Interior Design Career Path

One of the most important decisions you can make in your career as an interior designer is the kind of education and training you get before you begin.  For more information about formal education in design, see Planning a Course of Design Study.

Build a Portfolio and Resume
Once you have enrolled in a degree program, take the following steps:

Focus on Your Career, Not Just Your Degree

  • Participate in interior design, art, architecture, business, language arts, marketing and other classes important to the practice of interior design.
  • Save examples of your work from the very beginning. Take quality photos of finished products. Start your portfolio immediately.

Get Involved and Network

  • Become an ASID student member. Participate in your ASID student chapter or organize an ASID student chapter if your school does not currently house one.
  • Get involved in student leadership. It's great for your resume!
  • Participate in ASID professional chapter events: Network with future colleagues and employers; receive professional educational training that you might not receive in school; make yourself known.

Establish Your Practice

  • Upon graduation, advance to ASID allied practitioner membership.
  • Acquire work experience, preferably under the supervision of an NCIDQ-certified designer or architect. Or, if you choose self-employment, garner references from your business' legal counsel, accountant, bank, etc. to document your years of practice.

Certify Your Professional Status

  • Upon completion of the requisite years of education and work experience, apply to sit for the NCIDQ exam. The requirements are as follows:
    • With four to five years of interior design education, 2 years of full time work experience in interior design, or
    • With three years of interior design education, three years of full time work experience in interior design, or
    • With two years of interior design education, four years of full time work experience in interior design.
  • After you've passed the NCIDQ exam, advance to ASID professional membership.

Source: American Society of Interior Designers

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The Art Institutes - Online Design Degree ProgramsDesign Degrees at Digital Media Arts CollegeInternational Academy of Design and TechnologyThe Institute of Interior Design - Online Interior Design Degree ProgramsWestwood College Online Art SchoolDesign Degree Programs at American Intercontinental University
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