What Can I Do With This Major?
INTERIOR DESIGN

INTERIOR DESIGN

Commercial Design including:

Offices
Retail
Healthcare

Hospitals and clinics
Medical offices

Hospitality

Restaurants
Bars and Clubs
Hotels and Motels
Resorts
Theaters

Civic

Airports

Government Facilities

Residential Design

Single-Family Houses
Apartments
Condominiums

In-store Design

Design Specialties including:

Bath
Kitchen
Lighting
Ergonomic Design
Green Design

Renovations

Sales/Marketing

Education

EMPLOYERS
Design firms
Architecture firms
Design divisions of corporations/institutions
Carpet manufacturers
Furniture and home stores
Federal government departments
Colleges and universities
Self-employed

STRATEGIES
Create a portfolio of your work while in school. Complete an internship to gain relevant experience. After finishing a design degree and gaining required experience, prepare to take the qualifying exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Learn to understand both the artistic, creative side and the business, technical side of design to assure success in the field. Become familiar with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Develop strong communication skills which are important when interacting with clients and writing work proposals. Understand the importance of learning to listen attentively to others and providing excellent customer service.
Learn to work well with different types of people including clients, architects, contractors and other service providers. Gain experience working in a fast-paced environment and meeting deadlines. Plan to work on multiple projects at a time.
Join relevant student organizations and seek leadership roles. Become a student member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Conduct informational interviews with interior designers in a variety of settings to learn about particular areas of interest. Build a network of contacts. Interior designers are four times as likely to be self-employed than people in other specialty professions. Most others work in small firms of 1 to 5 employees. (BLS)

AREAS RELATED TO INTERIOR DESIGN

Those with training in interior design may pursue the following career fields if they have the right combination of experiences. Some areas may require additional training or graduate degrees. If these areas interest you, take relevant coursework, complete internships, and get involved in related activities to prepare for the fields.For example, someone trained in interior design who wants to work for a design publication should develop strong writing skills, consider minoring in journalism or English, work for a campus or community newspaper, etc.

Some related fields are:

Set design for stage and screen
Lighting design
Furniture design
Product development
Journalism, e.g. design magazines
Illustration/rendering
Computer rendering
Facility management
Historic preservation

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2007)
UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

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