What Does An Interior Designer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Interior Designers

Interior Designers plan, design, and furnish the internal space of rooms or buildings. Design interior environments or create physical layouts that are practical, aesthetic, and conducive to the intended purposes. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.

Salary
$61400
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Interior Designers plan, design, and furnish the internal space of rooms or buildings. Design interior environments or create physical layouts that are practical, aesthetic, and conducive to the intended purposes. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.

  • Design plans to be safe and to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Coordinate with other professionals, such as contractors, architects, engineers, and plumbers, to ensure job success.
  • Inspect construction work on-site to ensure its adherence to the design plans.
  • Use computer-aided drafting (CAD) and related software to produce construction documents.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Interior Designers use computer-aided drafting (cad) and related software to produce construction documents. They coordinate with other professionals, such as contractors, architects, engineers, and plumbers, to ensure job success.

A typical day for an Interior Designer will also include:

  • Advise client on interior design factors such as space planning, layout and use of furnishings or equipment, and color coordination.
  • Subcontract fabrication, installation, and arrangement of carpeting, fixtures, accessories, draperies, paint and wall coverings, artwork, furniture, and related items.
  • Plan and design interior environments for boats, planes, buses, trains, and other enclosed spaces.
  • Formulate an environmental plan to be practical, esthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity or selling merchandise.
  • Design spaces to be environmentally friendly, using sustainable, recycled materials when feasible.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Interior Designers also select or design, and purchase furnishings, artworks, and accessories. They may also review and detail shop drawings for construction plans.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Interior Designers advise clients on interior design factors such as space planning, layout and use of furnishings or equipment, and color coordination. They might also render design ideas in form of paste-ups or drawings.

In addition, they estimate material requirements and costs, and present the design to the client for approval.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them research and explore the use of new materials, technologies, and products to incorporate into designs.

To some Interior Designers, it is also their responsibility to inspect construction work on-site to ensure its adherence to the design plans.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Average

72% said they were satisfied with their job and 54% said they found their job meaningful.


Mancini Duffy

Being an interior designer is a creative, collaborative, and social job. We get to work with many different types of clients on all kinds of projects, which makes for a really interesting career because there is so much variety in who we are interacting with and what we are doing in our day-to-day. At Mancini, … Read More


Being an interior designer is a demanding job that requires you to multitask. You need to be able to have a creative vision for a space and the organization to follow through with bringing that vision to life. Being an interior designer is about more than just making a room pretty. You need to think … Read More


Style My Space

I have a passion for all things design so for me, it’s like playing all day – I can’t get enough. I meet and help a lot of people utilizing creative ideas that transform their homes and lifestyle. Similar to creating a work of art, design is a journey of artistic exploration that unfolds to … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to follow routines.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$61400 per year

Average hourly wage

$30 per hour

Entry-level Interior Designers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $33,020 to $43,570 per year or $16 to $21 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $97,920 $47
Senior (Top 25%) $74,720 $36
Median $57,060 $27
Junior (Bottom 25%) $43,570 $21
No experience (Bottom 10%) $33,020 $16

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Interior Designers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $85300 $41.01
Management of Companies and Enterprises $71310 $34.28
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $68000 $32.69
State Government $67910 $32.65
Building Equipment Contractors $67670 $32.54
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $67390 $32.40
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $67160 $32.29
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $67140 $32.28
Employment Services $66650 $32.05
Warehousing and Storage $65850 $31.66

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Interior Designers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Interior Designers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Specialized Design Services 20880 $59840 $28.77
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 14950 $68000 $32.69
Furniture Stores 3800 $52820 $25.39
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods 3650 $61170 $29.41
Residential Building Construction 2990 $56240 $27.04
Building Material and Supplies Dealers 2510 $54070 $25.99
Management of Companies and Enterprises 1750 $71310 $34.28
Home Furnishings Stores 1730 $53280 $25.62
Building Finishing Contractors 780 $54430 $26.17
Real Estate 680 $59110 $28.42

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
25%

More than 40 hours
75%

Working schedule

81%

19%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
5%

Very important
33%

Extremely important
62%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
5%

Important
14%

Very important
38%

Extremely important
43%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
5%

Important
38%

Very important
38%

Extremely important
19%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
100%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
15%

Every day
85%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
90%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
16%

Once a year
37%

Once a month
37%

Once a week
11%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
14%

Once a month
48%

Once a week
33%

Every day
5%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
5%

Once a year
38%

Once a month
48%

Once a week
5%

Every day
5%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
86%

Once a year
14%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
0%

Slightly competitive
5%

Moderately competitive
24%

Highly competitive
48%

Extremely competitive
24%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
5%

Moderate impact
10%

Important impact
62%

Very important impact
24%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
0%

Once a year
19%

Once a month
24%

Once a week
43%

Every day
14%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
19%

Limited responsibility
14%

Moderate responsibility
10%

High responsibility
24%

Very high responsibility
33%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
5%

Moderate responsibility
19%

High responsibility
43%

Very high responsibility
33%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
10%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
90%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
14%

Once a year or more
52%

Once a month or more
24%

Once a week or more
10%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
43%

Once a year or more
43%

Once a month or more
14%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
62%

Once a year or more
29%

Once a month or more
10%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
10%

Bachelor’s Degree
86%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
5%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Interior Design

A program in the applied visual arts that prepares individuals to apply artistic principles and techniques to the professional planning, designing, equipping, and furnishing of residential and commercial interior spaces. Includes instruction in computer applications, drafting, and graphic techniques; principles of interior lighting, acoustics, systems integration, and color coordination; furniture and furnishings; textiles and their finishing; the history of interior design and period styles; basic structural design; building codes and inspection regulations; and applications to office, hotel, factory, restaurant and housing design.

Design for Human Health

A program that focuses on the impact of design and architecture on the health of individuals and larger populations, and how to create settings that promote health, healing, and well-being. Includes instruction in architecture, interior design, human health services, communication studies, medical and clinical innovations, behavioral and engineering sciences, hospitals and health systems, and environmental conditions that influence health.

Textile Science

A program that focuses on the properties and processing of fibers, yarns, whole fabrics, dyes, and finishes, both natural and synthetic. Includes instruction in the chemical and physical properties of textile materials; end-use analysis; interior furnishing applications; and industrial applications.


Facilities Planning and Management

A program that focuses on strategic workplace and facility planning and that prepares individuals to function as facility and event managers and workplace consultants. Includes instruction in the principles of aesthetic and functional design, environmental psychology and organizational behavior, real estate planning, principles of occupational health and safety, event planning and management, operations management, and applicable regulatory and policy issues.

Healthcare Environment Design/Architecture

A program that focuses on the design and performance of healthcare environments to optimize healing. Includes instruction in interior design, architecture, healing sciences, healthcare environments, human-centered design, and healthcare delivery.


Interior Architecture

A program that prepares individuals to apply architectural principles in the design of structural interiors for living, recreational, and business purposes and to function as professional interior architects. Includes instruction in architecture, structural systems design, heating and cooling systems, occupational and safety standards, interior design, specific end-use applications, and professional responsibilities and standards.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
15%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
5%

3 to 6 months
20%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
15%

2 to 4 years
25%

4 to 6 years
10%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
5%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
10%

1 month
5%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
10%

6 months to 1 year
25%

1 to 2 years
15%

2 to 4 years
25%

4 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
5%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

The Builder
43%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
24%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
95%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
43%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
76%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
19%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
81%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
64%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
62%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
71%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
33%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
81%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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