How to Become an Interior Designer in Idaho
The walls, doorways, window styles and other components of your home were likely placed there because of building laws, accessibility standards and design techniques. These are all areas of knowledge in which an interior designer needs to be well-educated, in order to have a successful career. In addition, they will need to communicate thoroughly with business owners, homeowners and other clients about desires and expectations. This will allow interior designers to build spaces that are tailored to the lifestyles or business needs of their clients.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Idaho
In Idaho, interior designers are not required to follow any statewide regulations before finding employment. There are also no national regulations that exist, allowing employers to decide what will qualify potential candidates for hire. In most cases, this involves a bachelor’s degree in interior design.
While a bachelor’s degree will help you land entry-level employment within this career field, you must take advantage of additional opportunities in order to gain more experience and build a fruitful career. You may choose to do so by going back to school to earn a master’s degree, completing an internship or apprenticeship program, or earning voluntary national certification. None of these are required in order to find employment, however they will likely help you land positions that require higher levels of responsibility and thus, offer higher levels of compensation.
Idaho Schools for Interior Designers
Schooling is a key component to your success as an interior designer. Each program below is designed to educate you in the fundamentals and techniques of interior design:
- University of Idaho is located in the city of Moscow, and offers a nationally-accredited Bachelor of Interior Design degree. The program can be completed in four semesters, and tuition is currently about $8,000 per year for Idaho residents.
- Brigham Young University Idaho offers two bachelor’s degree programs in interior design, which each take four years to complete. Tuition is about $4,000 per semester.
- Penn Foster College offers an associate degree program in interior design, which can be earned entirely online in just two years. The program consists of 67 credit hours and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. Penn Foster also runs frequent specials offering significant discounts on the price of tuition.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Idaho
In Idaho, you can work as an interior designer without receiving national certification. Earning national certification is voluntary, and is offered through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).
To take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, you will need to fulfill a prerequisite of a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of work experience. There are also options available to sit for this exam if you have earned a degree that took less than four years to complete, as long as you’ve had an additional three-to-four years of work experience to compliment your degree.
The NCIDQ exam requires initial payment of a $225 application fee. The exam consists of three parts, which each carry their own registration fees. The Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX) section carries a $295 registration fee, the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX) carries a registration fee of $350, and the Practicum Exam (PRAC) has a $455 registration fee. Passing all three parts will allow you to receive your NCIDQ certification. To maintain this certification, you are required to pay an annual fee of $75.
You may opt to complete the IDFX portion of the exam on its own if you meet educational requirements, but have yet to fulfill work experience requirements. To take this portion of the exam only, you will need to pay a $95 application fee, as well as the $295 registration fee. You will not be able to earn NCIDQ certification however, until you fulfill work experience requirements and also complete the IDPX and PRAC portions of the exam.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reports that there will be a 21.5 percent increase in the number of interior designers working in Idaho during the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026. Their data shows that there were 150 people employed as interior designers in Idaho during 2016. By 2026, the PMP expects there to be 180 interior designers working in this state.
Interior designers working in Idaho earned an average of $22.73 per hour in 2017, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. This is equivalent to $47,280 per year. According to the same data, the highest paid interior designers in this state earned $66,190 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Idaho
Idaho will see a significant increase in the job market for interior designers in the coming years, according to PMP data. This indicates an exciting time to get involved and watch firsthand how the industry will grow.
Idaho cities like Grangeville, Fenn and Lewiston are where some of the highest paid interior designers in this state can be found working.
Work will be available at home furnishing retailers, construction firms, interior design studios and more. You may even choose to build a name for yourself by finding opportunities to work as a freelance interior designer. If you are well-educated in the technical aspects of this career, and have a passion for visual appeal, you will greatly increase your chances of reaching success in this career field.