If you enjoy interior decorating, you might want to learn how to become an interior decorator. This is a unique career fitting well for those with creative skills. Those looking to enjoy a career in decorating might be interesting in this type of position.
The job duties of an interior decorator are rather unique. It’s important to understand these duties. Let’s look closer at the job duties and the steps to becoming an interior decorator.
Job Duties of an Interior Decorator
As an interior decorator, you will be a professional that uses technical and creative skills together. Your client will be the main focus. Working with them to create the type of home decor they desire is your main job duty. This is done by using fabrics, paint, textiles, and other materials.
Your main job will be to come up with the necessary solutions for your clients. They will want you to enhance their home and make it look the way they desire. Some of the job duties you will tackle include:
- Come up with sample designs
- Research and analyze what your client wants and requires
- Make sure your design concepts are safe, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and meet the public health standards
- Choose the necessary fabrics and other materials to fit the design concept
- Figure out the cost and make sure it fits within your client’s budget
- Help pick the right furniture for the space
You will be the one in charge of making the ideas of your client come to life.
How to Become an Interior Decorator in 5 Steps
Step #1 – Develop the Right Skills
You don’t necessarily need a degree to become an interior decorator. With the right skills and an attractive portfolio, you can land many clients in this career. Some of the many important skills you should develop include:
- Organizational skills – Quite a bit of organization will go into a project like this. As an interior decorator, you will need to stay very organized or it will look like total chaos for your clients.
- Creative skills – This is a career for a creative person. You will want to develop your knowledge with texture, color, using light, and other creative skills that apply to decorating.
- Communication skills – Working with people requires excellent communication skills. You will need to communicate with clients and with vendors. It’s important to know how to clearly communicate with those you work with and for.
Develop these skills and you’ll be in a better place to become an interior decorator.
Step #2 – Get a Bachelor’s Degree (Optional)
You don’t need a degree to work as an interior decorator. However, it can be helpful to give you the skills you need, along with the credentials.
There are many things you can learn by getting a degree before working at an interior decorator. Some of the types of courses you can take include:
- Graphic communication – You can learn the way visual materials work together through photographs, drawings, sketches, and more.
- Space planning – With this type of course, you will learn how to organize space and work within the space given to you.
- Computer-aided drafting – A great choice for interior decorators, computer-aided drafting can help you learn the right computer software for this job. You will be able to analyze, modify, create, and optimize designs within the program.
- Color theory – Learning about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors can help you with the creative side of interior decorating.
- Ethics – Learn all about the moral principles of business and how to make sure your client’s welfare comes first.
You will also study things like interior construction, the history of interior design, and more. Getting a bachelor’s degree in interior design should be certified by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It can also be certified by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
Step #3 – Get Trained
There really isn’t a clear-cut path for those looking to become interior decorators. You can get the training you need through online courses and with on-the-job training. Some art and design schools will offer online courses to help you gain the education you need.
Other types of training come from working for an interior decorator as an assistant. You can also become certified through the right online program.
Step #4 – Get Some Experience
Experience will make a difference if you want to become an interior decorator. You will want to work in some type of job that allows you to decorate or use your creative skills. Entry-level positions as an assistant can help you gain the necessary experience.
Step #5 – Build a Great Portfolio
With a creative career like this, a portfolio will do more for you than a degree, in most cases. Your degree can help with your portfolio, however, as you will have projects to add from your college years.
It’s necessary to work on projects you can show off to potential clients. Creating your portfolio online and showcases samples of your work can go a very long way. You can also use social media platforms to help find new clients with your portfolio.
Types of Jobs for Interior Decorators
It’s common for an interior decorator to work for themselves. However, you can also work for an employer and take on many different types of decorator positions.
Some work for the residential sector, while others will work for the commercial sector. You might become an interior decorator and work in the hotel or restaurant industry. It’s also possible to work in a furniture store, home store, or another home supply type of store as a decorator.
It’s also common for interior decorators to become writers or interior design journalists. This is a bit of a crossover career, but it has become more and more common.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an Interior Decorator
How much can I make as an interior decorator?
The average salary will be around $35K a year for an interior decorator, according to RealEstateSchooler.com. This may be higher in some locations, such as New York City and Orlando. Both cities have an average salary above $50K for this type of position.
If you decide to work for yourself, you might make even more as an interior decorator. Your actual salary will depend on the employer you work for, your experience, and your portfolio.
Do I need a college degree to become an interior decorator?
No. You do not need a degree to enter this career. However, a degree can help you win over new clients and help you land a better job. Not all employers will require a degree, but some will.
You can also get a certification, which can help back up your decorating skills. Building a good portfolio of samples is the best way to ensure you can gain a good position in this career.
How long will it take me to become an interior decorator?
You can become an interior decorator in just a few weeks to several years. It depends on what type of path you take. If you decide to forgo getting a degree, you can become an interior decorator quickly. All you need is a client or two and you can start working.
It’s also possible to get a certificate, which will provide some credentials for your new career. This can be done pretty quickly without the need to get a college degree.
If you decide to get a college degree, you will need two to four years to complete your degree. An associate’s degree will take two years, while a bachelor’s will take four.
What types of careers can I work towards as an interior decorator?
While you can certainly remain working as an interior decorator, you can also use these same skills for a few other careers. Home staging is a popular option. You will work with real estate agents and firms to make their homes look better for listing pictures in this career.
You can also go into professional organizing. This type of career allows you to help people with decluttering and re-organizing. You might also help with decorating the space once the organizing has been done.
Another career you can go into is one as a color consultant. This type of career will allow you to help clients choose the right paint colors. You will likely work in the commercial sector helping businesses choose the right colors for their interior areas.
If you want to become an interior decorator, you will want to use the steps above. There isn’t a clear-cut path for this career. You might need a degree or you may enter into this field without any formal education.
As an interior decorator, there are so many things you can do to help your clients. You can work for yourself or you can work for an agency. This type of career can be very rewarding. Make sure you understand how to become an interior decorator if you think this is the right career for you.