How to Become an Interior Designer in Vermont
Interior design is a technical process which involves a great deal of focus and skill. You must understand building codes and laws, standards for accessibility and common industry techniques.
If you were designing a home for an animal, for example, you would need to understand the habits and needs of this creature in order to create a space they can enjoy. Interior designers will design for comfort, aesthetic value and convenience. To do this effectively, it is important to communicate thoroughly with each client. This will build a rapport that allows you to be creative while also fulfilling their expectations.
Requirements for Becoming an Interior Designer in Vermont
Since there are no national regulations governing this profession, each state decides whether to pass laws requiring interior designers to meet certain standards before finding employment. In Vermont, such laws do not exist. A common industry standard to find entry-level employment will often include a bachelor’s degree, however, there are exceptions. Many employers may be willing to hire candidates with lesser degrees, as long as these candidates have at least two-to-three years of work experience within the trade.
A great way to improve your skillset and maximize your opportunities as an interior designer is to complete an internship or apprenticeship program. Additionally, you may decide to return to school to pursue a higher degree. Earning national certification is also an excellent addition to your resume. Pursuing any of these options will help you stand out amongst the competition and exemplify your passion and dedication to the craft.
Vermont Schools for Interior Designers
Completing a degree program will help fast-track your career. You may also decide to earn a degree in architecture, which is the closest alternative to a degree in interior design.
- Penn Foster College offers an associate’s degree program in interior design, which can be completed entirely online in just two years. Tuition is currently about $79 per credit hour, and the program requires completion of 67 credit hours. Penn Foster also runs frequent specials offering discounts on the cost of tuition.
- Vermont Technical College is located in the city of Randolph. The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering technology, which will take four years to complete. Tuition is currently about $14,000 per year.
National Certification for Interior Designers in Vermont
Most employers in the state of Vermont will not require you to have national certification. Choosing to earn this certification could lead to higher pay, or an increase in clientele if you will work as a freelance interior designer.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification is offered exclusively through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). This organization requires that you complete a bachelor’s degree program as well as two years of work experience, before you will be eligible to sit for this exam. Those who have completed degree programs which took less than four years of study, will be required to have at least two-to-three years of work experience in order to be eligible for this exam.
The first step to earning NCIDQ certification is to pay a $225 application fee. Next, you will need to register for each section of the exam individually. The exam sections 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, the IPDX carries a registration fee of $350 and the PRAC will require a registration fee of $455. You will receive NCIDQ certification when you have successfully completed all three sections of the exam process. To maintain this certification, you will also need to pay an annual fee of $75.
Those who have recently graduated a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, or 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 requires a $95 application fee, as well as the registration fee of $295. While completing this portion of the exam may help expedite your job search, 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
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) does not expect there to be a change in the job market for interior designers in Vermont during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Their data show that, in 2016, there were 100 interior designers working in this state, and this number will remain the same by 2026.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) presented data in 2017, which indicated that interior designers in Vermont earned an average of $24.17 per hour, or $50,270 per year. The top 10 percent of interior designers working in this state earned $76,370 during the same year.
Working as an Interior Designer in Vermont
Vermont cities like Westminster Station, Putney and Saxtons River are where some of the highest paid interior designers in this state can be found working.
Work will be available at architecture firms, where you will work side-by-side with architects to create buildings, homes and other structures. You may also work at a home furnishing retailer, where you may stage bathrooms, living rooms or bedrooms in a way that is the most appealing and attractive to customers. Interior designers can also be found working as freelancers, taking on a variety of projects. If you enjoy combining your technical skills with a passion for creativity, a career in interior design may be a great fit for you.