How to Become an Interior Designer in Nevada
Working as an interior designer can be rewarding, exciting and enjoyable for the right person. If you are creative, have great technical skills and appreciate the art of design, you may thrive as an interior designer.
Interior designers must research building codes and laws in order to create structures that are safe for people to inhabit. They also need to understand universal accessibility standards to ensure that the homes or buildings they design are convenient and functional. Working in this career field will allow you the opportunity to make important decisions about how a space will look and how people will interact with the space. This includes placement of walls, windows, doors, ceilings and more.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Nevada
Since there are no national regulations governing interior design, each state decides whether to set laws requiring interior designers to meet certain standards before practicing. In Nevada, interior design is regulated by the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design (NSBAIDRD). Interior designers in this state are required to complete an interior design program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). They must also have two years of professional experience within the field and complete the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. The NSBAIDRD does, however, make provisions for those who have completed degree programs which are not CIDA-accredited.
To register with the state, you must submit an application along with a fee of $25. When your application is approved, you will need to submit an additional $125 to receive your state certificate. To maintain your registration, you will need to submit an annual renewal fee of $150 along with documented proof that you’ve completed at least eight continuing education units (CEUs). The NSBAIDRD offers an online list of the different ways you can earn CEUs.
Completing internship programs or earning a master’s degree are additional ways to maximize your growth potential within this field. Going above and beyond state requirements will help illustrate your dedication and ambition to succeed as an interior designer.
Nevada Schools for Interior Designers
Completing a degree program is a requirement if you wish to practice in this state. The first two programs below are CIDA accredited, while the last program is not. Remember that you have the option to earn your education at schools that are not CIDA-accredited; however, this option will add additional steps to the process of becoming registered with the state.
- The Art Institute of Las Vegas is located in the city of Henderson. The school offers a bachelor’s degree program in interior design, which can be completed in as few as 45 months, and tuition and fees are currently about $87,000 for the entire program.
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas allows students to complete a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture, which will take four years to complete. Tuition and fees are currently about $7,000 per year.
- Penn Foster College allows students to complete an associate’s degree in interior design, which can be completed in two years or otherwise at your own pace. The program takes place entirely online, and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. This degree requires a total of 67 credit hours, and Penn Foster frequently offers significant tuition discounts.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Nevada
You must complete the NCIDQ exam in order to build a career in the state of Nevada. This exam is offered exclusively through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). The CIDQ requires interior designers to complete a bachelor’s degree program along with two years of work experience within the trade before sitting for the exam. Those who have completed lesser degrees will also be allowed to sit for the exam, as long as they have at least two-to-three years of work experience to complement their degree.
The application fee for this exam is $225. Once your application is approved, you will be required to register for each section of the exam separately. The exam sections are as follows:
- Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX)
- Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX)
- Practicum Exam (PRAC)
The IDFX portion requires a registration fee of $295, the IDPX carries a registration fee of $350, and the PRAC’s registration fee is $455. You will earn NCIDQ certification after successfully completing all three portions of the exam. Maintaining this certification will require payment of an annual fee of $75.
Those who have recently graduated from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, as well as those who are in the last year of a degree program and have not yet had the opportunity to fulfill the work experience requirements needed in order to earn certification, will be allowed to sit for the IDFX portion of the exam only. This will require a $95 application fee as well as the registration fee of $295. Earning NCIDQ certification will require that you return to take the remaining two portions of the exam after you have completed work experience requirement.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) data, there will be a 16.6 percent expansion in the job market for interior designers in Nevada during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Their data show that, in 2016, there were 590 interior designers working in this state. This number is expected to increase to 690 by 2026.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that interior designers in Nevada earned an average of $26.90 per hour, or $55,950 per year, in 2017. The top 10 percent of interior designers working in this state earned $89,520 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Nevada
Interior designers in Nevada will likely earn the highest compensation in cities like Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and The Lakes.
You can expect to find employment at architecture firms, kitchen and bath retailers, home furnishing studios and even automotive companies. Decide what kinds of structures interest you the most and make the effort to gain as much experience as possible in that area. You may just find yourself at the top of the industry if you work hard and remain consistent while advancing through the ranks as an interior designer.