How to Become an Interior Designer in South Dakota
When it comes to designing a space from the inside, skilled interior designers know exactly what to do. They understand building codes and laws, safety precautions, accessibility standards and design techniques. Interior designers are responsible for understanding the needs, habits and lifestyles of those who will be inhabiting, visiting or working in the spaces they design. This helps them determine what type of windows will be included, the number of entrances and exits to incorporate, the type of flooring that should be used and much more.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in South Dakota
Nationally, no laws exist in governance of interior design. Individual states can decide whether to put licensing requirements in place for this profession, and South Dakota has not decided to do so.
While no license is required to practice, interior designers in this state are not allowed to design parts of a building which would modify its structure, mechanical or electrical systems, or its overall safety. These responsibilities are left up to architects alone. Interior designers may decide to work together with architects in order to design structural, electrical or mechanical components of a building. Interior designers who work independently in this state are still be able to do nonstructural work, interior alterations, additions and more.
Oftentimes, employers will prefer to hire candidates who have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design. If you have earned a lesser degree, you will still be able to find employment, as long as you have about two-to-three years of professional experience to compliment your degree.
National certification, earning a higher degree, or completing an internship program are all ways to develop your skillset within the trade and find higher paying job opportunities.
South Dakota Schools for Interior Designers
Completing a degree program will teach you the foundations of knowledge necessary to advance within this career field. Consider enrolling in one of the programs below:
- South Dakota State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in education and human sciences, which is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The degree can be earned with four years of study, and tuition is about $9,000 per year for in-state students.
- Penn Foster College offers an associate’s degree in interior design, which can be completed with two years of study. This degree can be earned entirely online, and tuition is currently $79 per credit hour. The program consists of 67 credit hours, and the school often offers significant discounts in the cost of tuition.
National Certification for Interior Designers in South Dakota
You do not need national certification in order to find employment in this state. However, choosing to earn this certification may be beneficial for several reasons. It could allow you to receive an increase in compensation, and if you decide to move to a state which has regulations in place for this trade, you will have already completed one of their most important requirements: national certification.
The Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) is responsible for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam process. The organization allows those who have completed a bachelor’s degree, along with two years of work experience, to sit for this exam. Alternatively, those who have completed a degree program that took less than four years of study will also be eligible to sit for this exam, as long as they 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 work experience requirements, you may be eligible to sit for the IDFX portion only. To do so, you will have to 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 will require a $95 application fee. You will also be responsible for the $295 registration fee. When you have completed 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
South Dakota is expected to see a 3.5 percent increase in the job market for interior designers during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) data indicate that there were 170 interior designers employed in this state during 2016, and by 2026 there will be an estimated 180 people employed in this profession in South Dakota.
Interior designers in this state earned an average hourly wage of $21.80, or $45,340 annually, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data reported in 2017. The top 10 percent of interior designers in South Dakota made $69,230 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in South Dakota
In South Dakota, interior designers will likely earn the highest compensation in cities like Bristol, Claire City and Corona, among others.
You will find work at interior design studios, architecture firms, home furnishing retailers and more. You may decide to become a freelance interior designer and specialize in designing homes, religious institutions or business establishments. No matter what you decide, as long as you use your creativity and technical skills to craft spaces that exude innovation and quality, you will have a fruitful and enjoyable career as an interior designer.