How to Become an Interior Designer in Kansas
Interior designers who have a passion for creativity will thoroughly enjoy what they do. They are responsible not only for determining color schemes and furnishings, but also placements of walls, windows, closets, flooring types and more. An interior designer will excel by understanding structural requirements, building codes and even behavioral tendencies of people, in order to design spaces that are optimal for living or working.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Kansas
Certain states require interior designers to be registered or licensed before practicing; however, such regulations do not exist in Kansas. Most often, all that is required to find an entry-level job in this state is a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Some employers may hire interior designers who do not have a bachelor’s degree but who have previous, related work experience along with an associate’s degree or certificate.
Earning voluntary certification, completing a master’s degree or finding an internship opportunity are all beneficial ways to expand your skill level within the trade. Doing such things will help you learn techniques and popular tools, building your knowledge in ways that will set you apart from the competition. You will be able to find higher paying jobs as you improve your expertise, or you may be able to create a lucrative career for yourself as a freelance interior designer.
Kansas Schools for Interior Designers
You must have technical skills in order to be successful within this career field. Consider enrolling in a program at one of the institutions below:
- Kansas State University is located in the city of Manhattan, Kansas, and offers a Bachelor of Science in interior design, which is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The program will take four years to complete, and the cost of tuition for the entire program is about $39,000 for in-state students.
- Johnson County Community College is located in the city of Overland Park. The school offers an Associate of Applied Science in interior design, which takes about two years to complete. Students are required to complete two internships before graduating from this degree program. Tuition and fees are about $9,000 for the entire program for in-state students.
- WSU Tech is located in the city of Wichita and offers an Associate of Applied Science in interior design, which takes two years to complete. Tuition and fees for the program total about $9,000.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Kansas
Becoming nationally certified is a choice, since there are no national or statewide regulations for interior design in Kansas. The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is one of the most prestigious and widely-known organizations for interior designers, and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification is offered exclusively through this organization.
To earn certification, you will first need to have a bachelor’s degree in interior design, as well as two years of work experience within the trade. Candidates are also able to complete degrees that take less than four years of study, as long as they have also acquired at least three-to-four years of work experience in addition to the degree program they’ve completed.
Next, you will need to pay a $225 application fee to apply for the NCIDQ exam process. Once approved for examination, you will need to register for each of the three sections of the exam. The three sections are as follows:
- Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX)
- Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX)
- Practicum Exam (PRAC)
The IDFX section carries a $295 registration fee, the IDPX has a registration fee of $350, and the PRAC has a $455 registration fee. After passing all three sections, you will receive your NCIDQ certification. To maintain this certification, you are required to pay an annual fee of $75.
Candidates who are in the final year of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, or those who have graduated and have yet to complete two additional years of work experience, are eligible to sit for the IDFX exam only. This requires a $95 application fee. You will also be responsible for the $295 registration fee. When you have earned two years of work experience, you may return to complete the IDPX and PRAC sections in order to earn NCIDQ certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
There is expected to be a 4.5 percent increase in the number of interior designers working in Kansas during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026, according to Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) data. The data show that there were 490 interior designers working in this state in 2016. By 2026, there are expected to be 510 interior designers employed in Kansas.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that, in 2017, interior designers earned an hourly average of $21.28, or $44,260 annually. The top 10 percent of interior designers in Kansas made $63,360 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Kansas
The cities of Edwardsville, Bonner Springs and Kansas City are where some of the highest paid interior designers in Kansas can be found.
You can find work at a home staging firm, a home furnishing retailer, a construction firm or an interior design studio. You will become knowledgeable in graphic design and industry standards, but don’t forget to use your own creativity in completing projects. It is important to keep a balance between fulfilling expectations for your clients and adding your unique touch to the spaces you design.