What Does An Interior Designer Do? (Skills And Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An interior designer generally uses design elements and visual aesthetics to transform and beautify interior environments. They usually involve in design planning, colour patterns, fabric and furniture alignment, wall designs and lighting of an interior space. Interior designing may be a rewarding career choice for many people because their demand may rise as more houses and businesses need them to design their interiors. In this article, we discuss the duties of an interior designer, explore how much they earn, describe their work environment and learn how to become one.

What Does An Interior Designer Do?

Knowing the answer to "What does an interior designer do?" can help you decide if it is the right career for you. An interior designer usually creates design solutions for buildings, conducts material research, selects furniture and decor and oversees the completion of all aspects of a project. They may also resolve issues that may emerge during planning the design of a project, such as financial constraints, furniture types or client preferences. An interior designer role may also involve performing the following activities:

  • Interact with clients: They may speak with clients to discover their requirements, budget and expected project completion time. This is typically the first phase in the process but it can occur multiple times during the duration of the project.

  • Create designs: Interior designers can use their understanding of 3D or design software to envision and draw design plans to clarify and explain the required task. They may collaborate with clients to select materials, colours and furnishings, advising them on the ideal options.

  • Collaborate with other parties: They may collaborate with contractors, plumbers, engineers, painters and other professionals to develop design standards to guarantee the work gets completed to a high standard. They also ensure that all structural fittings and design work adhere to regulatory standards.

  • Establish project timelines: They may establish a project timeline for all parties involved in the project to ensure that project progress as per the set timelines. Other employees and contractors typically have access to this schedule and can follow it as well.

  • Provide updates to clients: They may keep their clients informed about the development of the project and inform them of any setbacks. They often do this daily or weekly and may involve compiling and sending reports on a scheduled basis.

  • Research new developments: They are usually skilled at identifying and implementing popular home design trends and styles. This may require research and ongoing skill development to meet the clients' preferences.

Related: 9 Different Types Of Interior Design Jobs With Salary Info

Interior designer requirements

There are various ways to become an interior designer. The specific criteria may vary according to your current credentials and expertise. Most interior designers may possess a combination of the following:


A bachelor's degree in design-related courses is usually a requirement for interior designers. Following are some common bachelor and master courses for becoming an interior designer:

  • Bachelor of Design in interior design

  • Bachelor of Science in interior designing

  • Bachelor of Arts in interior design

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design

  • Master of Design in interior design

  • Master of Science in interior designing


Interior designers often get on-the-job training after an organisation hires them. They get familiar with the organisation's policies, operating process, pricing, samples and suppliers. Continuing education can be beneficial to the interior design industry. The more professional experience and education a designer has, the further they can advance in their career. A designer may benefit from formal training in modern design software and other related subjects at a college or an institution.


Interior designers generally require both hard skills, such as technical design and soft skills, like communication. They can develop some skills through education while gaining others through on-the-job experience. To be a successful interior designer job candidate, you may work towards acquiring the following skills:

  • Creativity: Creativity can enable designers to overcome unique design obstacles and produce truly unique designs. They can develop creativity via practice and experimenting.

  • Patience: The design process is usually lengthy and exhausting and it may require the designer's patience. The client's objectives or needs may change during the project, resulting in delays or redesigns.

  • Technology: Interior designers use computer software to create three-dimensional representations of their clients' concepts, which can enhance the conceptualisation process by creating a more realistic image. Interior designers are typically proficient with design software and other applications used to manage budgets, communicate with clients and share designs on the web.

  • Customer service: Interior designers may collaborate closely with clients to ensure that the project is as per the client's demands and that any additional requests or challenges get addressed during the project process. This may demand a customer service mindset focused on the client's satisfaction with the outcome.

Read more: Guide: How To Become An Effective Communicator

How To Become An Interior Designer

If you are interested in becoming an interior designer, consider following these steps:

1. Earn a degree

It is essential to complete your bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field to become an interior designer. This can prepare you with a range of important skills and knowledge for interior design. It may include principles of design and technical implementation of designs, both practically and digitally. Some employers may also prefer to hire candidates who also have a master's degree in design.

2. Complete an internship

Through an internship programme, you can gain experience working with a reputable interior design firm or professional while completing your degree. You may get to observe designers in action. This can help in the learning of techniques and professional practises. Interns may also assist team members, providing you with hands-on experience in interior design. This may make it easier to find work following graduation and may help you prepare for future roles.

Related: How To Apply for An Internship (And What To Do After Applying)

3. Build a portfolio

When applying for interior design jobs, whether at an agency or pitching to clients, a portfolio can show the style and quality of your work. College assignments or work accomplished as part of an internship may serve as an excellent resource for your portfolio. You may also include design art that you did as a hobby or as a freelancer. You can include both the early plans for a project and images of the completed work in your portfolio.

4. Apply for a job

Once you have built a good portfolio and gained some experience, look for a job as an interior designer or as a freelance interior designer. While applying for an open contract or meeting with a prospective client, they may ask for a portfolio, cover letter and resume. When writing a cover letter and resume, check the job description to determine critical job functions. When possible, make your application compelling by emphasising your relevant talents and experiences. Appealing to the characteristics that are most important to your prospective employer may help you make a positive impression.

Read more: Guide To Listing Projects In A Resume (With Examples)

How Much Does An Interior Designer Make?

Most interior designers may work full time for a company. Some may work as freelancers and get paid per design project. The national average salary for an interior designer is ₹18,894 per month. They may earn profits and commissions and take part in profit-sharing ventures. The exact interior designer salary can depend on multiple factors, such as the organisation, location, educational qualifications, experiences and skills.

Related: Salary Negotiation Tips And Examples

Interior Designer Work Environment

The work environment of an interior designer may vary according to the type of projects they are working on and the stage of completion of such projects. Their working conditions may also differ based on whether a firm employs them or they operate independently as a freelancer. An interior designer may frequently visit their design locations. They may conduct design planning from their homes, offices or studios. Client presentations might take place on site, at the client's place of business or in the designer's studio.

Interior designers employed by firms frequently work in teams but may also get individual work projects. Along with designing, an interior designer may also make phone calls, write emails and messages and create presentations. Interior designers often work unusual hours to accommodate their clients' schedules.

Sample Job Description For An Interior Designer

Here is an example of an interior designer job description:

We are searching for an artistic, detail-oriented candidate with strong interpersonal abilities for the position of the interior designer. The interior designer's primary responsibilities will include visualising and sketching design plans as per the client's objectives, finding items and materials, calculating expenses and inspecting construction to guarantee compliance with design criteria. We would also expect you to adhere to the regulatory environment's inspection and local zoning requirements.

A good interior designer can think intelligently about the use of space, colour and movement and draw inspiration from different artistic examples. They are also excellent communicators with the capacity to persuade while expressing a design concept.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


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