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How to Become an Interior Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become an Interior Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

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/ How to Become an Interior Designer - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Thinking of a Career as an Interior Designer?

Those who work in Interior Design love the variety that job roles in this sector can afford them. From working with light and shade, fabrics and furnishings to dealing with people, staff and running your own small business, the places a career in Interior Design can take you are almost endless.

Interior Designer Job Outlook

Interior design Job Outlook

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2024) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, National Skills Commission trend data to May 2019 and projections to 2024. 

Employment for Interior Designers to 2024 is expected to grow  from 9200 in 2019 to 10900.

Interior Design is considered a good career with many different areas to specialise in. 

Interior Designer Salary


The Weekly earning for full time workers are around $1155 per week, which is approximately $60,000 per year before tax.  Earnings tend to lower in the initial stages and is expected to grow higher with more experience. 

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS survey of Employee Earning and Hours. Estimates have been rounded and consequently some discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate.

Interior Designer Weekly Work Hours

Full time Interior Designers spend around 45 hours per week at work as compared to the average 44 hours for other jobs. 

Interior Designer Age Profile

The Interior Design industry has an average age profile of 38 years, as compared to the average age of  40 years. 

 Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised report. The age profile of workers in this job as compared to all jobs average. 

Interior Designer Education Levels

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Census 2016,Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job is shown here. Qualifications required by new workers could be different from the qualifications of existing workers in the industry. 

How to become an Interior Designer?

To become an Interior Designer, the different qualifications that you need to work within interior design can vary from a Diploma of Interior Design to a Bachelor of Interior Design

Why study Interior Design with Open Colleges?

If you choose to study the Diploma of Interior Design with Open Colleges, you’ll graduate with a nationally recognised qualification that will help you gain work across Australia. Studying this diploma is a great way to start your career in Interior Design. 


Job title

Qualifications required

Residential or Commercial Interior Designer, Interior Stylist, Colour Consultant.

Diploma of Interior Design

Draftsperson, Real Estate Staging Consultant, Interiors Consultant for a supplier or retail store, Project Manager.

Advanced Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration

Set Designer, Sustainability Design Consultant, Exhibition Designer.

Bachelor of Design


Interview with an Interior Designer

Jean Hattingh  Business owner and designer at Kinzone Interior Design

Jean Hattingh

Business owner and designer at Kinzone Interior Design



In two sentences, tell us what a bit about your role as an Interior Designer.

I renovate and decorate homes and businesses with the intention of adding comfort, style and huge value to each space that I work in. I manage projects, organise trades to do the work, source and supply furniture and fittings, decor and art and work closely with clients in order to achieve excellent results.

What does a person who works as an Interior Designer do on a day to day basis?

I do a fair amount of administration work and constant dealing with existing clients and sourcing new clients. This includes a lot of shopping online and in stores for product for each project. Managing each project also includes managing tradies to ensure smooth running and perfect results.

What are the best parts of the job?

I get to shop for all the furniture for the client including carpets, lounges, chairs, dining suites, beds and so on. I generally mix pieces that I find by scouring second-hand shops with modern pieces from local furniture stores and often mix in. I also use cheaper furniture from places like Ikea as well. A well balanced mix makes for a space that looks as though it has evolved over time and not an “instant show-home” look.

I also need to buy and create art for the projects – and I normally need quite a lot of art. I have various online galleries that I buy from and I also use a lot of my own photography or photos purchased online which I then blow up onto large canvases for clients or frame – often in Ikea frames. I buy lamps and accessories such as throws and cushions and ornaments from online stores and local stores and overseas if necessary. I recently ordered wallpaper from Germany and door knobs from India for a project.

What skills/attributes do potential Interior Designers need to have?

Good organisational skills, ability to learn all the time and keep up with trends, tertiary education in Interior Design. A qualification in Interior design will equip one with all the knowledge on working with space, colour, lighting, different fabrics, different finishes such as flooring, carpeting, tiles and so on.

A lot of my projects involve breaking down walls and opening up spaces or building up walls and changing spaces – that takes knowledge and expertise. There is a lot of drawing involved and planning of spaces. There is a huge amount to learn about kitchen and bathroom design and layout. One needs a basic knowledge of plumbing and electrics and the list goes on.

Then there is the business side of things that needs to be learnt. Marketing is important. Design is a trend based business and one needs to keep up with what is new and exciting on the market in all fields of building and furnishing. There are many designers out there and in order to be recognised and make an impact – one needs to be an expert in the field

What’re your favourite things about working in the Interior Design industry?

The most exciting aspect of being an Interior Designer is being able to see a design project through from start to finish and all the steps along the way. To transform an ugly and uninspiring space into a magical and stylish haven is wonderful. To change people’s lives for the better is very rewarding.

Thanks, Jean, for sharing your story with Open Colleges.

Are you ready to turn your natural talent and love of design into a career? Take a look at our Diploma of Interior Design 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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