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Exploring Top Interior Design Careers: A Guide

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Interior design is one of the most high-paying and in-demand jobs right now. If you want to break into the interior design industry, you have to learn a trick or two. You have to know that interior design is so much more than just thinking and planning about a home’s interior space. Here are the top career paths that interior designers can take to ensure that they can rise above the competition. 

How to Get into the Interior Design Industry

  • Earn a Relevant Degree: Obtain a degree in interior design or a related field. Accredited programs provide foundational knowledge in design principles, space planning, and industry-standard software.
  • Gain Practical Experience: Participate in internships or work in design-related roles. Experience in drafting, color theory, and client interactions is crucial for building a competitive portfolio.
  • Develop a Strong Portfolio: Showcase your design skills and style through a well-curated portfolio. Include varied projects to demonstrate versatility and creativity in interior design solutions.
  • Learn Industry Software: Master design software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Adobe Suite. Proficiency in these tools is essential for creating realistic renderings and floor plans.
  • Understand Building Codes: Familiarize yourself with building codes and regulations. Knowledge of safety standards is critical for designing functional and compliant spaces.
  • Network and Connect: Attend industry events, join design organizations, and connect with professionals on social media. Networking can lead to mentorship opportunities and job openings.
  • Stay Informed on Trends: Keep up with the latest interior design trends, materials, and technologies. This knowledge helps in creating modern and innovative designs.
  • Work on Personal Projects: Undertake personal design projects or volunteer work to enhance your skills and expand your portfolio. This also demonstrates initiative and passion for design.
  • Seek Mentorship: Find a mentor in the industry who can provide guidance, feedback, and support as you navigate your career path in interior design.
  • Consider Certification: Explore certification options, such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, to further establish credibility and expertise in the field.

Career Options in the Interior Design Industry

If you want to jump-start your career in interior design, you must first obtain a degree in interior design from schools such as the American International College. Then, you have to receive accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) or the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Once you have all these, you can choose from these career options: 

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Interior Designer

As an individual with a degree in interior design, the top career option for you is to become an interior designer. Your primary role is to create beautiful interiors for houses, condominiums, offices, and commercial spaces such as restaurants, hotels, and even schools. To be successful, you have to bring in a streak of creativity. You must have a clear understanding of color theory and remain up-to-date on the latest trends in interior design. 

Kitchen Designer

If you want to have a specific field of expertise, being a kitchen designer is an option for you. You will be primarily responsible for creating the design aesthetics of kitchens while keeping the functionality a top priority. In most cases, you will be working with architects and contractors to identify the kitchen floor plan to ensure that the design can work seamlessly with other building factors. If you want to become a kitchen designer, you have to understand how the kitchen’s temperatures can affect your decor. You must also factor in future maintenance needs since kitchens can often become busy, and frequent upkeep may not be a welcome idea. 

Furniture Designer

It is pretty common nowadays to see interior designers working as furniture designers. When you become a furniture designer, you will work with either the client or suppliers. If you want to work with clients directly, you may receive offers to design and arrange furniture in their homes, offices, showrooms, and other areas to allow them to maximize the use of their space. If you, however, prefer to work with suppliers, your main task would be to come up with designs that will be sold to clients by the suppliers. 

Lighting Designer

Do you know why they say a lighting design can change a space’s ambiance and overall feel? If yes, then you may have a career as a lighting designer. But before you trek this path, you have to know the fundamentals of wiring. You can also work with a qualified electrician so you can make sure that your lighting design can accommodate the needed lighting load. Your work may also involve decorating light fittings and other fixtures. If you want to be successful, you must stay on top of the latest technology in lighting.

Exhibition Designer

If you feel that your design aesthetics go beyond confined spaces, then you may want to try being an exhibition designer in which you will work on layouts and design schemes of exhibition halls. Since exhibition designers need to come up with a unique yet compelling design for each of their projects, you are also required to know about custom-built designs and floor management. It will help if you know CAD and Adobe Suite programs. 

Words of Advice

To be successful in interior design, you have to give value to your clients’ needs and wants while making sure that you are not compromising your creativity. It would also be best to train under an experienced interior designer before you start your independent journey towards interior design.

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07/17/2024 01:26 pm GMT

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