What Are Some Interior Design Jobs for Recent College Graduates?

If you are interested in the look of a room as much as its function, you may want to consider a career in interior design. Keep reading to learn more about entry-level career opportunities in the field. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information for Interior Design Graduates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a high level of competition for interior design positions. Job prospects tend to be better for those with a bachelor's degree and some experience. The BLS reported that interior designers earned a median annual income of $53,370 in May 2018. Your salary could be higher or lower; interior designers in the top ten percent of earnings had an annual salary of $94,130 or more, while those in the bottom ten percent made $29,970 or less annually.

Important Facts About This Field

Job Outlook (2016-2026) 4% growth
Key Skills Visualization, artistic ability, detail oriented, and problem-solving skills
Similar Occupations Fashion designer, art director, landscape architect, industrial designer
Professional Certification Credentialing is typically earned through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Entry-level Career Options

In this article, we'll particularly discuss interior design assistants, computer-aided design drafters, sales associates, and interior designers.

Interior Design Assistant

One way to break into the interior design field is to get a job as an interior design assistant in a design or architectural firm. Interior design assistants help experienced interior designers, often performing a wide variety of professional and administrative duties. Your job responsibilities may include picking up fabric and other design materials, drafting design drawings, scheduling client meetings and answering phones. According to PayScale.com, the majority of reporting assistant interior designers earned an annual income between $28,926 and $55,450 as of May 2019.

Computer-Aided Design Drafter

Some college graduates break into the interior design field by obtaining jobs as computer-aided design (CAD) drafters in design and architectural firms. Working under the supervision of an experienced interior designer, you'd create the drawings necessary for design projects. Many CAD drafters specialize in AutoCAD, a popular software package for design and architectural drawings. In May 2019, PayScale.com showed that most reporting computer-aided design and drafting operators earned between $34,873 and $74,599 annually.

Sales Associate

As an interior design graduate, you may also find job opportunities in major retail stores or design centers that cater to the public's home improvement needs, including furniture stores. As a sales associate, you might help a customer pick out and coordinate new paint colors, decide on the ideal furniture for a space or help them choose the perfect textiles for window treatments. Sales associates often work on commission and therefore experience varying levels of income.

Interior Designer

As a graduate of a bachelor's degree program in interior design, you may be able to obtain a position as an interior designer in an architectural firm, urban planning organization or specialized design company. As an entry-level interior designer, you might spend your first 2-3 years working under the supervision of a more experienced designer. Your job responsibilities may include working with customers to determine their needs and preferences, creating design documents and drafting manual or computer-aided design drawings. You will also work with experienced designers to select color and lighting schemes, textures, architectural ornaments and furnishings.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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