Interior Designer in IL

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How to Become an Interior Designer in Illinois

If you want to use your creativity to help others, then the role of an interior designer may be ideal for you.

Education & Training

In order to work as a registered interior designer in the state of Illinois, you will need to meet a certain level of education and training. Aspiring individuals will need to first obtain their high school diploma or GED.

Then, they will want to enroll in an interior design program such as the ones below:

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    How Long Does It Take?

    The online programs above can take 6 months or less as they are self paced.  Those pursuing an associate degree can often finish in 2 years, while a bachelor’s degree will often take around 4 years to complete.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    About $2200 for the online courses above.  Those opting to get an associate degree may be able to finish school for under $10,000, while attending some major universities for a bachelor’s degree may cost around $16,000 per year.  The truth is, it can differ depending on which school you choose or what type of degree you’re getting.

    Program Options

    In Illinois, the minimum amount of education you will need to achieve is a two-year associate degree, while getting an additional four years of experience with an internship or entry-level job. Those who obtain a bachelor’s degree will only need two years of interning or entry-level work to be able to qualify as a registered interior designer in the state.

    Required Coursework

    Classes and topics that you can cover while earning your interior design degree are:

    • Visual Language and Interior Design
    • History of Style
    • Design Styles
    • Lighting
    • Space Planning
    • Color
    • Interior Finishes
    • Furniture, Art, and Accessories
    • Working with Clients

    Earning a Certification

    designer society of america logo

    The courses above are designed to prep students for the Designer Society of America’s Residential Interior Designer certification exam.

    Illinois Interior Designer Requirements

    Attending a two-year or four-year interior designer program in the state of IL will be mandatory if you wish to start a career in the field.

    The state of Illinois has several requirements you will need to meet in order to work in the state. The minimum amount of education you will need is an associate degree, followed by four years of work experience as an intern or in an entry-level position.

    You can instead get a four-year degree while only needing two years of interning or work experience.

    Obtaining Your License


    Once you have the mandatory six years, you will be able to take the Council for Interior Design (CIDQ) exam. After passing, you will be able to get your interior design license.

    Interior Designer Salaries in IL

    The role of an interior designer can be a creative as well as profitable endeavor.

    The annual salary depends on factors like region, experience, and whether or not you work for a company or are self-employed.

    Some salaries you may be able to make in the state of Illinois are as follows:

    Area Name Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
    Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $33.22 $69,100.00
    Rockford $22.82 $47,470.00
    Springfield $28.36 $58,990.00

    Occupation:Interior Designers (SOC Code271025)

    Job Description

    An interior designer creates spaces that are safe, attractive, and functional. They use different colors, materials, home furnishings, and lighting to develop a cohesive look that matches their client’s desires. These workers must be able to draw, edit, and ready blueprints. They must also know building codes, accessibility standards, and regulations for inspection.

    What Do They Do?

    Interior designers can be responsible for the following tasks:

    • Working with clients to determine project requirements
    • Thinking about how the space will be used
    • Sketching plans for the design
    • Choosing materials, colors, and furnishings
    • Creating a timeline and budget
    • Placing orders for materials
    • Overseeing the installation of certain design elements
    • Coordinating with building contractors
    • Visiting the project site after project to make sure client is satisfied
    • Searching for and bidding on new projects

    Career Outlook

    Experts predict that interior design jobs will continue to increase over the next several years. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designer jobs will likely rise by about one percent from 2021-2031. This will add around 8k jobs per year across the country, which will mean more interior designer jobs in Illinois for those who are qualified.

    Positions for interior designers will grow because of several different reasons. Older workers are going to retire, and some interior designers will leave the field for different roles, opening jobs for newer workers. The interior design industry will also need more workers due to homeowners and companies wanting these workers to design safe, functional spaces that are up to code with the changing regulations.

    Search Certified Residential Interior Designer Programs

    Get information on Certified Residential Interior Designer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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