Last Updated on July 19, 2012
If you have a passion for interior decorating, you may have considered dipping your toes into the waters of an interior design career. But before you quit your day job, it’s important to check out the state of the industry today to find out what jobs are available in a competitive marketplace like the design and décor field.
Interior Design Industry Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that roughly three out of 10 interior designers are self-employed, which is four times the rate of other professional in related occupations. Only two out of 10 salary-paid interior design professionals work in a specialized design profession. One out of 10 interior designers works in a landscape and architectural firm. Other professionals work in building and supply industries, home furnishing stores, or residential construction companies.
With that in mind, here are five of the hottest interior design jobs in the business today that could give you a new calling in your career:
1. Design Consultant: A design consultant may start with a base salary of $35,000 with credentials that include design and home furnishing experience with specialties in tile, stone, and even decorative plumbing. Design consultants are often employed by exclusive home furnishing stores and boutiques that offer tile, stone, bath, and retail home products. If you have a love for customers and interior design with a passion for sales, this could be the right up-and-coming job for you.
2. SketchUp Modeler: A SketchUp Modeler must have an advanced technical knowledge in interior design in order to create 3-D models of different interior spaces using Google SketchUp. This job has rapid openings in the restaurant and hospitality industry; individuals will normally work as part of a larger design team to provide customized decor within new building constructions. Salaries may start at $35,000 per year.
3. Floral Designer: Floral design is a unique trade under the umbrella of interior design, with starting salaries at roughly $23,000 per year or $11 per hour. Most floral designers start out with some form of on-the-job training so that an interior design degree isn’t required. Floral designers provide customized flower arrangements in decorative displays that can be used for parties, weddings, and basic home furnishings.
4. Set Designer: A set designer is used to design professional sets for theater, TV, movies, and other productions. A set designer plays a hands-on role by analyzing a script or other documents to determine how many sets will be needed in a production with various decor themes. Set designer salaries can start out at 46,000 per year, and in most cases, a bachelor’s degree is required.
5. Upholsterers: If you have a love for all things fabric, you may want to consider a career as an upholsterer, starting at close to $30,000 per year. Upholsterers work in a branch of interior design by making, replacing, and repairing coverings for all types of furniture, including the restoration of vintage pieces. Most upholsterers are employed by furniture manufacturers or home furnishing boutiques; up to 36% of upholsterers worked freelance as of 2010.
Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer and coffee lover that co-owns her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump.