors and textures to create visually appealing combinations that evoke a sense of emotion and that are exceptionally pleasing to the eye.

Can You Visualize the End Result?

Interior designers must be able to see beyond the current environment and actually visualize what they hope to accomplish as an end result. Visualizing an environment is an art, but experience plays a role in understanding what to expect once the project is completed.

Are You Creative?

Interior designers must be able to look at a space and see all kinds of possibilities. Being able to identify both the positives and negatives about a particular space will help them make the best of what they have to work with. In addition to visualizing a space to make it more aesthetically appealing, their job also includes listening to clients and creating an outcome that meets all of their individual or collective needs.

Are You a Detail-Oriented Person?

Being exact in the measurements of a space and how to place the furnishings is more on the science side of interior design than the art side. Clients depend on their interior designer to be able to put all of the pieces together so that they will not only fit but also look beautiful.

Do You Possess Strong Communication Skills?

Part of an interior designer's job is to be able to listen carefully and come up with a design that surpasses the client’s expectations. There’s no room for error when it comes to interpreting the needs of the client. The interior designer is also responsible for bringing all of the people together who have been contracted to complete the design, and if they are unable to communicate well with these people, the end result will most likely suffer.

Can You Problem-Solve Creatively?

There are many things that can go wrong when designing a room or even an entire house. Delays are not unusual, and trying to stay on schedule and complete the project on time can often be challenging. An interior designer will be called upon to solve small and big problems throughout the process and make adjustments that are acceptable to all parties.

What Are Some Challenges of Interior Design?

Interior designers must keep ahead of current trends in creating a beautiful and comfortable home or office environment. They must also be aware of what clients are asking for and find ways to meet the client’s needs even before they express them. The spaces they create must be a reflection of the times and also be unique enough to meet an individual client's tastes.

What Are Entry-Level Interior Design Positions?

Future interior designers usually begin their jobs assisting experienced designers with the routine tasks required in creating a beautiful space. Experience is key in having a long, successful interior design career, along with all of the other qualities necessary to be a great interior designer.

Getting Started in Interior Design.

One of the best ways to get started in interior design is by conducting informational interviews and perhaps scheduling a few job-shadowing experiences to see if the field is really what you want. Once you get a better understanding of what happens on a day-to-day basis, you will be better prepared to apply for internships that will help you gain some experience in the field.