Interior Decorator: Job & Career Information

Jan 27, 2023

Career Definition for an Interior Decorator

A career in interior decoration involves consulting with clients to make sure that the clients' residential or office spaces are decorated the way they want and ensuring that the decoration plans are realistic and can be executed. Interior decorators carry out the decoration plans and work with other professionals like builders, furniture salespeople or painters to finish the decorating job. Interior decorators can work in any region of the country where they can find clients.

Education Associate degree in interior decoration (optional, but preferred by employers)
Job Skills Active listening, comprehensive knowledge of color schemes and fabric textures
Mean Annual Salary (May 2021)* $62,570 (interior designers)
Job Outlook (2021-2031)* 1% (interior designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A degree is not needed to work as an interior decorator, but an associate degree is useful in finding a job. The degree will provide a solid background in interior decoration and usually takes about two years to obtain. Courses in interior design, color schemes, sales, business ethics and project management provide the knowledge needed to be a successful interior decorator.

Skills Needed

Interior decorators need to be active listeners so that they fully understand what the client wants. They must also have a firm understanding of color schemes and different fabric textures and should be up to date on furniture design and interior decoration trends.

Career and Economic Outlook

Income for interior decorators varies greatly depending on their experience and skill level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median yearly salary of interior designers, which includes interior decorators, as $60,340 in May 2021. Additionally, the BLS reported that interior designers would decline by 1% from 2021-2031. Interior decorators can work in any urban or residential areas where building owners or residential customers want professional decorating help.

Alternate Career Options

Set and Exhibit Designer

Often earning bachelor's degrees in set or scenic design, these designers create sets for productions in movies, television and the theater, in addition to designing displays in museums. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for these professionals in 2021 was $54,860, and that they were expected to see a 5% increase in employment from 2021-2031.

Floral Designer

With an eye for color and style, floral designers can enter the profession with no postsecondary education and learn their skills on the job. However, since the BLS anticipated a 21% decline in jobs for floral designers from 2021-2031, those with formal training may have an edge. Jobs in grocery store floral departments were expected to increase during that same time. The BLS reported that floral designers earned a median salary of $29,880 in 2021.

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