How to Become an Interior Designer

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How to Become an Interior Designer. Professionals in this field design and furnish the interiors of commercial, industrial and residential buildings. They must be up on federal, state and local codes and able to wear many hats.

Understand that as an interior designer you will need to know more than how to decorate a space. For example, you will need to fully understand flammability and toxicity standards, be able to easily read a blueprint and know how to communicate with engineers, architects and clients.

Obtain a bachelor's degree in interior design from a college whose design program has been accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). Peruse FIDER's Web site (fider.org) for a list of approved programs.

Include computer-aided design (CAD) courses in your electives. As a designer you will be expected to know how to use computers to create your space designs.

Apply for internships through your school. Your contacts might lead to a future job.

Contact your state's regulatory agency to confirm its licensing requirements for interior designers. State-by-state information is located in the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Web site (ncidq.org).

Spend a year or two working in the field after graduation, prior to taking and passing the NCIDQ qualification exam. It is a prerequisite to your receiving a license. Take the exam even if your state does not require licensure. You will need to pass it to be accepted in professional organizations that are key to the success of designers.

Tip

Subscribe to interior design and architecture magazines for the latest trends.

Warning

Designers work irregular schedules, at the convenience of their clients.

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