Career Summary for Interior Design

An interior designer plans the build out and decoration of interior spaces according to the usage requirements of those spaces. Not only is a designer responsible for creating the aesthetic appearance of the space but also ensuring that safety requirements are met and, of utmost importance, that functional requirements are met. While many interior designers are concerned primarily with color scheme, fabrics and textures, decoration and furnishings, there are those who work closely with architects on major projects.

Many people think of interior designers as working primarily on residential projects. But this is far from actuality because interior designers work on airport terminals, hospitals and medical facilities, office buildings, theaters and entertainment venues, schools and any other imaginable space. They can work for design firms, architectural firms, furniture or materials stores, or, as about 25% are, they can be self-employed. While the scope of any project can vary greatly, the typical design process includes a needs assessment with the client, an on-site space assessment, concept and plan development and a detailed cost assessment. Most designers are trained in computer-aided design (CAD).

At least 23 states require interior designers to be licensed. This requires a candidate to pass the licensing exam for which a candidate must first establish eligibility for testing. Typically a candidate must have a combination of 6 years of education and work experience in the field of interior design to sit for the exam. Education programs range from 2 year certificate programs to 4 year bachelor's programs. After completion of the formal education, a candidate works in an apprenticeship for 1 to 3 years before sitting for the exam.

Interior Design: Jobs, Careers, and Schools

Metro Area Employment Data for Interior Design

Employment info for Interior Design, by major US metro area (2006 data). The Popularity Index shows how common jobs for Interior Design are in the area. An Index of 1.0 means the area has an average number of people in the job compared to its population. A higher index indicates proportionally more jobs.

