What Is an Interior Decorator?

Have you ever been in a room where everything just seemed to fit together in a naturally pleasing way? Chances are that the room, and everything in it, had been planned by an interior decorator or designer. Read this article to learn more about interior decorators and what they do. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

The job of an interior decorator is to select the components of an interior space that best meet the wishes of the client. When faced with the task of decorating a room, an interior decorator has an array of techniques to choose from. Some of the elements that must be considered include the furniture style and arrangement; traffic flow; bright or dull colors; blinds, curtains, and drapes; paint, wallpaper, and fabric; carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, or other materials for the floor; and accessories such as lamps, sculptures, fans, etc.

Important Facts About Interior Decorators

Median Salary (May 2018) $53,370 per year (interior designers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026)Expected to grow 4% (interior designers)*
Key SkillsArtistic, creative, attention to detail, good interpersonal communication and problem solving skills, able to visualize a cohesive end product of their work.
Similar OccupationsArchitects, Fine Artists, Fashion Designers, Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Landscape Architects, Industrial Designers

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Work Environment

Interior decorators may work for design firms, consult with other interior decorators, or operate their own decorating businesses. Although a large part of their work consist of decorating for private residences, interior decorators may also work in the commercial sector or the retail industry.


Those who hope to work as an interior designer generally need a bachelor's degree in a relevant area. Certification in the field is also available. A certification program may not only impart the necessary skills and knowledge required to do the job, but may provide credentials that could help when seeking employment.

An interior decorator is not required to be licensed in any state, but some states require interior designers to pass a standardized test to become licensed. In addition to decorating, interior designers perform work that requires specialized knowledge, like architectural detailing, reading blueprints, and collaborating with electricians, architects, and contractors.

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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