5 Things You Need to Know About an Interior Design Career
Interested in interior design?
Find out what you need to thrive in an interior design career and make a living off your own creativity.
Are you looking for a creative career? If you’re an artistic person, it can be hard to find a job that lets your creativity shine and still pays the bills — at least, that’s what your grandparents would have you believe.
Creative careers have never been more of a possibility, especially in the design industry. If you’re interested in interior design, you’re in luck. Alongside architecture, the average interior design wage is on the up. As of 2018, it’s actually in the top five careers in the country.
With the whole design industry expected to continue growing, what’s stopping you? If you want to make a living off your passion, an interior design career could be just what you’re looking for.
There’s never been a better time to get into interior design. Since lockdown, people have gotten tired of their own homes, and they’re looking for a refresh. In Australia, spending on building and renovations has skyrocketed over the last quarter. Those home-owners need interior designers to make their visions a reality. You know what that means: it’s your time to step in and turn your passion into a career.
Find out how you can make it happen in the interior design industry.
Table of Contents
1. Creative flair is a must
Interior designers are creative professionals with incredible design skills. To be a great interior designer, you can’t be derivative at all – you should have flair. It’s your responsibility to take your client’s vision and bring it to life. You’ll use your creativity to bring everything together in an original way, making sure you maintain cohesion and consistency.
There’s a common misconception that interior designers are just interior decorators. But there are differences in skill sets and expectations that separate the two roles.
Interior designers, on the other hand, typically have a tertiary qualification like a Bachelor of Interior Design. Interior designers can provide more advanced expertise and have a more hands-on role in the overall renovation or design project. They’re typically responsible for:
Essentially, interior decorators will curate and design spaces. Interior designers do the same but go the extra mile by creating spaces with beauty and functionality in mind. As an interior designer, it’s your responsibility to use your creative flair to meet your client’s expectations, both aesthetically and functionally.
If you’ve been looking for a career that will nourish your creativity, interior design will fulfil that dream. Unlike an office job that confines you to the same old routines, interior design work will encourage you to show off your creative flair every day.
2. People skills go a long way
Interior design is more than just design work, it’s people-pleasing work. As an interior designer, your day-to-day schedule will involve a lot of collaborative communication. To get the job done right, you’ll need effective communication skills so that you can:
Great people skills will take you a long way in the interior design industry. It’s your responsibility to develop trustworthy and respectful relationships with every client.
On average, homeowners are much more likely to hire the interior designer they feel the most comfortable and confident with overall.
Your clients put a lot of trust in your design expertise by hiring you — they’re trusting you to bring their homeowner dreams to life. People skills will help you out a lot in this department so that you can make each and every new client feel comfortable and reassured throughout the entire design process.
3. If you’re organised, you’ll thrive
Outside of the creative and collaborative parts of the job, interior designers have pretty busy schedules. If you want to seriously pursue the industry, be prepared to get busy. You’ll be making more than just Pinterest boards; full-time interior designers spend around 45 hours per week at work.
Full-time interior designer jobs are filled with administrative responsibilities, with tasks like:
All of these responsibilities might sound like a lot, but it can all be totally manageable if you maintain your schedule. Keep your calendar in check and stay organised and you’ll be thriving in no time.
4. If your heart’s in it, your bank account will prove it
Some creative career paths can be a little tricky in the money department – because, let’s be honest, people expect artists to work for free – interior design is not one of those careers.
If you commit wholeheartedly to the design industry, it will pay off. Interior designers in Australia make an average of $1155 a week. This is already a stable income that has the potential to grow with you throughout your career.
Just because you’re ditching the corporate career path and embracing your creative side doesn’t mean you’re going to earn less money. Interior design can fully sustain you in the long term. The size of your interior designer salary will vary depending on your skill level, but that’s no reason to worry.
With most Australian interior designers making a base salary of $44,000 to 74,000 a year, plus generous bonuses and commissions, you’ll be sure to make a stable living even when you’re just starting out.
5. Getting qualified is worth your time
If you’re a designer working with an interior design degree, you’ll be much more highly regarded in the industry. If you want to get hired, getting qualified will pay off. Over 40% of Australian interior designers have a bachelor’s degree or an advanced diploma of interior design. If you don’t take the time to get accredited, your competitors will be sure to upstage you.
Getting accredited with a bachelor’s degree or an advanced diploma will also help you out if you’re already in the interior design industry. Suppose you want to expand on your Certificate IV in design. In that case, you can upskill your existing interior design qualification and specialise your expertise. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, you can advance your skillset with a Master’s degree.
Interior design specialisations include areas like:
Are you interested in interior design, but haven’t got much work experience in the industry? Studying can offer you the perfect opportunity to test it out. Almost all the entry-level interior design programs and degree programs are available to study online. So, you can continue working in your current job before you throw yourself into a whole new industry. That way, you can see if you enjoy being a part of the design field before you commit.
If you want your creativity to play a big part in your day-to-day job, interior design can promise you exactly that. As a creative person, your career should show off your unique skills and talent. Interior design is the perfect opportunity to reach your fullest potential, embrace your passion and make money while you do it.
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