StateMetro AreaJobsMean SalaryPopularity Index
AlabamaBirmingham180$40,4200.92
AlabamaMontgomery30$49,4900.48
ArizonaPhoenix1,070$40,1501.46
ArizonaTucson200$39,2701.44
ArkansasLittle Rock80$35,7000.63
CaliforniaBakersfield40$47,9900.4
CaliforniaFresno80$45,1900.64
CaliforniaLos Angeles1,430$58,5800.87
CaliforniaOakland160$53,5400.39
CaliforniaRiverside280$54,1000.55
CaliforniaSacramento380$42,1501.06
CaliforniaSalinas40$50,2800.68
CaliforniaSan Diego640$56,3901.22
CaliforniaSan Francisco470$59,3301.23
CaliforniaSan Jose170$63,7400.48
CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo40$45,2101.05
CaliforniaSanta Barbara50$57,5100.77
CaliforniaSanta Rosa50$48,1600.68
ColoradoBoulder110 2.07
ColoradoDenver760$45,8601.59
ColoradoFort Collins90$34,0602.07
ConnecticutBridgeport70$72,5200.41
ConnecticutHartford150$48,3600.69
ConnecticutNew Haven60$55,0500.57
DelawareWilmington100$44,9800.78
District of ColumbiaWashington1,540$60,4601.67
FloridaCape Coral260$48,2803.16
FloridaDeltona40 0.66
FloridaFort Lauderdale470$38,4901.62
FloridaFort Walton Beach60$39,1402.12
FloridaJacksonville330$42,3401.42
FloridaLakeland40$34,7900.52
FloridaMiami1,130$50,5202.96
FloridaNaples150$49,9403.25
FloridaOrlando590$42,5201.43
FloridaPalm Bay130$30,9901.72
FloridaPensacola50$37,3400.86
FloridaSarasota150$65,0601.35
FloridaSebastian60$36,7703.8
FloridaTampa670$43,3701.38
FloridaWest Palm Beach620$56,8502.88
GeorgiaAtlanta2,050$47,3002.19
HawaiiHonolulu120$60,3000.73
IllinoisChicago2,350$49,0701.56
IllinoisPeoria110$36,8701.75
IllinoisSpringfield30 0.79
IndianaGary200$35,4901.89
IndianaIndianapolis410$43,9401.18
IndianaSouth Bend40$34,1800.79
IowaCedar Rapids40$33,6900.84
IowaDavenport60$36,4000.86
IowaDes Moines130$34,7501.08
KansasTopeka50$44,1001.29
KansasWichita110$36,8601.05
KentuckyLexington140$45,9301.57
KentuckyLouisville240$44,1801.04
LouisianaBaton Rouge90$35,7700.66
LouisianaNew Orleans170$42,8600.98
MainePortland60$42,2900.81
MarylandBaltimore640$52,7801.26
MarylandBethesda370$51,9401.68
MassachusettsBoston1,230$59,6401.86
MassachusettsBrockton60$62,2501.87
MassachusettsHaverhill120$42,1804.33
MassachusettsSpringfield80$39,6400.7
MassachusettsWorcester170$92,0001.79
MichiganDetroit230$44,1700.83
MichiganSaginaw120$47,1104.11
MichiganWarren630$47,4201.34
MinnesotaMinneapolis1,020$49,5901.42
MinnesotaRochester40$40,9201.51
MississippiJackson90$32,1600.93
MissouriColumbia40$58,4201.62
MissouriKansas City420$40,5401.06
MissouriSt Louis780$43,2301.51
MontanaBillings40$27,7801.37
NebraskaLincoln50$56,2300.87
NebraskaOmaha120$44,1700.68
NevadaLas Vegas380$56,5501.05
NevadaReno160$50,5202.04
New HampshireManchester50$60,9801.38
New HampshireNashua40$52,0200.81
New JerseyCamden170$49,7000.8
New JerseyEdison450$71,8401.11
New JerseyNewark570$58,7201.43
New MexicoAlbuquerque180$34,4401.25
New MexicoLas Cruces30$29,1301.45
New YorkAlbany70$42,3500.41
New YorkBuffalo70$42,0400.34
New YorkNassau370$55,1600.76
New YorkNew York2,390$59,1001.21
New YorkPoughkeepsie60$43,0700.66
New YorkRochester70$33,0100.37
New YorkSyracuse70$39,8100.58
North CarolinaAsheville90$32,2701.41
North CarolinaCharlotte390$46,7401.22
North CarolinaDurham60$50,7300.64
North CarolinaGreensboro150$42,1001.06
North CarolinaRaleigh210$42,0101.12
North DakotaFargo70$25,1901.73
OhioAkron90$33,3100.7
OhioCincinnati650$39,7301.57
OhioCleveland310$47,3500.73
OhioColumbus620$43,0101.75
OhioDayton50$40,7800.32
OhioToledo70$41,9400.56
OhioYoungstown80$28,8600.9
OregonEugene30$43,9300.57
OregonPortland620$52,6101.58
OregonSalem50$45,0300.95
PennsylvaniaAllentown50$43,4200.39
PennsylvaniaHarrisburg90$42,6200.8
PennsylvaniaLancaster100$47,3501.13
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia670$42,2600.89
PennsylvaniaPittsburgh260$56,1400.59
PennsylvaniaScranton40$44,0800.41
Rhode IslandProvidence160 0.74
South CarolinaCharleston110$37,1401.03
South CarolinaColumbia90$43,0300.69
South CarolinaGreenville130$42,6901.15
South CarolinaMyrtle Beach60$41,1901.43
South DakotaSioux Falls50$40,3701.05
TennesseeChattanooga80$36,0200.92
TennesseeKnoxville70$49,9700.56
TennesseeMemphis180$48,5100.76
TennesseeNashville470$44,9501.61
TexasAustin410$57,2801.47
TexasDallas1,340$46,1301.68
TexasFort Worth310$31,9400.98
TexasHouston820$48,5100.87
TexasLubbock100$34,8302.43
TexasSan Antonio560$34,0101.83
UtahSalt Lake City610$45,4102.61
VirginiaCharlottesville50$31,1101.72
VirginiaLynchburg50$35,1001.44
VirginiaRichmond300$51,0301.26
VirginiaRoanoke50$51,9800.86
VirginiaVirginia Beach170$44,3500.57
WashingtonBremerton40$36,1501.39
WashingtonSeattle860$41,4701.62
WashingtonSpokane40$39,1000.52
WashingtonTacoma60$45,3100.61
West VirginiaCharleston60$34,4601.12
WisconsinGreen Bay90$46,2701.45
WisconsinMadison110$44,1000.89
WisconsinMilwaukee430$40,9901.29
 

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