How to Become an Interior Designer in Oklahoma
Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. The inside of your favorite place may have been inspired by a vehicle, landscape or other source you may not expect. A successful interior designer will be innovative and capable of drawing inspiration from almost anywhere. This is part of how interior designers tap into their creativity to design spaces that intrigue and attract people. For example, if a corporate building is being designed with employees in mind, a skilled interior designer would include lots of windows and open spaces for community and team-building.
Understanding building codes and laws, human behavior and universal accessibility standards are all included in the responsibilities of an interior designer.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Oklahoma
While several states have decided to enact laws in governance of interior design, some states have regulations in place only for interior designers who want to use a certain title. In Oklahoma, if you wish to refer to yourself as a “registered interior designer, you will first need to register with the Oklahoma Board of Architects (OBA). The OBA requires that applicants complete an interior design education program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), though the OBA is also willing to accept certain education programs which are not CIDA-accredited. Applicants must also have at least two years of professional experience within the trade. Additionally, it is required that all registrants complete the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam before registering with the state.
To register with the state, you will first need to submit an application along with a fee of $100. After your application receives approval, you will need to submit a $325 registration fee. Once you have been registered with the state, every two years you will be responsible for providing proof that you’ve completed at least 24 hours of continuing education. The OBA provides an online list of possible ways to earn continuing education hours. You will also need to submit a renewal fee of $325.00 every two years.
Interior design includes a combination of creativity, technical knowledge and business skills. Interior design students can expect to learn about the following topics:
- Health safety and welfare
- Color theory
- Space planning
- Art and furniture history
- Interior space planning
- Interior materials and space planning
- Interior Architecture
Although you can still practice as an interior designer in Oklahoma without registering with the state, you won’t be able to refer to yourself as a registered interior designer. Taking the steps to become registered will help exemplify that you take your career seriously.
Interior Design Schools in Oklahoma
To establish a rewarding career for yourself within this industry, you will first need to complete a post-secondary education program. Each program listed below is CIDA-accredited.
- Oklahoma Christian University is located in Oklahoma City and allows students to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The degree can be earned in four years, and tuition and fees are currently about $23,000 per year.
- Oklahoma State University is a public university located in the city of Stillwater. Students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design with four years of study. Tuition and fees are currently about $9,000 per year.
- University of Central Oklahoma is located in the city of Edmond and allows students to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, which will take four years to complete. Tuition and fees are currently about $8,000 per year.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Oklahoma
To complete the NCIDQ exam, you must go through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). Sitting for this exam will require a bachelor’s degree along with two years of work experience within the profession. Alternatively, if you’ve completed a lesser degree, you will be eligible to sit for the exam as long as you have at least three-to-four years of work experience within the trade.
There are three sections included in the NCIDQ exam. The sections include an Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX), an Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX) and a Practicum Exam (PRAC). There is a $225 application fee required before beginning the examination process. This fee covers all three sections of the exam. Once your application has been approved, you will need to register for each portion of the exam individually. To do this, you will make an additional payment of $295 for the IDFX, $350 for the IDPX and $455 for the PRAC. When you have passed all three sections, you will receive NCIDQ certification. Maintaining certification requires payment of an annual fee of $75.
If you have yet to fulfill work experience requirements, the CIDQ will allow you the opportunity to sit for the IDFX portion of the exam only. To be eligible, you must have graduated from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, or be in the last year of one of these degree programs. This portion of the exam on its own requires a $95 application fee, as well as the $295 registration fee. Once you fulfill work experience requirements, you will be able to sit for the IDPX and PRAC sections of the exam in order to earn NCIDQ certification.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2020, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) released data that stated there were 730 people employed as interior designers in Oklahoma. By 2030, the PMP expects this number will jump to 740, indicating a 1 percent increase in the job market during this 10-year period.
On average, interior designers in Oklahoma earned $23.29 per hour, or $48,450 per year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released in 2021. The top 10 percent of interior designers in this state earned an average of $79,380 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Oklahoma
Though only by four percent, the national job market for interior designers will continue to grow throughout the coming years, according to the BLS. You can enjoy a fruitful career if you choose to apply your skills and expertise to open doors of opportunity for yourself.
You can expect to earn the highest salary working as an interior designer in Oklahoma cities like Kingston, Mead and Durant, among others.
Employment will be available at interior design studios, where you may work with teams to design the interiors of museums, government institutions or other public places. You can also expect to find employment at architecture studios or home furnishing retailers
Is Interior Design a competitive field?
Interior design is a competitive field. The more competitive interior design jobs start in the specialized areas of the industry such as commercial, residential, hospitality and healthcare interior design.