How to Become an Interior Designer in Minnesota
Interior design is both a technical and creative field that includes all aspects of the occupied space of a building: sound, lighting, airflow, color scheme and surface finishes, as well as often-overlooked details such as accessibility, plumbing and fixtures, cabinetry and emergency safety features. Interior designers work with private, commercial and even government clients to create spaces that are safe, comfortable, attractive, efficient and useful. With its robust economy, Minnesota is a promising location for future interior designers.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Minnesota
Certification is not required to practice interior design in the state of Minnesota. It is, however, highly advisable, as interior designers are responsible for ensuring that buildings meet all legal requirements.
Interior Design Certification in Minnesota
Professional certification for interior designers in Minnesota is overseen by the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design. There are three ways to be certified as an interior designer in Minnesota.
If you are already licensed as an architect in the state of Minnesota, you can simply apply for certification as an interior designer with no further requirements.
Those who hold a certification from another state can apply for reciprocal certification. Candidates submit the Certified Interior Design Application. and eligibility is determined based on the Minnesota state requirements from the year that you first attained certification.
If you are just beginning to research educational options and are planning to seek certification, you should enroll in a four-year program that is accredited by CIDA. As with other states, you will need two years’ experience as well, but in Minnesota your supervised work time must be in the following categories: space planning, building code research and analysis, programming, schematic design and design development, preparation of construction documents, cost estimating, specification of building materials and finishes, specification of furnishings, fixtures and equipment, bidding and negotiating procedures and construction administration.
You should study Minnesota’s certification requirements carefully before choosing a program of study, and throughout your education to make sure you are fulfilling the above requirements. You must make sure that each person supervising your work is a certified interior designer, holds an NCIDQ certificate or is a licensed architect. You should document your supervised study as you do it—download the Employee History and Experience Form to help plan and track your work experience.
Educational Options for Studying Interior Design in Minnesota
- The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St Paul offers a four-year Council for Interior Design (CIDA)-accredited program. It also offers interior design graduate programs, including a PhD. In-state annual tuition for undergraduates is $14,760, and out-of-state tuition is $30, 438 (check this amount, though—it appears to be increasing).
- Dunwoody College of Technology also has a CIDA-approved program, offering a Bachelor of Science in their school of Construction Sciences and Building Technology. They boast that 98 percent of recent graduates found employment in their field of study. For a global perspective on interior design, Dunwoody offers study abroad and travel study. Average annual tuition is $18,813.
- Century College offers an associate’s degree, a certificate, and a diploma in interior design. They also offer a diploma in home furnishing sales. These can be pursued on a full- or part-time schedule, with a combination of on-campus and online courses.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Interior Designers in Minnesota
Interior designers in Minnesota have an above-average employment rate and are some of the highest-paid, on average, in the United States, with a median wage of $56.690.
The expected growth rate for this career in Minnesota mirrors the U.S. as a whole—about 4 percent.
Working as an Interior Designer in Minnesota
Interior design is a very broad field, and interior designers in Minnesota can put their skills to use in a variety of ways. Some Interior designers specialize in kitchens and bathrooms, while others work exclusively in furniture sales. Interior designers might work for a homebuilder, helping buyers choose fixtures, finishes and other features of a home before it is built.
Interior designers can also work for the public sector, helping design modern and efficient schools and hospitals. Some will specialize in designing interiors for the elderly and people with disabilities, or helping to create energy-efficient, eco-friendly buildings. Interior designers have a real impact on peoples’ quality of life at work, at home and at play.
How much do interior designers earn in the state of Minnesota?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers in the state of Minnesota made an average of $62,560 per year in 2019. Entry-level interior designers earned around $41,890 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $90,530.