Interior designing is a dream industry for many. It is one of the few career options out there that allow an individual to express their creative side while at the same time period earning a handsome salary.

But a lot of people don’t know how much do interior designers make. Well, if you are in the USA, then you will make around 51000 USD per year.

We’re going to discuss this in detail in the article. In addition, we’ll also touch upon the requirements to become an interior designer and other related topics.

So, to learn how much you might earn by doing this job, keep reading!

What Do Interior Designers Do?

An Interior Designer works to make indoor spaces functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing. Whether it is commercial buildings, an office space, a residential design, or a mall, interior designers can make the best use of the space with their talent and creativity. Some of these interior designers also tend to work in close proximity with the general or subcontractors (for more info, check hired by various individuals depending on the scale of the project.

They are involved from start to finish while making a project come to life. To do this, they meet with their clients to better understand what the client’s needs are. They incorporate their own vision and make necessary tweaks to help the design come to life in the best possible way. For instance, while designing an office interior, they understand your requirements and draw a floor plan integrating your ideas but with a few practical changes. However, you might want to learn about the types of furniture available in the market and their specifications before you agree with the interior designer on that front. For the research purpose, you can check out or related sites that can properly line with the concept of your office.

From the budget to the color of the walls, finishing of the carpet, placement of a bulb, and purchase of essential and decorative items, designers determine everything. They select a budget according to the client’s capacity and iron out the details using their vast design knowledge.

A good interior designer stays up to date with the industry trends and uses materials that match the client’s vision. Whatever space they are helping transform, the end goal is to ensure that the client’s needs are served, and they are satisfied.

How Much Do Interior Designers Make

Interior Designer salaries vary from country to country. The average designer salary for an interior designer is around $51,197 per year when it comes to the US, which is where we’ll focus on. The average salary by the hour is $24.61. The hourly wages sometimes go as high as $38.22 and as low as $9.13.

This discrepancy in the average salary proves that there are ways to get a better salary depending on how long they have been working for, the state that the designer works in, and their level of seniority. Necessary skill sets gained through higher education in engineering and additional certificates also help in this regard.

How Much Do Interior Designers Make In Different States

As we have said, Interior Designer salaries per year vary from state to state. It is mainly because of the different requirements according to the location. For instance, some states make it mandatory for the designer to receive a license before starting practicing. Other states have no such licensure requirements.

The cost of living is higher in some states, which means that interior designers who work there should earn a bit more than other places where the cost of living is standard. That helps them to meet their needs without having to face problems.

The building codes, rules, and regulations also differ according to the area. Interior designers earn higher when they have to spend a lot more time meeting the rules and regulations. That is why the salary is different by location. The median salary that interior designers make according to different states are as follows –

  • Alabama – $46,000 – $47000
  • Alaska – $50,500 – $51,000
  • Arizona- $50,000 – $51,000
  • Arkansas- $16 – $18 per hour
  • California- $ 69,000 – $70,000
  • Colorado -$54,500 – $55,500
  • Connecticut- $61,000 – $62,000
  • Delaware – $53,000 – $54,000
  • District of Columbia- $74,000 – $75,000
  • Florida -$52,000 – $53,000
  • Georgia- $62,000 – $63,000
  • Hawaii- $48,000 – $49,000
  • Idaho- $44,000 – $45,000
  • Illinois- $57,000 – $58,000
  • Indiana- $43,500 – $44,500
  • Iowa- $54,000 – $55,000
  • Kansas – $53,500 – $54,500
  • Kentucky- $56,500 – $57,500
  • Louisiana- $47,500, $48,500
  • Maine- $46,500 – $47,500
  • Maryland- $59,000 – $59,500
  • Massachusetts – $58,000 – $58,500
  • Michigan- $49,000 – $50,000
  • Minnesota- $16 – $17 per hour
  • Mississippi- $ 15 per hour
  • Missouri- $48,000 – $49,000
  • Montana -$44,500 – $45,500
  • Nebraska- $43,500 – $44,500
  • Nevada- $72,000 – $73,000
  • New Hampshire- $54,000 – $55,000
  • New Jersey- $53,000 – $54,000
  • New Mexico- $14- $15 per hour
  • New York- $70,000 – $70,050
  • North Carolina- $50,000 – $51,000
  • North Dakota- $48,000 – $48,500
  • Ohio- $66,000 – $67.000
  • Oklahoma- $56,000 – $57,000
  • Oregon- $63,500 – $64,500
  • Pennsylvania- $52,000 – $53,000
  • Rhode Island- $13 – $14 per hour
  • South Carolina- $46,000 – $47,000
  • South Dakota- $45,500 – $46,500
  • Tennessee- $56,500 – $57,500
  • Texas- $55,500 – $56,500
  • Utah- $49,000 – $49,500
  • Vermont -$47,000 – $ 47,500
  • Virginia- $64,000 – $65,000
  • Washington- $62,500 – $63,500
  • West Virginia- $45,000 – $46,000
  • Wisconsin- $52,500 – $53,500
  • Wyoming- $70,000 – $71,000

Interior Designer Salary Based on Seniority

As we all know, experience talks. It is true in the field of interior design also. Therefore, how much the interior designers make depends mainly on the seniority level.

