Interior designer

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Interior designers plan and supervise the layout and decoration of the inside of buildings.

Salary range: £18,000 to £45,000

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How to become an interior designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
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University

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a relevant subject like:

  • interior design
  • art and design
  • interior architecture
  • spatial design

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could take a college course to get started, for example:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Interior Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design
  • A Level in Art and Design

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and a creative subject

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Apprenticeship

You could do a furniture design technician advanced apprenticeship to get into interior design.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you’ll find it useful to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Work

You could start as a design assistant with a company and take further training and qualifications on the job.

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Further information

You can get more details about careers and training in design from Creative Choices and the British Institute of Interior Design.

You can get information on working in this and other creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • meeting clients to discuss their requirements and ideas
  • developing designs to suit clients’ needs, their budget, and the type of building
  • preparing initial sketches and mood boards for the client to approve
  • advising on use of space, colour schemes, fabrics, fittings and furniture
  • working out costs and preparing estimates
  • creating detailed drawings from the initial sketches, usually on a computer
  • finding suppliers of fittings, furniture, fabrics, and wall and floor coverings

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home, in a creative studio or at a client’s business.

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Career path and progression

You could move into related work like theatre set design, visual merchandising, exhibition design or furniture design.