How to Become an Interior Designer in North Dakota
Interior designers can determine the color schemes, fixture styles and even the artwork that will be present in a home, office or government building. They also decide how high ceilings will be, how many windows a room will have, if a home will have double doors and so on. In order to make these decisions effectively, interior designers must understand building codes and laws, as well as the lifestyles and desires of their clients.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in North Dakota
This profession is not regulated on a national level. Individual states decide whether or not to set regulations governing this profession, and North Dakota is one of the states in which interior design is not regulated. Typically, though, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to find employment in this field.
There are employers who may be willing to hire you if you have less than a bachelor’s degree. In these cases, associate’s degrees or certificate programs will be acceptable, as long as you have at least two-to-three years of professional experience within the trade.
You may decide to also complete a master’s degree program in architecture, find an internship or apprenticeship, or earn national certification as an interior designer. Most employers in this state will not require you to have these additions to your resume, but such qualifications will help expand your realm of opportunity within the trade.
Aspiring design professionals can expect some of the following topics to be covered in an interior design course:
- Color theory
- Space planning
- Residential design
- Spatial arrangements
- Art and furniture history
- Industry trends
- Traditional and modern interior design ideas
Finally, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of building codes related to interior design. There are state agencies that offer classes focusing on these topics; however, most interior designer programs will include this information as well.
Interior Design Schools in North Dakota
You must have technical skills in order to be successful within this career field. Consider enrolling in one of the interior design courses at one of the institutions below:
- North Dakota State University is located in the city of Fargo and offers a bachelor’s degree program in interior design, which takes four years to complete. The program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and tuition is currently about $8,000 per year for in-state students.
- Penn Foster College offers an associate degree program, which takes place entirely online. The program takes two years to complete, and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. There is a total of 67 credit hours required to complete this degree program, and Penn Foster frequently offers significant discounts in the cost of tuition.
National Certification for Interior Designers in North Dakota
In North Dakota, you can practice interior design without having received national certification. If you are interested in earning this credential for other purposes, you should know that it is offered exclusively through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).
This organization requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related field before sitting for this exam. You may also be eligible to sit for this exam if you have completed a degree program that took less than four years of study, as long as you have an additional three-to-four years of professional experience as an interior designer.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination process consists of the following three sections:
- Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX)
- Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX)
- Practicum Exam (PRAC)
The IDFX section carries a $295 registration fee, the IDPX carries a registration fee of $350, and the PRAC has a $455 registration fee. You will receive your NCIDQ certification after passing all three sections. To maintain this certification, you will need to pay an annual fee of $75.
If you are interested in earning this certification but have not yet completed the professional experience requirements, you may be eligible to sit for the IDFX portion only. To do so, you must be in the last year of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Alternatively, you may sit for the IDFX if you’ve graduated.
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
North Dakota is expected to see a 10 percent increase in the job market for interior designers during the 10-year period between 2020 and 2030. Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) data indicates that there were 200 interior designers employed in this state during 2020, and by 2030 there will be an estimated 220 people employed in this profession in North Dakota.
Interior designers in this state earned an average hourly wage of $22.72, or $47,260 annually, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data reported in 2021. The top 10 percent of interior designers in North Dakota made $62,230 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in North Dakota
Interior designers can be found working at home furnishing retailers, architecture firms, interior design studios and more. You can also choose to work as a freelance interior designer and source clients online, joining professional organizations, or even by starting your own interior design business.
You can expect to earn the highest compensation as an interior designer in North Dakota in cities like Harwood, West Fargo and Fargo.
If you would like to be part of the expected growth in this career field over the coming years, you should consider getting started as an interior designer today.
How do I get professional experience as an interior designer?
Graduate programs, internships or an apprenticeship is a great way to transition smoothly from school to the workplace.