How to Become an Interior Designer – Unlocking Your Interior Design Career 

Published: October 10, 2023

Before learning how to become an interior designer, let’s take a moment to talk about what the art of interior design actually means.

Interior design is the art and science of improving a room’s interior, whether it’s a home or a business, to create a more aesthetically acceptable and practical setting. 

Interior designers frequently collaborate closely to comprehend their clients’ demands, objectives, and financial constraints. Becoming an interior designer will involve constructing a strategy that meets your client’s needs while maximizing the comfort and beauty of the space using design concepts, color theory, and materials.

To learn some of these crucial skills from the comfort of your own home, you can have a look at the best interior design courses we have rounded up, and if you struggle with e-learning, we have some learning tips for you!

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers’ employment will increase by around 0.9% from 2021 to 2031. This is the perfect time for you to start contemplating how to become an interior designer, with the average annual salary of interior designers in the US being $67,547 

What is Interior Design?

Interior design is the process of creating an ambiance and environment that addresses, protects, and responds to a client’s needs. 

Becoming an interior designer will involve you learning the importance of a particular atmosphere, significant consideration must be given to the selection and placement of furniture, color schemes, lighting, materials, textures, and other design aspects.

defination of interior designing

When becoming a house designer, you must use your knowledge to ensure that it looks good and functions well for its users. They consider elements like the space’s intended use, the client’s style and preferences, the available budget, and its existing architectural features.

To put it briefly, interior design entails designing stunning and practical rooms that are tailored to each client’s story.

6 Actionable Steps Towards Becoming an Interior Designer

  • Step# 1 Get a Degree in Interior Design
  • Step# 2 Get a Certification
  • Step# 3 Internship and Networking
  • Step# 4 Create a Portfolio
  • Step# 5 Start as a Contractor
  • Step# 6 Build your network and remain up-to-date

1. Get a Degree in Interior Design

Earning a degree in specialized interior design can be the first serious step you take toward learning how to become an interior designer. You can leverage your skills and expertise by choosing a narrower focus in the field, such as Drawing or Interior Design featuring CAD (Computer Aided Design). 

Some top institutes to learn how to become an interior decorator are the New York School of Interior Design, Design Institute of San Diego, FIT State University of New York, and other top US schools. You should look for accreditation, curriculum, faculty, resources, and location in the best interior design degrees.

2. Get a Certification

Getting certified by the National Council for Interior Design as an interior designer demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and can enhance career opportunities. Certification requirements vary by state and country but typically involve passing an exam and meeting certain education and experience requirements. 

You can also secure certifications through some of the best online interior design courses we have rounded up for you.

A certification demonstrates to your employer that you have covered the fundamentals of interior design through the relevant means and therefore have become a “house designer” already.

3. Internship and Networking

Becoming a successful interior designer will not be possible without this step!

Internships and networking are crucial for gaining practical experience and building relationships with other professionals in the field. Internships allow aspiring interior designers to gain hands-on experience while working alongside established professionals while networking events provide opportunities to meet potential employers, clients, and collaborators.

4. Create a Portfolio

Creating a strong portfolio is essential for showcasing your design skills and style to potential employers and clients. When it comes to interior design, this should also consist of testimonials from previous clients. 

Your portfolio should include examples of your own unique work, such as floor plans, renderings, and photographs of completed projects.

5. Start as a Contractor

Starting as a contractor or working for a design/build firm can provide valuable experience in becoming an interior designer. This is because it gives you hands-on experience with building and allows you to develop strategic relationships with vendors and suppliers. While giving you exposure to the construction industry, it will also give you an insight into budgeting for your own construction project. 

 6. Build your network and remain up-to-date

Staying up to date with the latest trends, technology, and materials is essential for remaining competitive in the field. This can involve attending trade shows, taking continuing education courses, and staying active in professional organizations.

How to Become An Interior Designer With No Experience

Are you ready to start a career in interior design but have no prior experience? Don’t worry – you can still make your dreams a reality! Here’s how to become an interior designer:

First, research interior design programs and find one that meets your needs and schedule. 

How to Become An Interior Designer With No Experience

Next, to become an interior designer, build your portfolio by creating design projects for your own home or friends and family. This will help you develop your design skills and give you tangible examples to showcase your talent.

Consider taking an internship or apprenticeship with an established interior designer or design firm. Finally, consider getting certified by a reputable organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise.

With hard work, dedication, and a passion for design, you can become an interior designer with no prior experience. Are you ready to take the first step?

How to Become an Interior Designer - FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become an Interior Designer?

It takes 5-6 years of formal study and on-the-job training.

Is It Hard to Get a Job after Becoming an Interior Designer?

Yes, those starting out without any experience may take some time to land a job.

Is Interior Design a Happy Career?

Yes, for those who feel happy when exercising their creativity, interior design is an ideal career option.


Congratulations! You now thoroughly understand what interior design entails and how to become an interior designer with or without prior experience. With an average salary of $67,547 in the US, this career path is both fulfilling and lucrative. 

You learned that getting a degree in interior design, gaining practical experience through internships and networking, getting certified, building a strong portfolio, starting as a contractor, and remaining up-to-date with the latest trends are essential steps toward a successful career in interior design. 

And if you have no prior experience, fear not! You can still become an interior designer by researching interior design programs, building your portfolio, taking internships or apprenticeships, networking, and getting certified. 

So, are you ready to unleash your creativity and make a difference in the world of interior design? You can turn your passion for design into a fulfilling and happy career with hard work and dedication. Good luck!