How to Become an Interior Designer: Everything You Need to Know | Architectural Summary

Again, count on the expertise of guidance counselors to help you secure an internship that coincides with your areas of interest. But don’t get too focused on any one topic at this point; instead, consider a wide range of interests in the field of interior design. Keep an open mind to different aspects of the industry. You never know: you might think you want to focus on retail design, but, surprisingly, hospitality ends up pique your curiosity. In this first phase of your design career, you should have a broad base of experience before ruling out any possibilities.

Along with the internship experience, mentoring can also help boost your career. IIDA offers a nationwide student mentorship program in which the organization matches more than 1,000 students with mentors each year. Headley explains how IIDA’s mentorship program has evolved. “Students follow a professional for a day, attend client meetings, presentations, learn about office culture, etc. It is an insight into the world of work and provides the opportunity to make a valuable connection even after the program has ended,” she says, adding, “IIDA has pivoted to a virtual mentoring program during the pandemic. This allowed students to connect with a design professional and learn about the industry remotely. »

Master the skills needed to become an interior designer

Being an interior designer is more than creativity, impeccable taste and a sharp designer eye. “Effective communication goes a long way in all aspects of a designer’s life, from getting the interview to getting the job and getting promoted throughout your career,” Headley offers. “The art of storytelling is essential when it comes to explaining a concept or presenting the design from the earliest stages. It’s something that needs to start in the classroom when students present their projects.

Organizational, time management, project management and communication skills are all prerequisites for the position, as is some very specific technical knowledge. If the mastery of drawing and perspective are fundamental for any interior designer, computer-aided design is now also. CAD technology—in the form of computer software such as Autodesk AutoCAD, CorelCAD, SmartDraw, ARCHICAD, DraftSightand Pro CADamong other things, lets you render your design ideas into 2D and 3D models with appropriate dimensions, colors, texture, and other design details.

In addition to CAD, other computer software that today’s interior designers are expected to know include SketchUpa basic 3D modeling computer program; Autodesk 3Ds Max with its easy-to-learn interface for 3D rendering and interior simulation; Autodesk Revit, which is highly technical in nature and created specifically for A&D professionals for Building Information Modeling (BIM) to enable users to quickly create elevations, sections, and plans; and Infurnia, a complex and feature-rich interior design program. An interior design professional who is familiar with these software tools will have a definite advantage over their competitors.

Obtain the appropriate certification to practice interior design

Twenty-seven states require licensure for interior designers, which includes passing the NCIDQ exam. NCIDQ is the most common interior design certification, recognized in the United States and Canada as a benchmark for proficiency in the profession. In order to qualify to take the NCIDQ exam, you must first earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree and complete a certain number of hours of work experience depending on the level of education. Comprised of three parts – the Interior Design Fundamentals (IDFX) exam, the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX), and the internship – the NCIDQ exam covers topics such as construction, design application, building systems and codes, project coordination and contract administration. . You can take the first part – the IDFX – after you graduate from design school, even if you haven’t completed all the required hours of work. The IDPX, on the other hand, is available to you once you have completed your education and professional requirements, and the internship is the final exam. Fees for each part of the exam are paid separately. While this three-part test may seem daunting, you should have gleaned all the necessary information through schooling and hands-on experience to pass the exam and earn your NCIDQ credentials – you need a score at least 500 out of 800 to pass. And it’s a certification definitely worth having (even if it’s not required by your home country) because it legitimizes your skills and experience with clients and employers.

Create an interior design portfolio

Anyone who wants to become an interior designer needs an interior design portfolio. If you’re fresh out of school and don’t have examples of paid client work, use student work, internship experiences, non-client, self-initiated work, and side projects to illustrate your abilities Design. David Sprouls, President of NYSID, says, “We evaluate many portfolios at the New York School of Interior Design, and there are a few characteristics that make some stand out. First and foremost, we like to see a portfolio that demonstrates design thinking…we want to see that designers understand the process. He notes that a portfolio should demonstrate more than just the finished project: it should also weave a narrative that shows how you interpret client preferences, project goals, and challenges through the execution of beautiful designs.