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Interior Design Major...A Closer Look
By Misty Sneddon
Interior designers are creative, flexible, detail-oriented, positive, and hard-working. They need to be good at managing, planning, and communicating. Being able to read blueprints, understanding building codes, and knowing inspection regulations are all part of an interior designer’s job. And let’s not forget the artsy side needed to succeed in this career. Interior designers manipulate living spaces to feel a certain way, depending upon their clientele’s expressed desires. An eye for color is really important too. If you are the kind of person who can see beneath the color of a fabric, noting different undertones and subtle sheens, you may have found your career niche. There is also a diplomatic side to Interior Design. Your mind is constantly thinking and evaluating potential disasters and workable solutions while simultaneously consulting with multiple clients on one or many projects. These clients may or may not agree on the design. This may force you to mesh two, three,or even four or more opposing “looks” into one look that will satisfy everyone’s wish list. It sounds like a tall order, but many interior designers thrive on these sorts of obstacles. Interior designers must enjoy problem solving, multitasking, and working with people.
So what is required to get a BFA in Interior Design? Classes like modern architect and design, drawing, digital design tools, designer illustration, computer aided design, contract documents, interior materials and sources, and interior design studios are necessary.
Of course, before getting into design core classes, many colleges require general education classes first such as composition, math, science, social studies, and history. Since you’ve already experienced similar classes in high school you’ll just be building on what you’ve already learned.
Many colleges and universities have excellent resources for job placement. Upon graduating, many states require schooling, work experience, and examinations to obtain a license. Regulations vary widely depending upon the state you choose to work in, so it is best to be aware of local requirements you will need to possess before getting the professional title of Interior Designer.
Possible careers for those with a degree in Interior Design are:
• Kitchen Designer
• Sports Facility Designer
• Client Consultant
• Display Designer
• Set Decorator
• Industrial Designer
• Advertising Artist
• Home Consultant
• Merchandise Displayer
• Art Director
• Residential Designer
• Manufacturer’s Representative
Interior designers find themselves working in the following types of environments:
• Corporate Design Departments
• Engineering Firms
• Government Agencies
• Home Office/Self Employment
• Architectural Firms
• Department Stores
• Construction Firms
• Housing Developments
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an interior designer makes an average yearly salary of $47,600. The projected career growth from 2012 to 2022 is 13%, which is about average in comparison to other careers outside of Interior Design. However, you should be aware that the competition for a career in this field is fierce. The more experience you can get before entering a career in interior design the better. Try starting small with part-time work in clothing and grocery stores as a merchandise displayer. You should also contact your school counselor for more hands-on volunteer experiences.