Interior Designer Job Description

Find out what an interior design job is all about.

interior designer job description

A good interior designer manages people, budgets and client relationshipsall while designing spaces that are attractive, functional and meet building and safety codes. Professionals in an interior design career need organizational skills and business know-how. So it's not surprising that getting an interior design degree is quickly becoming essential for those wishing to enter the industry. A degree is also a licensure requirement in many states.

Job Responsibilities

Depending on the project, interior designers do the following tasks on a day-to-day basis:

  • Finding new clients and determining their needs
  • Bidding on projects 
  • Making a project schedule and budget
  • Determining the area's main function, look and furnishings  
  • Researching building and safety codes 
  • Drawing design plans by hand or using computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Reading blueprints or drawings
  • Picking furniture, wall finishes, lighting and kitchen and bathroom fixtures
  • Placing orders for materials 
  • Supervising installation of materials 
  • Working closely with clients, architects, engineers and builders

Skills Needed for the Job

  • Artistic Ability and Style – You will need to provide sketches of your proposed designs for a space. CAD training may also come in handy, since the interior design process often involves using computer programs to create two and three-dimensional renderings. You will choose colors, furniture and materials to complement the design, as well as suit your client's needs for function, durability and accessibility.
  • Teamwork Ability –  In an interior design job, you'll communicate with clients to assess what they want and need in a space, and then present your ideas for meeting those goals in a compelling way. You'll also need to communicate with vendors and contractors. Your responsibilities also include coordinating with architects, electricians, plumbers and others to complete the job in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Organizational Skills – Since interior designers complete a wide range of tasks and work with many different people, organizational skills are important. You are responsible for keeping the project on budget and on schedule. You will need to document your process and the products used, and manage contracts and negotiations on your client’s behalf.

Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer

Comparing design schools and determining the right one for you is an important first step on your journey to an interior design career. Once you've gotten enough work experience and feel confident about what you've learned, it's time to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification exam. The final step to becoming an interior designer is getting licensed. Not all states require licensure, so research your state's requirements.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Interior Designers.