Do you love watching interior design shows and dream of designing homes or corporations for a living? Does the idea of developing a building’s interior from scratch, or remodeling it, excite you? Interior designers are employed to design homes, offices, and business. In this article, we will discuss the necessary steps on how to become an interior designer.
Moreover, they tend to be driven, creative individuals and are both self-employed and work for design firms. Interior design can be a competitive and lucrative field. Therefore, you need to properly plan your career. If you are interested in learning how to become an interior designer, there are several steps that you should take in order to get started in this field.
How to Become an Interior Designer
Step One: Education
You don’t necessarily have to have a degree to learn how to become an interior designer. However, if you wish to work for many firms or have large corporation clientele, you will likely need to be certified. Not all states and firms require certification. You also don’t need a degree to receive a certification. As long as you have enough experience to qualify for the job, everything should be fine.
Carefully consider whether or not you want to pursue a degree in Interior Design. If you have no contacts or no way of learning from a reputable designer, a degree will be your best way to make yourself known in this competitive field. A Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design will provide you with the education you need to become certified. It will also introduce you to contacts within the field. You may even intern or participate in an apprenticeship if a designer likes your work and takes you under his/her wing.
While a degree has its benefits, it also comes with its drawbacks. The cost of a high-quality interior design degree is expensive. If you need to take out student loans to pay for your education, you will have to pay those back. This can be a huge expense for many new designers.
Step Two: Become Certified
In order to become certified, you will have to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam or the NCIDQ. The NCIDQ is essentially a competency examination. Many firms and large organization will only hire a certified Interior Designer. Certified designers are proven to be competent in Interior Design principles and practices. They are less risky for the client, and the certification helps protect the client in the event of a liability issue due to inferior interior design work.
In other words, certification is good for your business and theirs. It is a way of proving you are qualified to handle the job and perform it in a safe and effective manner. This increases their confidence in you, especially if you are just entering the field and have not established a reputation.
Step Three: Experience
Experience will likely be the most difficult part of becoming an interior designer. In order to raise your awareness among potential clients, you may have to utilize connections or perform pro bono work without pay. This step is not optional. An education will provide you with a certain amount of experience and contacts to obtain a job or perform work post graduation. Some colleges also provide job placement services after graduation. If you decided to go the college route, get to know your professors and advisers. This relationship could prove valuable for job placement.
Step Four: Build a Portfolio
One of the most important steps in how to become an interior designer is building a portfolio of your designs. Take high-quality pictures of your work and print out your sketches and designs. Arrange them in a unique way in your portfolio to help you stand out during an interview.
If a project is a little odd, don’t be afraid to include it. Versatility is important in interior design. Keep your portfolio well organized, tidy, and unique. You don’t want your portfolio to look like everyone else’s. Instead, make sure to keep it professional and engaging.
Don’t worry if your portfolio is not very full. Clients or employers don’t expect a lot of experience from entry-level interior designers. As you gain experience, add it to your portfolio. Don’t be afraid to work for less money or none at all while building your portfolio. Volunteer to design for friends, family members, or local businesses.
Step 5: Drive and Passion
On your path of learning how to become an interior designer, it is likely that you will develop a passion. The key to finding success as an interior designer is to channel that passion into drive.
People who are driven will pursue their career the hardest, and as a result, will earn more success. Let your passion for design shine through in your work and interactions with others. Potential employers or clients will note your determination and love for the field. In return, you will see success.
Step 6: Be Persistent
Persistence always pays off. No one is going to fight for your career except for yourself. You will not always land the job, and that is okay. Not everyone is going to like your work, and that is perfectly normal. Tastes vary from person-to-person, so don’t take it too hard.
Instead, learn from experience. Examine your qualifications and work to improve on them. Take any criticism as constructive and use it to improve your craft. If you are struggling to improve the craft, speak to a former mentor or college professor to help identify what the problem might be.
Learning how to become an interior designer is both challenging and rewarding. You can’t grow and improve on your craft without being challenged. Accept any challenges with determination. Focus on conquering those obstacles and in no time at all, you will find success.
Education and certification will only help you achieve your professional goals a lot sooner than you might expect. It is up to you to follow and fulfill your dream. Are you an interior designer? Do you have any advice for prospective designers? If so, please share your advice and experience.