Employment Opportunities in the Interior Design Industry

Updated on January 30, 2019
viryabo profile image

Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've been involved in design-and-build residential building projects.


With a powerful interior design portfolio and your qualifications, you should be ready to impress your potential employers or some private clients with your professionalism.

You have just gone through a solid and sound foundation course and have learned valuable skills and capabilities that you can take to any worthy workplace. Your prospects in the interior design industry should be high, but it all depends on how you approach the issue.

A residential interior design model
A residential interior design model | Source

Interior design is a profession that has many branches and tentacles. Deciding on a niche to choose is really not that difficult. Just think about it. Think of the hundreds of things that come to play in interior design and décor.

If you start from the simple things like drapery or other soft furnishings, for example, you can decide to specialize in custom window treatment production or simple upholstery tasks and execute such for your private clients.

If you don’t want to sit in an office just creating designs using software, and prefer to be out there where it’s "all happening", here are some career and job opportunities available in the interior design industry which you can think about and possibly pursue.

Interior Design
Interior Design

Employment Opportunities


As a freelance interior designer, you are self-employed. The services you provide will involve a lot of consultancy or supervisory services.

You have the opportunity to work directly with mainly private individuals or very small private companies that will appreciate your professionalism.

Real Estate Industry

Career opportunities in the real estate industry include working for professional builders, property developers, kitchens manufacturers, and retailers, architects, civil engineers, custom furniture manufacturers, flooring manufacturers, interior design firms, etc…

Home Improvement Departments

You can also Work as a designer for large retail stores home improvement departments, home improvement stores, manufacturers of home elements such as bathrooms, wardrobes, fitted furniture, and the like.

You will have the duty to interact with their clients to help them with space planning projects, partial or complete makeovers, renovations, and other related matter.

Building Industry's Associated Firms

There are great job opportunities with some of the top architectural practices and interior design firms of repute, and you will have the chance to work alongside their senior personnel as an interior designer.

Purchasing Services

Interior designers can advise clients on décor choices or do purchasing services on their behalf, specializing in furniture and furnishings for interior décor items.

Project Management or Supervisory Services

You can act as a supervisor for custom design tasks or better still, as a project manager, managing a project that’s fairly sizeable.

Career Prospects in Interior Design Niches

When you become an interior designer, you have the option of specializing in any niche in the interior design industry. Niches are extensive and most of them are areas you'll probably enjoy working in.

They include:

  • Interior lighting design
  • Television shows
  • Journalism (writing for design magazines and publications)
  • Painting (effects & techniques)
  • CAD software specialists using AutoCAD, Autodesk, etc...
  • 3D modelling
  • Home improvement materials distributor
  • Interior design lecturing (university, college, or high school)
  • Commercial Interior Design
  • Exhibition Design
  • Studio Design
  • Institutional Interior Design
  • Residential Interior Designer
  • Kitchen and Bath Design
  • Facility Management
  • Landscape and garden design
  • Hospitality Design (for restaurants, hotels, clubs, motels, resorts, bars)

It is evident that the job of an interior designer goes far beyond being a decorator as there are many areas you can fit into when charting your career path towards this field.

The options as you can see from the few listed above are almost limitless.

Interior design also offers great opportunities for anyone that wishes to be self-employed, or one that can only work part-time. It is one of the few professions where you can start your business from home with barely any investment.

Professional Association You Can Join

It’s good to know that after completion of your interior design education, you can plan towards the NCIDQ Examination for Interior Designers.

Asides completing a formal program of study, you must go through a period of supervised work experience in the interior design industry before being eligible to take the examination.

The NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) is the highly coveted credential of choice for interior designers. The examination comprises 3 sections:

  • Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX)
  • Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX)
  • Interior Design Practicum (PRAC)

If you are preparing for your professional registration examination, you may find this book - Professional Practice for Interior Designers, recommended by the NCIDQ, extremely useful and helpful in your interior design studies.

The Great News

It is claimed that employment opportunities for interior designers will increase by 19 percent between now and 2020.

Designers will be in higher demand and will be required to respond to consumer expectations of today and the future.

Residential and commercial interiors must meet certain conditions, such as being more functional, downsized, environmentally friendly, and more efficient. This only implies that the interior design industry will continue to flourish.

Do you think you are ready for a high flying career in the interior design industry?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 viryabo

    Comments Are Welcome

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      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


        6 years ago

        Your friend that's helping people downsize is certainly thinking out of the box. He/She is wise.

        Clients don't have as much to splash around as they use to, so they like when their designer helps them save money whilst still giving a great service.

        Its an interesting career that i enjoy tremendously, as it's like a hobby/career.

        Thanks for the visit Dolores.

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        6 years ago from East Coast, United States

        Being an interior designer sounds like a great career for a creative person. One designer I know has been hit by the economy as well as by changes in style preferences. Another is doing quite well, helping people downsize.

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


        9 years ago

        Thanks Sreeiit.


      • profile image


        9 years ago

        Very good piece of writing.


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