Interior design is much more than just a career; it is almost an art form. Interior designers are amongst the most creative, imaginative and artistic people in any industry. However, a good interior designer must be extremely disciplined, organized and skilled in business. Interior designers professionally combine their knowledge with aesthetically pleasing visions to design solutions that are safe, functional, and attractive.
As with any professional career, the practice of interior design can be a very rewarding and fulfilling job as long as hard work and self discipline prevails. Mastering interior design as a career requires time, energy, technical proficiency, vision, and dedication. Like the members of any professional service, an interior designer’s success depends entirely on her ability to satisfy her clients’ needs. Therefore, she must understand both the artistic and technical requirements of a project.
Communication is a must-have skill for professional interior designers, as they will be meeting and dealing with many different kinds of people throughout their careers. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, as well as be attentive listeners. Because interior designers often work side by side with other professionals such as architects, contractors, and other service providers, interior designers need to be both good team leaders and good team players. Negotiation and mediation skills are also very important attributes for an interior designer to possess.
Education is the single most important start in becoming an interior designer and involves enrollment in a college or university program followed by several years of professional experience, typically under the direct supervision of a senior interior designer in the industry. It generally takes around six or seven years to become a fully qualified interior designer. Courses of study may include but are not limited to:
-Debate and problem resolution
-Frequent lectures and field trips
-Computer Graphic design
Just like many other professional careers, such as lawyers, accountants, and many healthcare professionals, there is an entrance examination that all interior designers must pass. This interior design examination provides a method for identifying interior designers who have met the minimum standards, and it is a more formal way of making certain an individual is qualified in particular knowledge and skills. This examination also protects potential clients by assuring competent professionals. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is the organization that is responsible for administering the examination twice annually throughout the United States and Canada.
The NCIDQ also conducts regularly scheduled research and uses the information gathered to update the examination. Twenty five states require interior designers to obtain licenses and certifications upon successful completion of the NCIDQ examination to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public. In order to be eligible to take the NCIDQ examination, interior designers must have taken interior design education and have actual full-time interior design experience totaling to at least six years, with at least two of those years being postsecondary education.