Career Information Related
 to 
Interior Design 

Interior Design Department Web site

Sample of Job Titles and Salary Ranges

Interior Design Positions

Individuals educated in Interior Design are frequently qualified for a wide range of positions, depending on the specialty expertise of the individual and/or the needs and training of the individual firm. For example, students graduating from Montgomery College and the faculty members, have found positions, such as:

Bathroom Designer: Individuals who specialize in the design of bathrooms are specially certified as CBD: Certified Bathroom Designers. They are often employed by other designers and architects, as well as by the public.

CAD: Individual responsible for creating the computer-aided drafting, used more frequently and is considered a high demand skill for entry-level positions.

Commercial Designer: Individuals or design firms, who specialize in the design of public and commercial spaces, such as museums, displays, hotels, educational institutions, hospitals, offices, senior care facilities, entertainment facilities.

Decorator: Generally refers to the individual who selects the finishes for walls, floors and furniture.

Draftsperson: The individual who manually creates the floor plans, elevations and other construction drawings, used by the trade.

Educator: Qualified individual who is employed by a college or university and/or specialists in the industry, who teach courses, called CEUís: Continuing Education Units, required by some licensing regulations.

Fabricator: Individual trained and skilled at constructing, from specifications and drawings, the products used in the completion of the interior design projects, such as the custom window, bed and table treatments.

Facilities Planner: Depending on the firm, the facilities planner might be a trained interior designer, who works within the company, to revise modular furniture arrangements, cubicles of space and other types of spaces that are frequently rearranged, as business needs shift.

Finisher: Individual trained and skilled at techniques used to finish furniture, walls, floors, ceilings, fabrics and other elements used for interior projects.

Furniture Designer: Individual who works for a furniture manufacturing company to design the furniture produced and/or an individual designer who creates the furniture for the specific client; who might specialize in a particular style or material of design.

Kitchen Designer: Individuals who specialize in the design of kitchens are specially certified as CKD: Certified Kitchen Designers. They are often employed by other designers and architects, as well as by the public.

Lighting Designer: Individuals who specialize in the design of lighting fixtures, electrical plans and lighting effects. They are often employed by other designers and architects, as well as by the public.

Showhouse/Historical Homes/Museum Curator and Assistant: Museums, showhouses, model homes, historical homes and public buildings frequently require the expertise of an interior designer, specifically tutored in historical knowledge. The individual might be involved in the historical research, design of historical reproductions and in education of people in the industry and the public.

Presentation: Individual in large commercial firm who creates the presentation boards, which are shown to demonstrate or sell a design concept.

Product Designer: The interior space is comprised of numerous products, all of which have unique design significance, such as furniture, floor treatments, wall treatments, ceilings treatments, accessories, lighting, appliances, hardware, architectural trims and motifs.

Product Representative: The individual employed by the manufacturing company, who "represents" the products to the stores, dealers, designers and other individuals in the building-related fields; for example: tile, carpet, wallcoverings, furniture, counters, kitchen appliances, etc.

Rendering: Individual who is provided the specifications of a job, including the space measurements, illustrations of selected furnishings, fabrics and finishes, who creates a three-dimensional drawing of the proposed space, which appears as a photographic image; used for selling concepts to clients.

Research Expert: The individual employed by a company, university, design firm, historical organization, or manufacturer, who is required to provide all the necessary information about a product, a style of design, a building technique, or other.

Residential Consultant: An individual who works with the residential client to create a plan for the future, which might include illustrations, specifications, etc. The consultant does not oversee the construction or implementation of the completed job.

Resource Librarian: The position typically acquired by a novice or entry-level future designer, whose responsibilities include the organization of the samples of products used by a design/architectural firm. The Librarian maintains currency of the product samples, as well as detailed information about each product, through ongoing communication with the manufacturerís representatives.

