How to Become an Interior Designer

Home > Careers > How to Become an Interior Designer

If you’re a creative individual with a great eye for detail, then why not consider a career as an Interior Designer? Maybe you’ve acquired skills through transforming your own home, or the homes of friends and family. Unleash the potential of rooms and spaces by first imagining how they could look, and then bringing them to life. You will take each interior space on a journey of improvement that will leave you feeling extremely satisfied.

What do they do?

interior collage

Interior Designers have the job of planning how interior spaces will look. These spaces can be in virtually any type of building including people’s homes, airport terminals, theatres, shopping centres, hotels and restaurants. Being an Interior Designer is about more than just choosing a colour palette for a room; it’s an opportunity to make a house a home, make a person’s hospital stay more relaxing, or help people have a more pleasant dining experience.

Interior Designers will decide how the textures, colours, lighting, artwork and furniture will look in a space. Sometimes Interior Designers plan the interior for a brand new space and other times they will be asked to refresh or makeover an old, tired space.

Interior Designers always have to take into account the building’s health and safety regulations, and will sometimes need to know how to make a space accessible to disabled people. For this reason, it’s helpful if they can read blueprints.

What skills do I need?

The right person will:

  • Have an eye for detail.
  • Be creative.
  • Have a great sense of imagination.
  • Understand blueprints.
  • Have a great sense of style.
  • Be able to combine aesthetics with functionality.

What will I love about the job?

  • The chance to unleash your creative talents.
  • The journey. Seeing a space before and after it’s transformation and feeling proud of the results.
  • Making people happy by creating an environment that they will enjoy spending time in.
  • Variety; you can work on a whole range of spaces and no two designs will be the same.

What are the challenges?

  • Putting your thoughts into action; understanding what is feasible and not feasible.
  • Following a client brief – it’s about understanding and respecting their tastes and what they want – often reading between the lines between what they say, and what they mean!

How much will I earn?

An Interior Designer has a typical starting salary of £20,000, potentially rising to £45,000 plus. Employers for this job range from furniture brands to luxury interior design companies. There are also opportunities to work freelance – either after gaining experience with another company, or from the get go if you’re already confident in your skills and your ability to build a client base.

Are there opportunities to progress?

Interior Designers who start by becoming a company employee, typically progress through the ranks. You will begin as a Junior Designer, becoming a fully-fledged Interior Designer after developing your skills and experience. Once your Interior Design skills reach an exceptional level you can then progress into a Senior Interior Designer role

Of course, if you go freelance, the opportunities to progress are in your own hands – based on your ability and desire to build a larger client base.

How do I get started?

Use your existing skills and experience to become a freelancer…

One of the best things about becoming an Interior Designer is that if you’ve already got solid experience creating beautiful interiors for friends and family, then you can start your career as a freelance Interior Designer straight away. Why not consider creating your own website that can be shared quickly and easily with anyone who may be interested in your creative talents? Here you can advertise and showcase your services, and provide contact details so people can get in touch.

The fastest way to get your career off the ground is to start by asking friends, family members and ex-colleagues to recommend you via word of mouth; you could also use social media to advertise your design skills and promote your website. Once you’ve got a handful of satisfied clients, it’s likely that they will continue to recommend you to people in their own social networks and knowledge about your Interior Design services will grow.

…or apply for a role as a Junior Interior Designer

If you’re not feeling confident enough to go it alone straight away, you could apply for a role as a Junior Interior Designer with an established firm. Many firms will be willing to take on employees who have a willingness to learn, even if you have little or no experience behind you. So what’s stopping you? Why not apply now?

…or build up some skills and experience first with a distance-learning course

The good news is that these can be achieved in your own time through distance learning courses. The Centre of Excellence offers a popular Interior Design Diploma course that can get you started on the path to becoming an Interior Designer.

The 150-hour course will give you some insight into the background of Interior Design, as well as introducing you to the work of some great designers of our recent past. You will also learn about design elements such as texture and scale, and room elements such as furniture and flooring. The final course module will prepare you for life as an Interior Designer by teaching you how to set up a business plan and make a living from your new skills.

This course is available to anyone who dreams about starting a career as an Interior Designer. After successfully completing the course, you will receive two certificates; one from the Centre of Excellence and a CPD certificate of accreditation.

Did you find this page helpful? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at [email protected].

See more career paths...

It’s never too late to start a new career. We’ve created some helpful guides to show you how to get started.

Get the latest advice, news and inspiration

No spam. Just interesting and useful stuff, straight to your inbox. For free.

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.