Interior designers need at least a high school diploma. In most provinces, designers also need to be certified by the provincial interior designers’ association.
The first step to becoming a certified designer is to complete an accredited college or university interior design program (either a 2 to 3-year diploma or a 4-year bachelor’s degree). Programs vary, but typically include instruction in the history of design, colour theory, lighting, sustainable design, drafting, computer-assisted design (CAD), and general business and marketing practices.
Next, you must acquire a certain amount of entry-level experience under the supervision of a fully qualified interior designer. Specific requirements vary by province, but approximately 6 or 7 years of combined education and work experience is generally needed. It’s a good idea to contact the interior designers’ association in your province for specific requirements.
The final step to becoming a fully certified interior designer is to write a certification exam. This exam is administered twice a year by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
If you are considering interior design, you should be a creative person with good design sense. You must be well-organized and able to coordinate many elements in the same project at the same time. It’s also important to have excellent people skills, since a designer’s reputation and success is developed in part by building good relationships with clients. Can you become an interior designer without a degree?