How to become an interior designer

Do you want a career where you can channel your creativity into transforming spaces? Find out how to become an interior designer.

1. What is an interior designer?

An interior designer uses creativity and design knowledge to transform spaces. You will work on many different types of spaces including the home, shops, schools and other public spaces. 

A newly trained interior designer can expect to earn a salary within the region of £18,000 - £23,000. Once you’ve become more experienced, you could earn between £25,000 - £45,000. You could also become self-employed, in which case you’ll be able to set your own pay-rates.

2. What skills do I need?

Interior designers need a broad range of skills including:

  • Design skills and knowledge
  • Customer service
  • Building and construction knowledge
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Experience using industry-standard software

You can learn these skills by taking an interior design course.

3. Train in interior design

It is important to develop your design ability through training in the field. This will help you hone your skills and stand out to prospective clients.

There are lots of routes you could take, including:

4. Create a portfolio

Once you've graduated or completed your course, you'll need to create a portfolio. This should include the projects you've worked on and any proposals you've pitched. This will showcase your industry knowledge and expertise. It also allows future clients to review your work and make sure it's what they're looking for. 

Studying at UCLan can help to build up your portfolio. If you study Interior Design, you will be able to display your work at our Degree Show. This will include CAD, Indesign and Photoshop files, which can demonstrate your skills.

5. Network

Once you have developed the underpinning skills and knowledge, networking will help to establish relationships with local businesses who may want to enlist your services. This will allow you to build your portfolio and reputation. You could attend networking events or approach businesses directly.

You don't just have to network in person, you can do it online. Create a social media channel where you can share your work and customer reviews. If you don't have any work to share, you can share interior design trends and add your thoughts.

We hope this has helped you understand how to become an interior designer.

We offer an Interior Design BA (Hons) degree. You'll learn all the design and professional skills you need to thrive in the industry. You'll get to work on live projects in our design studios. Plus, you'll get the chance to complete an internship.