How do I start practicing interior design?

So you want to become an interior designer? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Education Requirements

The first step in becoming an interior designer is to get the right education. To become a licensed interior designer, you will need to pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. This is a state-approved exam that you must qualify for with a combination of education and experience, typically a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and two years of on-the-job training.

If you don’t have a degree, you can still become an interior designer. You’ll just need to complete a certification program or apprenticeship. These programs can be found at many community colleges, vocational schools, and online.

Get Certified

Once you’ve completed your education, you’ll need to get certified. The NCIDQ exam is the most widely accepted certification for interior designers. It covers topics such as building codes, design principles, and professional ethics. You can find more information about the exam and how to apply on the NCIDQ website.

Build Your Portfolio

Once you’ve passed the NCIDQ exam, it’s time to start building your portfolio. This is where you’ll showcase your best work and demonstrate your skills to potential clients. Start by creating a website to showcase your work. You can also create a blog to share your design ideas and tips.

Network and Promote Yourself

Now that you’ve got your portfolio ready, it’s time to start networking and promoting yourself. Join professional organizations such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). These organizations offer great networking opportunities and can help you find potential clients.

You should also start attending industry events and conferences. This is a great way to meet other designers and learn about the latest trends in the industry.

Find Clients

Once you’ve built your portfolio and started networking, it’s time to start looking for clients. You can start by reaching out to friends and family and asking them to spread the word about your services. You can also join local business networks and attend trade shows to meet potential clients.

You can also look for clients online. There are a number of websites that connect interior designers with clients, such as Houzz and Design Crowd.

Get Started

Becoming an interior designer takes dedication and hard work, but it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. With the right education, certification, and portfolio, you can start practicing interior design and make your mark in the industry. Good luck!