How to Become an Interior Designer in Delaware
As an interior designer, you will determine how a home, retail or office space looks and functions. You may be responsible for designing a bathroom, for example, in which case you would determine if this room will have a shower, where the toilet will be located, if there will be a storage closet or if you will include a double-sink. This gives you a great deal of responsibility and creativity, as you will be able to see your virtual designs come to life. You will also need to communicate with business owners, homeowners or other customers in order to determine what will fit their desires and expectations.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Delaware
While no national regulations exist for interior designers, there are some states with laws and standards in place governing this career field. Since Delaware currently has no laws in place regulating interior design, you will be able to find employment in this state with a bachelor’s degree alone.
Additional work experience will further qualify you for available opportunities. You may also choose to earn certification in order to further distinguish yourself from other candidates. After earning a bachelor’s degree along with two years of work experience in the trade, you will be eligible to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. This certification will help you find higher paying job opportunities, or help expose you to higher paying clients as a freelance interior designer.
Internships and apprenticeship programs are also great ways to earn more experience in interior design. You may choose to connect with colleagues online, or attend networking events to speak with professionals face-to-face. By doing so, you may find opportunities that will expand your realm of expertise and compliment your bachelor’s degree.
Delaware Schools for Interior Designers
Since you’ll need to complete a degree program to find employment in this field, you should consider one of the post-secondary training options below:
- Delaware College of Art and Design is located in the city of Wilmington, and offers an associate degree program in interior design. Tuition is around $25,000 per year, and this program will take about two years to complete.
- Delaware Technical Community College is located in the city of Dover. The school offers an associate degree program in interior design, which will take about two years to complete. Tuition and fees are about $9,000 per year.
- Penn Foster College offers an Associate of Science degree in interior design, which can be completed online in just two years. The program consists of 67 credit hours, and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. Penn Foster also frequently offers significant discounts on the price of tuition.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Delaware
You will not need to earn national certification in order to work as an interior designer in Delaware, since no national or statewide regulations exist in governance of this career field.
Earning national certification is voluntary in this state, and is offered through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). The CIDQ requires candidates to complete a bachelor’s degree, along with two years of work experience within the trade, before sitting for the NCIDQ exam. Alternatively, you may sit for this exam if you’ve completed a degree program which took less than four years of study, as long as you have an additional three-to-four years of work experience within the trade.
The NCIDQ exam consists of three sections, which include the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX), the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX) and the Practicum Exam (PRAC). There is a $225 application fee required before testing, which covers all three sections. Upon approval, applicants will then be required to register for each section individually. The IDFX carries a registration fee of $295, the IDPX fee is $350 and the PRAC fee is $455. When you pass all three exam sections, you will then receive NCIDQ certification. To maintain certification, you will need to pay an annual fee of $75.
If you are in the last year of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, or if you have graduated and have not yet earned two years of work experience, you will be eligible to apply for the IDFX exam only. This requires a $95 application fee, as well as a registration fee of $295. After completing two years of work experience, you will still need to complete the IDPX and PRAC exams in order to earn NCIDQ certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2016, there were 160 interior designers working in Delaware. By 2026, Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) expects that this number will not change, signifying stability in the job market for interior designers during this 10-year period.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that during 2017, interior designers in this state earned an average of $24.53 per hour, or $51,020 per year. The highest paid interior designers in Delaware earned $97,280 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Delaware
Working as an interior designer will require you to be meticulous. Paying attention to detail will help you produce work that exceeds your clients’ expectations.
Interior designers in Delaware may expect to earn the highest compensation in cities like Bethany Beach, Dagsboro and Fenwick Island.
When you visit retail stores where living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens or bathrooms are staged, you can expect that an interior designer is likely the one responsible for the placement and aesthetic value that you see present. Interior designers work in environments like these, as well as architecture firms, construction firms, interior design studios and more. Creativity alone will allow you to create spaces that are visually appealing, but building your technical skills by completing a degree program will lay the foundation for a fruitful career in interior design.