If you want to become a professional interior desain, you probably have questions about what steps you need to take in order to get started. Diving into the professional creative industry can pose some questions about education requirements, because unlike other industries where you are required to have a degree from a college or university in order to begin working, interior designers are not always held to these same formalized educational standards.
Not only that, there is a great deal of conflicting information in circulation about what interior designers are required to do before getting started, so you might be looking for some clarity that hopefully the following list can provide.
5 Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer
Find the right training for your goals. As we mentioned before, there are no formal, national educational prerequisites technically required of interior designers who want to start working with clients, unless you explicitly want to call yourself a “Certified Interior Designer.” That being said, if you do not have any prior knowledge or experience in interior design or decorating, and if you do not have a portfolio of work yet, it would be practical to receive some type of training before you start working with clients and advertising yourself as a professional. You can look for an affordable interior design course online, or take classes locally wherever you are able to find in-person interior design training.
Understand how to use industry software. It’s worth noting that in today’s industry, some clients or design firms might require you to be proficient in an interior design software program. If you are working independently, you do not necessarily need to know how to use these programs (like AutoCAD or SketchUp). However, if you suspect you would feel more confident as a designer if you learned these software as well, note that NYIAD does also offer an AutoCAD course and a SketchUp course, and if you enroll in 2 programs through the school (like the interior design course and the AutoCAD course), you can receive a 25% discount on your second course.
Decide whether or not you want to earn certification. If you do want to become a “Certified Interior Designer” the state you reside in will likely require you to receive a formal interior design licensure by passing a certification exam. You can look into state licensing requirements for interior designers if you are interested in learning more about the rules in your state. Many online interior design classes like NYIAD’s are designed to prepare you for licensing exams like these.