Salesperson: Although most design work requires knowledge of sales in order to produce the concepts created, the salesperson usually refers to the specific category of in-house selling for products available to the public, such as a furniture store, carpet or wallcover store, or other retail establishment that carries products used for interior spaces.

Showroom Manager/Employer: The showroom is the sales space used by manufacturers to visually display products for the trade. The manager and employees work primarily as the "middle-person" who provides product information for the designers.

Space Planner: The individual who works for a commercial or residential firm, who specializes in the interrelated activities of the users, including the relationships of the users to the furnishings, lighting, equipment, etc.

Specifier: The individual who completes the specifications for a job, which includes detailed information about the specific products, sizes, manufacturers, colors, fabrication, delivery, shipping, installation and other pertinent information. The specifierís communication is usually between the designer and the fabricators and resources.

Textile Designer: Like a product designer, the textile designer creates the new patterns, weaves, fibers for textiles applied to furniture, walls, floors and other surface treatment areas.

Wall Treatment Designer/Finisher: The individual who creates treatment finishes that are customized to the project, such as a mural design for a restaurant, or a faux finish for a plain wall.

Writer/Publisher: Person who writes articles for newspapers, journals and books, on topics related to the interior design industry, and/or the publisher of the journals and texts.

Earnings

Median annual earnings for designers in all specialties except interior design were $29,200 in 1998. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,420 and $43,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $13,780 and the highest 10 percent earned over $68,310. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of designers,

except interior designers, in 1997 were as follows: 

  • Engineering and architectural services $41,300
  • Apparel, piece goods, and notions $38,400
  • Mailing, reproduction, and stenographic services $36,000
  • Retail stores, not elsewhere classified $16,500

Median annual earnings for interior designers were $31,760 in 1998. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,580 and $42,570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,360 and the highest 10 percent earned over $65,810.

 Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of interior designers in 1997 were as follows:

  • Engineering and architectural services $33,000
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores $27,800
  • Miscellaneous business services $26,800

Median annual earnings of merchandise displayers and window dressers were $18,180 in 1998. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,680; the highest 10 percent, over $28,910. 

According to the Industrial Designers Society of America, the average base salary for an industrial designer with 1 to 2 years of experience was about $31,000 in 1998. Staff designers with 5 years of experience earned $39,000 whereas senior designers with 8 years of experience earned $51,000. Industrial designers in managerial or executive positions earned substantially moreóup to $500,000 annually; however, $75,000 to $100,000 was more representative.

Possible Employers

For employer information, students are encouraged to visit the "Job Board" located on the wall facing Room 251 of the Technical Center on the Rockville Campus. As employers contact the College, the jobs are posted for students to peruse. Advising for resumes, portfolios and interview techniques are available through the program advisors and instructors.

Sources of Additional Information

 

Disclaimer: Links to non-BLS Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

Designers:  

Facilities:

Visual Arts:

Additional Resources:

 

For an order form for a directory of accredited college-level programs in art and design (available for $15.00) or career information in design occupations, contact:

National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190.

For information on careers and a list of academic programs in industrial design, write to:

Industrial Designers Society of America, 1142-E Walker Rd., Great Falls, VA 22066. Internet: http://www.idsa.org

For information on degree, continuing education, and licensure programs in interior design, contact: American Society for Interior Designers, 608 Massachusetts Ave.NE., Washington, DC 20002-6006.

For a list of schools with accredited programs in interior design, contact: Foundation for Interior Design Education Research, 60 Monroe Center NW., Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Internet: http://www.fider.org 

For information about careers in floral design, contact:Society of American Florists, 1601 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314.

O*NET Codes: 34038A, 34038B, 34038C, 34038D, 34038F, 34041, 34044, and 39999H About the O*NET codes U. S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Professional and Technical Occupations: Interior Designers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor. E-Mail: oohinfo@bls.govLast Updated: July 14, 2000

Page URL: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos090.htm

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Date Reviewed:  Spring 2005 awb