SkillSET Blog
Advice For Pros · December 05, 2022 · AUTHOR: Stanley Bawalan

What Interior Designers Earn: Bank Checks to Valuable Experiences


Interior designers are an interesting lot. They're typically well-educated, artistic people who have a knack for interior design. But they don't make as much money as one might think—at least not right away. Here's what you need to know about how interior designers work and how much they can expect to earn over the course of their careers.

A creative field, interior design is one of those careers that you either love or would never even consider taking.

Interior design is a creative field, and one of those careers that you either love or would never even consider taking. If you are the type of person who loves a challenge, then maybe interior design is for you! 

Interior designers need to be able to work well with people and handle stressful situations while staying organized enough to meet deadlines.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect.

It's incredibly in demand: there are more than 700,000 interior designers in the U.S., and they're projected to account for more than $50 billion in sales by 2022.

Interior designers have to be able to solve problems creatively, think on their feet, work with clients and vendors and still manage to get their work done within budgets. And if you're thinking about becoming an interior designer, note that the average salary is $46k per year (according to Glassdoor).

Interior designer salaries vary greatly.

Interior designer salaries vary greatly. Pay depends on the location, experience, and education of the interior designer. It also depends on the employer, industry, and size of the company you work for. Designers in larger cities make more than designers in small towns. Designers working for large corporations earn more than those who work with independent retail businesses or small companies.

In addition to these factors, there are other ways that salaries can vary:

  • Type of work required

  • Type of business doing the hiring

The top 10% of interior designers make more than $101,000 a year.

This number will be different for every profession, but it's important to remember that the top 10% doesn't mean you're in the top 1%. The top 10% are likely to have a lot of experience and be working in a large firm, which means they've had opportunities to advance their career.

You may not make enough money right now to live comfortably on your own, but if you work hard at improving your skills and building an impressive portfolio, there's no reason why you can't end up in the top 10% someday!

Interior designers' salaries vary by experience and education level.

The more experience an interior designer has, the better their salary. This makes sense because they have a greater depth of knowledge and experience to offer clients.

Similarly, the higher level of education an interior designer has, the higher their salary will be. This is because with a master’s or doctoral degree in interior design comes increased specialization in knowledge and skills. 

It also demonstrates that you took the time to invest yourself in your field by learning more about it through formalized education programs and courses that teach new things every year.

The more specialized your skill set is as an interior designer (i.e., working only with commercial properties), the higher your salary will typically be than if you worked primarily on residential projects (i.e., designing homes).

Interior designers who are self-employed will make more money than those working for an employer.

If you’re an interior designer who is self-employed, you will make more money than someone working at a company. Self-employed interior designers are in control of their own schedules and can choose to work on projects they find more interesting and enjoyable. However, this also means that they have to do all the work themselves; there is no one else to help them out with anything.

If you're interested in becoming a self-employed interior designer, then go into business for yourself! You can start by setting up your own website and putting together some promotional materials (such as business cards). Then ask friends or family members if they know any clients who need an interior design service like yours. Finally, once people start hiring you for jobs, start charging them accordingly—you'll be surprised how easy it can be once you get started!


There are a number of factors that can determine how much money prospective interior designers can expect to make at the outset of their careers. Experience, geographic location, and education are all factors in how much grads can expect to earn. Because interior design is an artistic field, an individual designer's personality and skill set can affect his or her salary as well. So while statistics can be helpful in making the most educated decisions when entering a new field, they shouldn't be viewed as the final word by any means.

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