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What do employers look for in interior design?

Hi! I’m almost a junior in high school and am wondering where I should start if I want a career in interior design. Do I need a college degree? An internship? A graphic design class? How can I set myself up for a well-paying job? #spring24

Thank you comment icon Modern and sustainable design Iris Agpaoa

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Subject: Career question for you

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Sabila’s Answer

Prepare yourself by training your eye. Look through interior design publications, follow your favorite interior designers and observe their work closely, make notes of the styles you like . Getting a professional CIDA certified degree and internships during your college years with an established interior firm will help you get to your dream job and career .

Sabila recommends the following next steps:

practice drafting skills
learn CAD
sketch
create material and mood boards
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Stephanie’s Answer

Hello Future Designer Meagan,
4 years at an accredited CIDA Art & Design School is a great start.
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Stephanie’s Answer

Hello Future Designer Meagan,
4 years at an accredited CIDA Art & Design School is a great start.
CAD skills! AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUP, Adobe Suite.
Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Meagan
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Meagan,

What Employers Look for in Interior Design

In the field of interior design, employers typically look for a combination of education, skills, experience, and creativity. Here are some key factors that employers consider when hiring interior designers:

1. Education: Having a college degree in interior design or a related field is often preferred by employers. A formal education provides a strong foundation in design principles, space planning, color theory, materials, and other essential aspects of interior design. Some employers may also look for candidates with certifications or licenses in interior design.

2. Skills: Employers seek candidates with a diverse set of skills that are crucial for success in the field of interior design. These skills may include:

Creativity: The ability to come up with innovative and aesthetically pleasing design concepts.
Technical Skills: Proficiency in using design software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Adobe Creative Suite.
Communication Skills: The capacity to effectively communicate ideas and collaborate with clients and team members.
Problem-Solving Skills: The capability to address challenges and find practical solutions within design projects.
Attention to Detail: A keen eye for detail to ensure precision and accuracy in design work.

3. Experience: While entry-level positions may not always require extensive experience, having relevant work experience through internships or part-time jobs can give you a competitive edge in the job market. Internships provide valuable hands-on experience and allow you to build a portfolio showcasing your design projects.

4. Portfolio: A strong portfolio is essential for showcasing your design skills and creativity to potential employers. Your portfolio should include a variety of projects that demonstrate your range as an interior designer, including sketches, renderings, floor plans, and photographs of completed designs.

5. Networking: Building a strong professional network within the industry can also be beneficial for securing job opportunities in interior design. Attending industry events, joining professional organizations like the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and connecting with professionals in the field can help you expand your contacts and stay updated on industry trends.

6. Continuous Learning: Interior design is a dynamic field that constantly evolves with new trends, technologies, and materials. Employers value candidates who demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and professional development through workshops, seminars, certifications, or advanced degrees.

In conclusion, pursuing a career in interior design requires a combination of education, skills, experience, creativity, networking, and continuous learning to stand out to potential employers and secure well-paying job opportunities.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used in Answering this Question:

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) - ASID is a leading professional organization for interior designers that provides resources, networking opportunities, education programs, and industry insights.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - The BLS offers valuable data on occupational outlooks, salary information, educational requirements, and job prospects for various professions including interior designers.

Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) - IDEC is an association dedicated to advancing interior design education through research initiatives, conferences, publications, and collaboration among educators in the field.

These sources were consulted to provide accurate information on the requirements and expectations of employers in the field of interior design.

God Bless You - Muchly!
JC.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Meagan
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Mauricio’s Answer

Dear Meagan from Colorado,

When it comes to interior design, employers look for a mix of creativity, technical skills, and a good personality. First off, they want to see your creativity shine through your portfolio. This is where you showcase your best work, showing off your unique style and eye for design. Think of it as your visual resume.

For technical skills, employers want to know you can handle the tools of the trade. This means being familiar with design software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Photoshop. They also appreciate it when you know the basics of space planning, color theory, and material selection.

Now, here’s a tip: check out "In with the Interior Design Crowd" by Lucy Painter. This book is awesome because it breaks down what different interior design studios look for when hiring. For example, if you’re aiming for a junior interior designer position, studios want someone eager to learn, detail-oriented, and good at supporting senior designers. For senior positions, they’re looking for experienced designers who can lead projects, manage clients, and bring innovative ideas to the table. Partners and associates need to have a strong network, leadership skills, and a strategic vision for the studio.

Lastly, employers are big on personality. They want team players who are good communicators and can collaborate well with others. So, be sure to show your enthusiasm and passion for design during interviews.

In short, focus on building a solid portfolio, sharpening your technical skills, and developing a friendly, professional demeanor. And don’t forget to dive into Lucy Painter’s book for a deeper understanding of what employers are seeking at different levels in the interior design world.

May the force be with you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Meagan
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