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

If you have a high school diploma or GED, you can enroll in an interior design program such as the ones below:

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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    How Will You Benefit?

    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.

    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.

    What Will You Learn?

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

    • Introduction to Residential Interior Design
      • Career Exploration in Residential Interior Design
      • Basic Principles of Residential Design Projects
      • Steps to Launching Your Own Design Business
      • Skill Development in Conceptualizing and Floor Planning
    • Core Design Elements
      • Understanding the Elements of Design: Materials, Color, Textiles
      • Fundamentals of Space Planning
      • Essentials of Lighting
      • Incorporating Accents and Accessories
    • Historical Context and Styles
      • History of Styles and Furnishings, Part I: From Prehistoric to the Middle Ages
      • History of Styles and Furnishings, Part II: Renaissance through the 20th Century
      • History of Styles and Furnishings, Part III: Modernism and Global Influences
      • Comprehensive Overview of Design Movements Through History
    • Professional Practices in Interior Design
      • The Role and Work of a Residential Interior Designer
      • Industry Regulations and Standards
      • Practical Application: Integrating Theory with Real-World Design

    Average Salary Range

    According to the BLS, local wages are as follows:

    Area Hourly Annual
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy $33.14 $68,940.00
    Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls $30.77 $64,000.00
    Capital/Northern New York $28.96 $60,230.00
    Central East New York $28.64 $59,570.00
    Kingston $32.33 $67,240.00
    New York-Newark-Jersey City $36.41 $75,730.00
    Rochester $28.59 $59,470.00
    Syracuse $31.95 $66,460.00

    Occupation: Interior Designers (SOC Code271025)

    Illinois Requirements

    According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, to become a Registered Interior Designer, you must have at least 2 years of education, and 4 years of work experience as an intern or in an entry-level position.

    Details are available on the official application form.

    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.

    Job Description

    What Do They Do?

    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.

    Job Duties

    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.

    Sponsored Search