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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.

Job Outlook Average Salary Work Hours Age Groups
Education Level Skills Trends Courses Interview with a Pro


Interior Designer Job Outlook

Interior designer jobs and employment levels chart


The graph shows historical and projected (to 2019) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2014 and DEEWR projections to 2019. Estimates have been rounded.

Employment for Interior Designers to 2019 is expected to grow strongly. Employment in this medium-sized occupation (10 800 in November 2014) rose very strongly in the past five years and in the long-term (ten years).

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Interior Designers is expected to be below average (between 5,001 and 10,000). Job openings can arise from employment growth and people leaving the occupation.

Interior Designer Salary

Average Interior designer salary chart


Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS EEBTUM survey August 2014 cat. no. 6310.0. 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. lists the wage for an Interior Designer as being between an average of $54 000 to a maximum salary of $68 000

Interior Designer Weekly Work Hours


The graph shows the average weekly hours (by gender and full-time and part-time) worked for this occupation, compared with all occupations. 

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Interior Designer Age Profile


The Interior Design industry has a strong balance between younger and middle age workers.

 Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

Interior Designer Education Levels


Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

What Interior Design Qualification Do You Need?

Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Interior Decoration)

Get the skills you need to work in the industry as a professional decorator. Learn how to interpret and respond to a client brief, how to integrate colour theory and how to produce industry-standard work, decorating spaces to meet functional and aesthetic requirements.

As a student of this course, you'll receive an interior design drawing kit to ensure you have everything you need to bring your ideas to life.

Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration

A nationally recognised qualification this course will teach you to create functional and stylish interiors.

As a student of this course, you’ll receive a professional art kit to ensure you have everything you need to get your interior design career off to the most creative and confident start.

Open Colleges Interior Design Basics

Discover how to transform an interior room or series of rooms by learning about colours, designs, patterns, textures and lighting.

Open Colleges Introduction to Interior Design Certificate

This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of interior design and the influence of architectural and decorative styles.

Why Study Interior Design through Open Colleges?

Our Interior Design courses are delivered online, giving you the flexibility of organising your study around your life. You can enrol any time of the year and study at your own pace.

Among other things, you'll learn how to source and apply information on the history and theory of design and to integrate colour theory and design processes.

You’ll also learn how to interpret and respond to a design brief, to explore and apply the creative design process to 3D forms and to source and apply design industry knowledge.

Your course includes comprehensive student support to help you throughout your study. Some of the certificates allow you to graduate with a government-accredited, nationally recognised qualification that can boost your chances of employment.

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.

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