#interior design consultant
Design Consultant: Job Description and Education Requirements
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Interior design consultants may focus on decorating, or they may focus on architectural details and layout planning. Commercial and interior designers create new products or alter existing designs. They essentially help clients utilize living space by arranging furniture, lighting and other fixtures, create design plans and select color schemes and styles. Knowledge of computer software is usually needed. Interior design consultants can be self-employed or work for studios or design firms.
Fashion designers study the latest trends to create articles of clothing, footwear and accessories. They can select fabric styles and colors, choose collection themes and help with the marketing of designs. Fashion design consultants can specialize in specific areas, such as footwear design or accessory design. They can be self-employed consultants for work for apparel manufacturing firms or clothing stores.
The goal of a graphic designer is to convey a client’s message through the visual arts. They create images and develop graphics for company websites and products. They typically use graphics software and are responsible for color schemes and layout. Graphic design consultants can also be self-employed or might work on a contractual basis in any type of industry.
Licensure and Other Requirements
For interior designers, it is common to obtain licensure in order to operate in this field. This requirement varies from state to state; in some, interior designers might do interior design work but are not allowed to refer to themselves as interior designers without a license, while in others no license is needed at all to be an interior designer. Obtaining licensure requires passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.
There are no required licensure or certification requirements for fashion design or graphic design consultants in any state; however, graphic design consultants could pursue a voluntary graphic design software certification from certain vendors that could help reflect their proficiency to potential employers.
An associate or bachelor’s degree is needed for an entry-level interior design position. Some states require licensing. There are approximately 300 accredited colleges with programs in art and design, and some of these offer a degree in interior design. Such a program may offer courses in psychology as well as art and design principals.
For commercial and industrial designers, bachelor’s degree in industrial design, engineering or architecture is often the minimum requirement. Courses in physical science, mathematics, psychology and anthropology may be included, as are a variety of computer design skills.
Employment Outlook and Salary
The BLS doesn’t have a data specifically for design consultants; instead, the information is provided within each design discipline. The BLS expected a three percent decline in employment for fashion designers from 2012 to 2022, while graphic designers might see only a 7% growth in that period. In comparison, interior designers were predicted to see growth as high as 13% during that decade.
The BLS reported in May 2014 that interior designers earned a median annual salary of $48,400, with the highest salaries being paid by design firms and wholesalers. Fashion designers were paid a median yearly wage of $64,030, with salaries over $80,000 being paid by apparel manufacturers. Finally, the BLS stated that graphic designers made the median annual salary of $45,900, with salaries exceeding $50,000 in advertising and public relations, specialized services and computer design.
that fashion designers earned a median of $63,760 in annual salary, while industrial and commercial designers had a median of $62,370. The median salary for graphic designers was $44,830, and interior designers earned a median of $48,500, the BLS noted.