How to Become an Interior Designer in Oregon
Will your home have cathedral ceilings, French doors and stained-glass windows? Interior designers can help determine how these factors will affect the functionality of your home. They’ll also know the kind of elements which would be most appropriate to include in a home, office space, retail establishment, religious institution or other types of buildings. To do this effectively, interior designers must understand building codes and laws, universal accessibility standards and industry techniques, as well as the behaviors, customs and lifestyles of the people who will make use of the establishment that is being designed.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Oregon
In Oregon, interior designers do not need to follow any state-mandated regulations before finding employment. There are also no national regulations in governance of interior design.
Certain construction projects which would include structural modifications to a building, must be overseen by certified architects in this state. The Oregon chapter of the International Interior Design Association is currently working to help establish regulations that would allow registered or licensed interior designers to do such work without the supervision or approval of an architect.
Typically, you will be able to find employment with a bachelor’s degree alone. There are also cases in which you will find employers willing to hire you if you have a lesser degree, as long as you also have at least two-to-three years of work experience to compliment that degree.
Setting yourself up to reach milestones of success may require you to go the extra mile to distinguish yourself from the competition. You can do this by completing a master’s degree in interior design, finding an internship or apprenticeship opportunity, or earning national certification as an interior designer.
Oregon Schools for Interior Designers
Completing a degree program will be the first step to establishing yourself as a professional in this field. Find out if one of the degree programs below would be suitable for your lifestyle and educational goals.
- University of Oregon is located in the city of Eugene, and offers a Bachelor of Interior Architecture (B IARCH) degree, which will take five years to complete. Tuition and fees are approximately $12,000 per year for in-state students.
- Penn Foster College offers an associate’s degree program in interior design, which will take two years to complete. All courses take place exclusively online and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. The program requires completion of 67 credit hours and Penn Foster often runs specials offering significant discounts in the cost of tuition.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Oregon
You are not required to earn national certification in order to practice in Oregon. Choosing to earn this credential could allow you to earn higher compensation in a traditional employment setting. You may also find that this certification helps you to attract higher paying clients if you will work as a freelance interior designer.
The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is the organization which oversees the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification process. You must have a bachelor’s degree along with two years of work experience to sit for this exam. Alternatively, you may sit for this exam if you have earned a lesser degree, as long as you also have at least three-to-four years of work experience within the profession.
There are three sections of the NCIDQ exam, including the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX), the Interior Design Professional Exam (IDPX) and the Practicum Exam (PRAC). A $225 application fee is required and will cover all three sections. Once you receive approval, you will be required to register for each section individually. The IDFX carries a registration fee of $295, the IDPX fee is $350 and the PRAC fee is $455. Upon passing all three exam sections, you will receive NCIDQ certification. To maintain certification, you will need to pay an annual fee of $75.
If you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree program but have yet to fulfill work experience requirements, the CIDQ will allow you to sit for the IDFX portion of the exam only. This option is also available to those who are in the last year of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Sitting for this portion of the exam exclusively will be a great addition to your resume, however you will need to return to complete the IDPX and PRAC sections of the exam in order to earn NCIDQ certification. On its own, the IDFX requires a $95 application fee as well as the registration fee of $295.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) released data in 2016, which indicated that there will be an expected 19.6 percent increase in the job market for interior designers working in Oregon, during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. The data show that there were 770 people employed as interior designers in this state during 2016, and by 2026, this number will jump to 930.
Interior designers in Oregon earned an average of $28.88 per hour, or $60,060 per year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2017. The highest paid interior designers working in this state earned $85,200 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Oregon
This career path can bring you much fulfillment since you will be able to witness your creations come to life. You’ll feel rewarded, accomplished and motivated to continue with more challenging projects. Allow your ambition to be the driving force behind your success.
You will likely earn the highest compensation working as in interior designer in Oregon in cities like Beaverton, Gladstone and Lake Oswego, among others.
Interior designers can be found working at architecture firms, home furnishing retailers or interior design studios. The job market for this trade in Oregon will see a significant increase in the coming years, so now is a great time to get started on your journey to becoming a successful interior designer.