How To Become an Interior Decorator

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: November 17, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Creative
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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.

How To Become 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:

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:

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:

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 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.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.