How to Become an Interior Designer in Ohio

Have you ever admired the inside of a building or home for its ceiling type, structure and overall setup? Interior designers can be credited with making decisions about how different components of a building will interact and how the placement of these components will affect those who inhabit the building. To be successful at this career, an interior designer will need extensive knowledge of building codes and laws, an understanding of interior design techniques and practices, and a knack for innovation and creativity.

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Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Ohio

National regulations do not exist in governance of interior design. Rather, this profession is regulated on a state-by-state basis. Ohio is currently one of the states that do not have set laws in place requiring interior designers to follow certain rules before finding employment, but an industry standard for finding entry-level employment is a bachelor’s degree in interior design.

Professional organizations often prefer candidates who have obtained a higher education, which is why enrolling in an interior design program may give you an edge. Those interested in pursuing higher education can expect to learn about some of the following topics in the various interior design courses:

  • Lighting
  • Color
  • Interior architecture
  • Design thinking
  • Space planning
  • Design foundations
  • Residential and non-residential design
  • Art and furniture history

In addition to completing a degree program, you will be able to fast-track your career by also completing internships, choosing to earn a master’s degree or earning national interior design certification. Though none of these are required, all of these options will help show employers your ambition to succeed.

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Interior Design Schools in Ohio

Obtaining interior design accreditation is necessary if you want to advance in your career as an interior designer. The schooling options below will help you build the foundation for long-term success.

  • The Ohio State University is a public university located in the city of Columbus and offers a bachelor’s degree program in interior design, which can be completed in four years. Tuition is about $10,000 per year.
  • Columbus College of Art & Design is located in the city of Cleveland. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in interior design, which takes four years to complete. Tuition is currently about $30,000 per year.
  • Miami University is located in the city of Oxford and offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design. Tuition is currently about $14,000 per year, and the degree will require four years for completion.

National Certification for Interior Designers in Ohio

You will be able to find employment as an interior designer without having national certification. If you would like to earn certification to find higher paying jobs, or to show clients that you are a trained professional, you may consider earning the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification. This is offered exclusively through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).

The CIDQ requires that all national certification candidates have earned a bachelor’s degree, as well as have at least two years of professional experience, before sitting for the exam. Alternatively, you may have completed a degree program that took less than four years of study. If this is the case, the CIDQ will still allow you to sit for the exam as long as you have an additional three-to-four years of work experience in interior design to complement your degree.

When you have met both the professional and educational requirements, you will need to pay an application fee of $225 to apply for the examination process. Upon receiving approval, you will need to register for each of the three portions of the exam individually. The three exam portions include the following:

  • Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX)
  • Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX)
  • Practicum Exam (PRAC)

The IDFX portion requires a registration fee of $295, while the IPDX carries a registration fee of $350. The PRAC will require a registration fee of $455. When you have successfully completed all three portions of the exam process, you will receive NCIDQ certification. Additionally, the CIDQ requires all those who are nationally certified to pay an annual fee of $75 in order to maintain certification.

If you have recently graduated from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, or if you 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, the CIDQ will allow you the option 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. Completing this portion of the exam will help you on your job-seeking journey; however, you will need to return to complete the IDPX and PRAC portions of the exam in order to earn national certification.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to data presented by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), there will be a 0 percent increase in the number of interior designers working in Ohio during the 10-year period between 2020 and 2030. The data show that 3,080 people were employed as interior designers in this state during 2020, and by 2030.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics presented data in 2021 that indicated that interior designers in Ohio earned an average of $23.89 per hour, or $49,700 per year. The top 10 percent of interior designers working in this state earned $79,020 during the same year.

Working as an Interior Designer in Ohio

The job market for this career is expected to expand in the coming years. This is something to look forward to, as it indicates that opportunities for growth will continue to be available.

Ohio cities like Cleveland, Lakewood and Rocky River, among others, are where some of the highest paid interior designers in this state can be found.

You will find employment at interior design studios, architecture firms, home furnishing retailers and more. Make the decision to learn all the ins and outs of this career field, as well as common techniques and industry standards, and your expertise will take you far.

Search Certified Residential Interior Designer Programs

Get information on Certified Residential Interior Designer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Is Interior Design in demand?

As the demand for renovation projects increases, homeowners and companies are expected to need services provided by interior designers to help create safe and functional spaces.

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