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What Are the Steps to Becoming a Certified Interior Decorator?

Interior decorators assist in the selection of furniture, room accessories, lighting fixtures, carpet and flooring, decoration, and more for all kinds of rooms and interior spaces. Read this article to learn about the steps required to become certified as an interior decorator.

Steps to Becoming a Certified Interior Decorator

Certification is not required to be an interior decorator. However, the Certified Interior Decorator credential can be instrumental in helping aspiring professionals to gain a foothold in the industry. This is because certification attests to a person's knowledge and level of competency.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Median Pay (June 2019) $38,986*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 4%**
Training Internships may be included/required as part of degree program
Key Skills Customer service and interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, business savvy
Similar Occupations Interior designer, architect, floral designers, art directors, landscape architects, craft and fine artists, fashion designers

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

1. Find an Accredited Interior Design School

The Certified Interior Decorator certification is issued by a professional organization known as Certified Interior Decorators International (C.I.D.). This organization maintains a list of approved and accredited programs. Traditional classroom programs are available, as are online and home-study programs. More information about programs can be found by contacting Certified Interior Decorators International.

2. Complete a Certified Interior Decorator Program

Tuition for Certified Interior Decorator courses may vary. Accredited schools may offer certificate programs that are dedicated entirely to the field of interior design. They may cover interior decorating topics as part of an overall program in interior design. Although there is some overlap between both jobs, an interior decorator focuses only on surface decorations such as paint, fabric, lighting fixtures and furniture, while an interior designer considers such things as functionality, ergonomics and efficiency when designing an interior space.

Certified Interior Decorators International also provides courses of study that can be the most direct way of completing the certification process if applicants do not wish to complete formal study at a college or university. More information can be found at www.cidinternational.org.

3. Apply for the Certified Interior Decorators International Membership and Pass the Examination

Professional membership in the C.I.D. is required before one is allowed to take the Certified Interior Decorator examination. The combined cost of the application fee, professional membership dues, examination study guide and entrance examination may exceed $500. Candidates have a choice of taking the test online or via direct mail. After passing, individuals may use the Certified Interior Decorator designation on various marketing materials.

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Interior Decorator

  • Gives clients an indication of credibility
  • Allows use of titles such as 'Certified Professional Decorator' or 'C.I.D.'
  • Provides use of logos for business cards or advertising
  • May provide assistance with marketing and advertising
  • Access to continuing education classes
  • Nationwide referral service