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Interior Decorator Career Facts and Job Outlook

In spite of faster than average employment growth projections, interior decorators are expected to face keen competition for available positions, since many talented people are attracted to the field of interior decorating. Those without creativity and perseverance many will find it very difficult to establish and maintain a career in interior decorating.

Interior Decorator Career Facts

- Nearly a third of interior decorators are self-employed, which is almost five times the proportion for all professional and related occupations. 
- Keen competition is expected for most jobs because many talented individuals are attracted to careers as decorators.

Interior Decorator Career Description

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) defines an interior decorator as one who is "professionally trained to create a functional and quality interior environment." Interior decorators combine practical knowledge with artistic ability to turn abstract ideas into formal designs for the living and office spaces we inhabit. Interior decorators are primarily concerned with surface decoration such as paint, fabric, furnishings and lighting. Decoration, although an undoubtedly key element of an interior, is not solely concerned with human interaction or human behavior.

Interior Decorator Career Details

Interior decorators plan the space and furnish the interiors of private homes, public buildings and business or institutional facilities such as offices, restaurants, retail establishments, hospitals, hotels and theaters. The first step in developing a new design or altering an existing one is to determine the needs of the client, the ultimate function for which the design is intended and its appeal to clients. After consultation with their client, they create detailed designs using drawings, a structural model, computer simulations or a full-scale prototype.

Programs to Consider:

Interior Decorator Career Specializations

Most interior decorators specialize in some aspect of their work. Some may concentrate on residential design, and others may further specialize by focusing on particular rooms such as kitchens or baths.

Interior Decorator Career Working Environment

Places of employment and working conditions vary. Decorators who work on a contract basis frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients' schedules, meeting with them during evening or weekend hours whenever necessary. Interior decorators may transact business in their own offices or studios or in clients' homes or offices, or they may travel elsewhere. Decorators who are paid by the assignment and are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones to maintain their income. All decorators should be prepared to face frustration when their designs are altered by a client's desire or when they are unable to be as creative as they wish.

Interior Decorator Career Required Training

A background in design or art is beneficial to a career in interior decorating. However, no formal training or course work is required. Practice, working with other professionals, listening to clients, and having an open mind to a variety of tastes and opinions is a plus.

Interior Decorator Career Coursework

Formal training is not necessary for a career in Interior Decorating. A number of community colleges offer helpful courses in decorating, art, color, and layout that will contribute to ones ability to expand their understanding of the field and better serve a diverse population of clients. 

Interior Decorator Salary

Median Salary--$46,280 in 2010

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