How Much Do Interior Designers Make?

Interior designer job descriptionInterior designers are involved in designing and planning internal spaces. This includes helping the owners of the space realise their visions, turning them into reality. They need to design a space to be both aesthetically pleasing, and practical too.

Projects can cover a wide range of activities to achieve the end result. From some structural alterations, to choosing and procuring furnishings, wallpaper, curtains, and lighting. There is a great deal of room for creative freedom is most jobs, relying on the interior designers

The key skills of an interior designer include creativity, imagination, a keen eye for colour, the ability to visualise and explain concepts to others, good IT and graphic design skills, and an interest in current design trends. Interested in finding out more? Click here to learn how to become an interior designer.

Interior Designer Salary

How much do interior designers make? The average interior designers’ salary across the US is $53,370. The average, also known as the median wage, is calculated by taking the figure in which half the workers in the profession earned less than in one year, and half earned more than.

interior designer salaryAn interior designers starting salary is around $29,970. With the lowest 10% in the profession earning less than $29,970, and the highest 10% earning more than $94,130. Most interior designers work full-time, however the job often demands changing their hours around and is not a typical 9-5.

Freelance interior designers’ salaries can fluctuate a lot. There is a mix of jobs that either pay per job, or per hour. Making the freelance line of work less consistent, but allowing for a personal brand and style to be established. There are numerous well known interior designers who are hired due to their custom styling and reputation.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts 0.30$32.48$67,550
Utah FlagUtah 0.21$31.19$64,880
Connecticut FlagConnecticut $30.81$64,090
New York FlagNew York 0.38$30.59$63,630
Alaska FlagTexas

0.36
$30.28
$62,970

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Federal Executive Branch0.02$36.41$75,730
Electronic Markets Brokers and Agents 0.04$31.89$66,320
Warehousing and Storage 0.01$29.77$61,910
Management of Companies 0.05$29.15$60,640
Engineering, Architectural, and Related Services 0.64$28.82$59,940

Interior Designer Job Description

what do interior designers doBeautiful, functional indoor spaces are not put together by chance. They are designed by interior designers. So, what do interior designers do? The designers carefully plan out what they are going to do with a space, usually by drawing up some plans on some computer software to show the client. They combine their technical skills with artistic flair to create and arrange functional spaces that we all use.

You may not have thought it about it, but interior designers are responsible for your workspace, the shops you visit, and the layout of your home to mention a few examples. Some homeowners hire them to help with the furnishings and decor within their homes too.

A designer will first consult with the client/owner of the premises they will be designing. The designer will then create a detailed plan for approval, addressing any issues and going back and forth. This will include such considerations as furnishing styles, color schemes, specific items, materials to be used, and any themes to be adhered to. All within the specific budget.

During the initial interaction with the client, an interior designer must ask as many questions as possible to get a good impression of the client’s vision. Being able to create a design that meets the requirements of the client, and is as close to their perceived image as possible is very important.

The interior designer will be given a budget by the client, and required to buy all the materials within budget. This may involve some good negotiating and communication skills, and the ability to procure the materials. Other tradespeople will often carry out a lot of the interior work, especially building modifications, overseen by the interior designer.

A formally trained interior designer career will evolve over time as different design trends come in and out. There are a lot of industry trends to keep up with, there are often new techniques, materials, fashion movements, etc, so regular updating of industry knowledge is necessary.

Interior Designer Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama0.168$25.28$52,580
Alaska FlagAlaska$29.40$61,150
Arizona FlagArizona0.347$28.25$58,750
Arkansas FlagArkansas0.101$21.65$45,030
California FlagCalifornia0.387$30.25$62,930
Colorado flagColorado0.499$25.05$52,110
Connecticut FlagConnecticut$30.81$64,090
Delaware flagDelaware0.335$27.70$57,610
Florida FlagFlorida0.509$23.20$48,260
Georgia FlagGeorgia0.362$23.91$49,730
Hawaii FlagHawaii0.154$27.48$57,160
Idaho FlagIdaho0.206$19.02$39,570
Illinois FlagIllinois0.353$22.70$47,210
Indiana FlagIndiana0.23$27.25$56,680
Iowa FlagIowa0.222$20.04$41,680
Kansas FlagKansas0.201$23.73$49,350
Kentucky FlagKentucky0.149$26.96$56,070
Louisiana FlagLouisiana0.214$19.60$40,780
Maine FlagMaine0.153$26.81$55,770
Maryland FlagMaryland0.376$24.10$50,130
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts0.304$32.48$67,550
Michigan FlagMichigan0.223$22.76$47,350
Minnesota FlagMinnesota0.279$22.24$46,250
Mississippi FlagMississippi0.237$18.09$37,640
Missouri FlagMissouri0.444$24.08$50,080
Montana FlagMontana0.152$20.56$42,770
Nebraska FlagNebraska0.216$22.91$47,650
Nevada FlagNevada0.182$25.04$52,080
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire0.273$22.13$46,020
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey0.437$27.63$57,460
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico0.143$23.63$49,150
New York FlagNew York0.383$30.59$63,630
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina0.31$22.67$47,160
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota0.236$18.86$39,240
Ohio FlagOhio0.291$22.41$46,600
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma0.179$22.24$46,260
Oregon FlagOregon0.507$22.43$46,660
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania0.265$24.16$50,260
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island0.33
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina$18.12$37,690
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota0.221$24.31$50,570
Tennessee FlagTennessee0.254$21.83$45,410
Texas FlagTexas0.363$30.28$62,970
Utah FlagUtah0.211$31.19$64,880
Vermont FlagVermont$20.93$43,530
Virginia FlagVirginia0.272$29.54$61,450
Washington FlagWashington0.547$24.82$51,620
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia0.115$18.19$37,840
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin0.227$23.07$47,980
Wyomin FlagWyoming0.178$24.84$51,670

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Santa Barbara / Santa Maria / Goleta, – CA 0.41$38.70$80,490
San Francisco / San Mateo / Redwood City, – CA Metropolitan Division 0.90$35.26$73,340
Washington / Arlington / Alexandria, DC / VA / MD / WV, Metropolitan Division 0.52$34.49$71,750
Los Angeles / Long Beach / Glendale, CA – Metropolitan Division 0.37$33.14$68,930
San Jose / Sunnyvale / Santa Clara, CA 0.28$33.10$68,840

Top paying non-metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
North Central Colorado – nonmetropolitan area 1.23$26.44$55,000
Western Colorado – nonmetropolitan area $24.40$50,740
Sussex County, – Delaware – nonmetropolitan area 0.50$23.86$49,630
Western North Carolina – nonmetropolitan area 0.36$22.75$47,320
Northern Mountains Region – California – nonmetropolitan area 0.53$22.60$47,000

Interior Designer Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics report an expected 4% growth in the demand for interior designers between 2016 and 2026. 

Redesigning large public buildings and spaces such as hotels, hospitals, and schools are long-term funding projects. Offering stability during tough economic times, and the chance for interior designers to develop their craft.

Self-employed and freelance interior designers can secure job security by crafting a style of design unique to themselves. Often being hired especially to put their own stamp on a design job.

Interior Designer Career Video

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Noel Griffith

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