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Are you considering joining the interior design industry? If so, you can look forward to a growing sector offering an impressive average entry-level salary of $72k per year, along with a diverse range of career paths. Whether you work as an employee or start your own interior design business, it’s a sought-after role.

Charged with realising homeowners' interior design project objectives across Australia, a good interior designer can incorporate the latest design ideas to create exactly what’s required. So, how do you go about preparing yourself for success in the industry?

Here we offer 5 tips on how to become an interior designer. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in!

Your Path to Interior Design Success

Getting your dream job at an interior design firm or launching your own business does not happen by accident. So, let’s look at those 5 useful tips on carving out a successful interior design career in the real world.

Tip 1: Acquiring a Strong Foundation in Design Education

The first step on your interior design career is to get the knowledge fundamentals. A range of disciplines and design elements need to be acquired, from space planning to mood board work to colour theory. So enrolling in the relevant training programs is key.

Enrolling in Accredited Interior Design Programs

You can get the qualifications needed to engage in design work in several ways. The first and most lengthy route is to go to university and get a bachelor’s degree in the subject. A Bachelor of Arts in interior design will take approximately 3 years and is entirely theoretical - meaning there’s no hands-on element.

As such, you’ll be applying for jobs on the proviso that you are yet to gain any real-world experience, or you may need to go for a lower-paid internship so you can shadow someone until you have gained sufficient practical expertise.

Other Academic Routes Exist

Another indirect route is to go for Cert IV in Interior Decorating, which does offer a practical element and allows you to apply for entry-level roles. This option only takes a year and allows you to get practical experience useful for the real world.

A 3rd option - and one that’s ideal for people making a career change - is micro-credential training like our Interior Design & Decorating course. Able to be taken at a pace and time that suits you, this training is CPD-accredited and allows you to start applying for entry-level roles or marketing to potential clients.

Tip 2: Develop a Unique Design Style

When trying to identify what’s unique about your design approach, you should perhaps look at your own home for clues. All those DIY jobs you’ve done will have a running theme, which you can use for inspiration.

Look at the kinds of colour palettes you’re using in your living room and the themes you’ve adopted. You can put your take on many different styles, too, with Modern Farmhouse, Mid-Century Modern & Industrial being just three.

A mood board or other design template can also be helpful, allowing you to experiment with both high-end and everyday looks to determine the style that defines you as a professional.

Tip 3: Building a Portfolio of Design Projects

You’ll need a strong portfolio of your work, whether applying for roles or trying to attract private customers. To begin with, you’re not going to have anything you can point towards regarding demonstrated expertise.

As such, every DIY project or work you’re involved with as part of your internship should be catalogued with high-definition images. This will help clients trust in your ability and give people a clear idea of the design process you employ.

Tip 4: Cultivating Strong Communication and Presentation Skills

As an interior designer, you’ll be up against some pretty strong competition for private clients and those paid roles you’ll be applying for. You’ll get ahead by working on your presentation and communication skills. You’ll need to make a convincing case that you can meet the clients’ requirements or excel in the role you’re applying for.

You’ll also need to work on your project management skills and other vital abilities that can be learned by engaging in our wide range of Beauty, Lifestyle & Leisure courses.

Tip 5: Staying Updated with Design Trends and Industry News

The interior design industry is like many in the modern world - it’s fast-paced and always changing. So, while you may have a set style and approach, it will have to evolve with time, ensuring that your work stays fresh and relevant.

That’s why you should keep a close eye on the latest trends in the design industry to ensure you’re aware of exactly what kind of looks and themes people are interested in.

Realising Your Success as an Interior Designer

Successful interior designers require dedication, hard work, and continuous learning. Following these 5 tips and exploring our Interior Design, Lifestyle & Leisure Courses, you can enhance your skills and knowledge in various areas of interior design, from networking and marketing to developing your unique style.

Moreover, our training is video-based and modular, meaning you can fit your learning around life’s obligations. To better understand what it’s like to learn with OCA, please look at our Student Study Demo, which tells you all about 1-to-1 mentoring, AI-driven learning, and more.

Interior design is just one of more than 20 professional industries covered by our course library - something you can learn more about by visiting us today at Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to us about your learning needs, call 1300 611 404 or email [email protected], and we’ll be happy to give you the information you’re looking for.

If you're looking for amazing homewares and flowers check out Elsie & Oak.  

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