Using a combination of both beautiful and practical design elements, Senior Interior Designers transform a specific area into a more useful and stylish space. If you have the eye for interior style, and enjoy finding a creative way to achieve a useful and unique space, then interior design may be the career that’s right for you.
A solid understanding in fabrics, colors and patterns is needed for this career. Understanding materials, and how they wear, is another important part of an interior designer’s work. An interior designer must be comfortable with choosing the right items to furnish a room, art pieces to decorate with, and pallet to set the mood. Often, designers must be willing to bend over backwards to please clients; being available at nearly all hours and quick to return calls, is just a part of the many requirements an interior designer often finds themselves facing.
Senior Interior Design Industries
Senior Interior designers work in both commercial and residential areas. Most designers work in both industries, but tend to favor one over the other.
Residential interior design takes privately owned spaces and transforms them into updated rooms designed around specific purposes. Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and any other living space can be stylistically improved by a residential interior designer.
Commercial interior design entails a business or organization’s space being updated into an area which better suits its uses. Typically, commercial spaces are designed around current fads or practical use. Store fronts to sell items, waiting rooms, and conference rooms are just some of the areas that might utilize an interior designer in the commercial industry.
Requirements and Education
It is becoming more and more popular for interior designers to get an associate or bachelor’s degree in order to find employment. Over half of the states in the US currently require some kind of licensing to be a design practitioner, passing a regulated exam and sometimes requiring a certain caliber of post-secondary education.
It is common for senior-level interior designers to do an apprenticeship for an already-established designer. Once out of school, gaining experience in the industry is a key factor in creating clientele for the future. When working as a free-lance designer, past work and recommendations are typically the methods by which you find new customers.
Tips for Senior Interior Designers
- Document your work. From day one, make sure you are taking good, quality shots of your design jobs. Research how interior design should be shot so that your can assure the preservation of your work for your portfolio.
- Network, network, network! Remember, clientele for free-lance designers are usually directed by reference, so you need to get out a meet people who will spread the word!
- Be prepared to design for free– if you don’t have current work, it’s better to progress than to sit idle. Redesign a family or friend’s space—they will love your for it, and your portfolio will grow in the meantime.
- Sell your talent. Shyness and self-consciousness are not a good look for the interior designer. You need to be confident, but not arrogant, in your work. Be willing to learn and critiqued, but also do work you are proud to show off.
Salary and Outlook
The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 40,750 interior designers (not counting those self-employed) with an average salary of $52,970. The highest paid industry in 2012 is the Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) with an average salary of $73,590 and 280 hired interior designers. The interior design industry is expected to grow at a rate of 19 percent (about average for all industries) as projected by the BLS in 2010.
Sources: http://www.asid.org/content/role-design-education-0, http://www.asid.org/content/state-information, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271025.htm, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/interior-designers.htm