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How To Become an Interior Decorator: Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How To Become an Interior Decorator: Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

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/ How To Become an Interior Decorator: Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Whenever you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s surgery, what’s the first magazine you pick up? Do you reach for the National Geographic, the Women’s Weekly or the Home Beautiful?

If you can’t resist flicking through the pages of a home living mag, or if your Instagram feed is filled with inspiring designs and the latest fashion trends, then a career as an Interior Decorator might be the perfect fit for you.

What is the difference between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer?

There is a little confusion about the differences between the two professions. While they at first seem similar, each vocation focuses on different aspects of design.

An Interior Decorator will work with an existing space to beautify it, while an Interior Designer will work with the entire space, sometimes physically renovating it, to create something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

As an Interior Decorator, you will work with clients to help them create inspiring interiors. This means that you will need to discover their tastes, wants and needs, as well as the whys behind these things so that you can provide them suitable decorating options. You will need to be open-minded, enthusiastic, engaging and, above all, a great listener.

What is the level of education for Interior Decorators?

Source: Job Outlook Government Website. ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.

You don’t need a formal education or a license to become an Interior Decorator.

However, while a passion for design and an eye for detail are prerequisites for the job, a Certificate IV in Interior Decorating will certainly give you an edge when you begin looking for work. This will give you a foot in the door when looking for employment.

Another important thing you will need is a portfolio of work. This is integral, as you will need to use your portfolio to showcase your abilities to prospective employers or clients.

As part of the Certificate IV offered through Open Colleges, you will work to build a strong portfolio while studying so that you graduate job ready. 

How much do Interior Decorators make in a year?

The average salary for an Interior Designer is $59,952 per year, (or $1,146 a week) according to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook website. However, your wage will increase over time as you become more experienced and build up your portfolio of work.

A full-time Interior Decorator’s working hours will be around 44 hours a week (which is the same as the all jobs national average), according to the same website.

What is the average age of Interior Decorators?

Source: Job Outlook Government Website. Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.

The average age of Interior Decorators is 43, compared to the all jobs average of 40. However, you can see in the graph above that a large percentage (22.8%) of Interior Decorators also fall into the 25-34 age bracket.

Types of jobs for Interior Decorators

Source: Job Outlook Government Website. Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).

The employment opportunities for Interior Decorators are varied, and can cross over different industries.

Sales Assistant

Many Interior Decorators follow successful careers in retail. You could find work in a home or furniture store, assisting customers in their fabric choice for their new lounge, which will also match the new carpet you’ve helped them to select.

Talk to your customers, find out what they need and how much their budget is, and help them find brand new furnishings to complete their home’s look. They’ll appreciate the advice of a qualified Interior Decorator when making their choices.

Interior Design Writer

Do you have previous experience in journalism or communications, or have a natural talent for the written word?

Combine your love of writing with your love of style and begin your own interior decorating blog. Market yourself through your blog and other social media channels and start your own business.

Or, if you’d prefer to work within an established company, you could follow a career working for a home living magazine or website.

Residential Interior Decorator

Work one-on-one with homeowners to help them realise their décor dreams. As a Residential Interior Decorator, you will need to meet and consult with clients to find out what their wants and needs are, and how you can help them bring their dreams to life.

Commercial Interior Decorator

Does the idea of putting the finishing touches on a commercial restaurant, shop or hotel sound appealing to you? As a Commercial Interior Designer, your clients will be business owners who require the expert eye of an Interior Decorator to complete the look of their business – whether you’re helping them launch their new business, or refreshing their existing business.

Set Decorator

Are you into all things pop culture? You could use your design know-how and eye for style to help decorate movie or TV sets as a Set Decorator.

Alternatively, you could also help to stage photoshoots for real estate companies or department stores.

How do I become an Interior Decorator?

The most important things to takeaway from this article are:

  1. You don’t need a qualification to become an Interior Decorator, but a Certificate IV or higher will help you land a job.
  2. You need to build a strong portfolio of work to showcase your skills to prospective clients or employers.
  3. A passion for design and an eye for detail are both important qualities to have.
  4. You need to also be a good communicator, and it helps to be open-minded when dealing with clients.

Are you ready to turn your natural talent and love of design into a career? Take a look at our Certificate IV in Interior Decorating or download a free course guide today. Or, if you’d prefer to speak to a professional enrolment consultant about your next move, you can call us on 1300 930 822.

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