A starting-level interior decorator usually makes about $15 per hour and $30,000 per year. The median salaries for junior-level designers are a bit higher, at about $39,000 per year.

Furthermore, the hourly wage for Mid-level designers who have earned advanced degrees is around $53,000. Lastly, the national average annual salary for senior-level designers is $71,000.

How to Become an Interior Designer

There is a step-by-step process to becoming an interior designer. It may take some time, but in the end it should be worth it.

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree

As we have said, interior designers need at least a bachelor’s to be qualified for their job. That does not mean that they need to have a major on the subject. However, some basic courses such as design and drawing are a must to do well in this career.

While this degree is required, it is not the maximum bar for this profession. A Master’s degree and other extra certifications such as the NCIDQ certificate and licenses help the designer achieve more credibility and earn more.

In fact, studies have shown that those with extra certifications and degrees make about 15,000 dollars more than others.

  • Find an Internship

Besides completing a degree, getting an internship in an architecture firm helps to hone the needed skills. Students might also opt to do their training in interior design studios. That will help them get in touch with the practical side of this subject more and excel in their workplace.

  • Earn More Certifications

Students need to complete their interior design certification to prove that they are fit for this career. Besides this, some advanced certifications help to make some applicants stand out from the rest. These certifications are often for a particular design field, which is excellent to earn expertise in a specific area.

  • Build a Portfolio

Over their academic life and internship, an interior designer will get the opportunity to create many models and designs. They need to make sure to build a portfolio that comprises all these designs. It can showcase their skill set to potential design firms and clients and earn their trust in this career.

Skills You Will Need to Become an Interior Designer

To do their jobs well, interior designers need to have a certain set of skills. They are project managers, designers, and architects all in one in many situations, and so having a deep skillset is vital to be successful within this industry.

  • Planning Skills

Planning is the most crucial step of an interior designer’s job. Before even starting the project, a commercial designer must have the end product in mind. And to bring the interior design to reality, they need to plan how they will achieve it.

That means they must create a detailed budget that encompasses all components and a timeline describing what has to be finished and when.

The designer also needs to plan what materials they will use, where to source them, and what contingent plan to use in an emergency. All these require good planning and organization skills, without which the project might turn into a mess.

  • Creativity

Creativity is a crucial step in interior design. Creative designers can use this skill to create beauty out of nothing, and will often build a brand around their own personal aesthetic choices and design philosophies. By envisioning how the space will look, they develop innovative solutions for problem areas and incorporate them into the project.

  • Communication Skills

Interior Designers need to communicate with many stakeholders, so they have to be skilled in that area. From the very beginning, most interior designers need to talk back and forth with the client regarding what they have in mind and get their ideas approved.

Besides clients, interior designers also need to contact different vendors and service providers to get the job done. They also need to use their negotiation skills to ensure that the project does not exceed the budget. To help hone their negotiation skills and build on what they know, they might want to consider looking into how they can Develop sustainable negotiation skills with Scotwork’s solutions or take a course within their area that will provide that growth network for their business.

  • Leadership and Management Skills

Interior Designers are the brains of the design, and the workforce under them are the hands. To ensure that the ideas are correctly implemented, interior designers need to manage the people under their authority and lead them to make their vision come to life.

  • Certification

One of the easiest ways to get a better salary for interior designers is to earn an extra certification or license. Certified interior designers also achieve more exposure in the job market. One of the most reputed certifications for designers is the NCIDQ certificate.

NCIDQ means the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. The NCIDQ exam is divided into three segments. CIDQ or The Council for Interior Design Qualification is in charge of designing the exam.

The NCIDQ certificate ensures that the designers who pass this meet the requirements to be one of the best designers out there.

It helps make them more effective and efficient at their job while simultaneously giving them the authority to sign professional documents. Besides, people who pass this exam are more well-reputed than their counterparts.

As you can see, then, the average salaries of interior designers in the US are pretty impressive. Thankfully, both commercial designers and residential designers have good job prospects here, which contribute to the continued economic growth of American Society.


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