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How to become an interior designer - statsHow to become an interior designer

At Sara Corker Designs, we regularly get asked how people should go about becoming an interior designer, what the job involves and how much it actually pays, so we’ve put together this guide so you can see everything in one place.

How much do interior designers get paid?

As with any job, interior designers’ salaries are based on levels of experience. Although this can vary slightly from region to region, a junior interior designer can expect a salary of between £18,000 and £23,000 and this can grow to between £25,000 and £30,000 with experience. When you reach the senior level your salary can skyrocket to £45,000 or more. This is, of course, for in-house positions. The majority of interior designers work on a self-employed consultancy basis and charge hourly for their work. How much they charge generally depends on their level of experience and portfolio.

Where do interior designers work?

Whether you work for an agency or are self-employed, as an interior designer you can find yourself working on any number of projects including homes, offices, hotels, retail outlets and even transport. Usually designers will lean towards a particular specialism or two, rather than trying to be everything to everybody.

How do I qualify as an interior designer?

Most interior designers will have taken some kind of Higher or Further Education course to qualify.

At the HE level, this is most likely to be an art or design course — although this doesn’t necessarily mean a degree. It could be a foundation course or HND as well. However, not everyone has the means or opportunity to go to university so FE is another route. This can include certificates or diplomas in interior design skills, spatial design and other areas.

If you were to gain one or more of these qualifications, you would then be able to prove your skill level to employers and pursue a role as a Design Assistant, gaining valuable work-based experience.

What skills do I need to become an interior designer?

You also need particular transferable skills to become an interior designer. These include:

  • Creativity. Perhaps the most obvious — without this, all the qualifications in the world don’t mean anything!
  • Project management so you can handle complex projects for clients.
  • Communication as you’ll need to communicate your vision to clients and make sure it tallies with their own.
  • Problem solving as you’ll need to work out how to create that vision with the space, materials and budget you have.
  • Cost management so that you can ensure a project stays within budget.
  • Business skills so you can manage and grow your own consultancy.

So what next?

If you have an eye for design you can look at taking our online course in interior design to train and improve it.

You can also get my eBook "How to start a successful and profitable interior design business"

If you don’t already have the necessary qualifications, start looking at formal courses but if you do have the right skills and qualifications, what are you waiting for? Start looking for jobs or look into how to set up your own business!

Good luck!

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