What is an Interior Designer?

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  • 0:04 Interior Design: Defined
  • 0:40 Education
  • 1:14 Certification and Licensing
  • 1:35 Personal Qualities and Duties
  • 2:51 Career Outlook and Salary
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

An interior designer plays an important role in the look and feel of residential and commercial spaces. In this lesson, we will learn about an interior designer's duties and requirements to become an interior designer.

Interior Design: Defined

Interior design is a multidisciplinary career that requires you to merge creativity and technical savvy together. Interior designers are responsible for the look, feel, function, and safety aspects of interior spaces. They must be knowledgeable in building codes, understand color theory, and be willing to cooperate with multiple teams during the building process of a home or office. In this lesson, we will learn about the duties, education, and career outlook for interior designers. We will also touch on what qualities may make a person better suited to be an interior designer than others.


Most interior designers should complete a bachelor's degree in interior design. A bachelor's degree is the most commonly accepted level of education for interior designers, but there are associate's and master's degree levels available.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Council for Interior Design accredit roughly 500 university-level programs. In these programs, students take courses in design, drawing, and computer-aided design. Some schools may require prospective students to provide sample drawings to examine their artistic talent.

Certification and Licensing

Certification and licensing is not a requirement in all states. The requirements vary by state; students should check to see what their state requires. Most university programs prepare interior design students to sit for the required licensure exams, but students should verify that during the application process.

Personal Qualities and Duties

While not required, prospective interior designers should have a combination of the following qualities:

  • Creative and artistic ability
  • Orientation to detail
  • Discipline
  • Cooperation
  • Problem solving ability
  • Visual orientation

The work environment of an interior designer can be hectic, as they are required to collaborate with architects, mechanical engineers, builders, and industry administrators throughout the process of a project. Besides working with others, interior designers have many other daily duties.

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