14 Pros and Cons of Being an Interior Designer

Suppose you’re interested in starting a career that continuously challenges your creativity and allows you to work with a diverse clientele.

In that case, interior designing may be your ideal career path.

As an interior designer, you would assist clients in designing their spaces (e.g., office or apartment) to suit their needs, wants, and personal styles.

If working as an interior designer appeals to you, but you’re still unsure about this decision, keep reading!

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PROS of Becoming an Interior Designer

1. Using Your Creativity

One thing to know about interior design is that this is not a dull job.

Every client has a different vision for their space, and each project brings a new opportunity to test your creativity and use skills to fit the client’s needs and desires.

Once you advance in your career, you can become more selective with the clients and projects you take on and focus on the ones that interest you the most.

Additionally, the more you advance in your career, the more you can focus on your preferred niche.

For example, you can become a hospitality interior designer, a commercial interior designer, or a set designer.

2. Favorable Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 8,200 interior designer positions will open every year between 2021 and 2031.

These openings will result from previous workers leaving to change jobs or careers, relocate, or retire.

Over the last few decades, we’ve seen continual growth in the demand for interior designers.

3. Creating Your Career Path

Since interior designing has become a sought-after career, competition in this field is relatively high.

However, the offer seems to be as steady as the demand, meaning there are various categories from which to choose.

For example, some positions may offer internships, hands-on training, additional professional education, and more.

Additionally, let’s say you choose not to follow the traditional path of getting a college degree.

How can you become an interior designer, then?

As it turns out, not all employers look for a college degree as long as you have a strong portfolio that showcases your creativity and experience.

In other words, if you decide higher education is not the right path for you – due to personal or financial reasons – you can still make it in this field if you have a strong portfolio to back you.

4. Potential for a High Salary

One great thing about becoming an interior designer is the chance for a high annual salary. On average, interior designer salaries start at $30,000/year (on the lower end), with the median being $60,000/year.

By the time you reach junior level, you can average $22/hour.

After developing experience in the field, you may be able to advance to a higher salary by expanding your portfolio, building a network of clients, businesses, and vendors, and furthering your education.

5. The Chance to Choose Your Hours

This can depend on the company you work for or whether you own your own interior designing business.

Many companies offer flexible schedules, which workers can adjust to their needs and work styles.

For example, if you are not a morning person but rather work better in the afternoon, you may find a position that allows you to complete your work later in the day or work partly from home.

And then, there is the option of freelancing.

You can select your hours and clients if you go down this route.

As a freelancer, you will have the added responsibility of running the business.

However, you’ll also have the freedom to run the company in a way that best suits your skills, professional needs, and aspirations.

6. Diversity

As an interior designer, you will get the chance to work with a diverse clientele and collaborate with various professionals in your field.

Why is this important?

By working in a diverse profession, you will get the chance to learn from others in your field and build a network of people who share your passion.

Additionally, taking on clients whose views are unconventional and unique can help you hone your niche and find ways to adapt to challenging work situations.

7. Doing What You Love

While working as an interior designer has many benefits, one of the greatest is doing what you love.

With that said, working in interior design is not for everyone.

It requires a keen eye for detail, patience, and the willingness to work with various clients and associates who will not always share your vision.

If you’re passionate about rearranging spaces to suit a client’s needs, shopping for furniture and paint, and putting your creative skills to the test, then this may be the career for you.

CONS of Becoming an Interior Designer

1. Administrative Work

One downside to working as an interior designer is the administrative part.

While some may enjoy accounting and invoicing, it’s safe to say that most of us would rather have someone else do those things for us.

Since working as an interior designer can involve buying supplies and traveling, an essential part of the job is keeping track of the receipts, amounts spent, time put into the work, and miles traveled while working on the project.

This can often be time-consuming and exhausting.

2. Difficult Clients

It’s important to remember that you and your clients may not always see eye-to-eye.

This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or complications.

Not to mention, some may even try to lowball your payment in the contract negotiations.

When this happens, keep in mind that it is your job as the designer to respond professionally and attempt to resolve the situation in a way that satisfies the client, while also ensuring that you receive the proper compensation.

3. Working on Projects That Are Not Your Style

Working in interior design will allow you to challenge your imagination and put your skills to good use.

However, not all projects will fit your vision and style.

And sometimes, you will wonder how to create what the client has envisioned with the budget provided.

In moments like this, try to identify some elements of the project that you like.

4. Long Hours (Especially In The Beginning)

Starting work in a new field is usually stressful, and this is especially true for those who are in the early days of their career in interior design.

As a new interior designer, you will find yourself working more than a few late nights completing projects, communicating with clients, and performing tedious administrative duties like invoicing.

5. Overall Stress

One downside of this career is the stress.

As a designer, it’s your job to satisfy the client, and this is not always easy, especially when they don’t share your vision for the project.

On top of that, there is the pressure to make no mistakes, as some of them (e.g. the color of a furniture item that was bought) may not be as easily fixed as others.

And then there is the administrative part, which can include tedious activities that can take a while, especially in the beginning.

6. Working Within a Limited Budget

As a designer, your focus is to bring the client’s vision to fruition.

Unfortunately, sometimes the budget may not be enough, and turning a limited budget into a ‘Loaves and Fishes’ situation is not always possible.

In other words, you will encounter times when the client’s demands will surpass the allocated budget.

In situations like this, it is your responsibility to communicate honestly with the client, while also trying your best to find deals that fit within their vision and budget.

7. Advancing Takes Time

Like with most careers, the more you advance as an interior designer, the more perks you have.

One such perk, for example, is the option to choose your own clients.

But advancing may not be as simple as it sounds.

To be successful in this field, one must be able to create and maintain a solid and trusted network, continuously educate themselves through classes or conferences, put in overtime, and learn to work within a limited budget.

You will encounter stressful situations that may sometimes make you wonder if being an interior designer is worth it.

14 Pros and Cons of Being an Interior Designer – Summary Table

PROS of Becoming an Interior DesignerCONS of Becoming an Interior Designer
1. Using Your Creativity1. Administrative Work
2. Favorable Job Outlook2. Difficult Clients
3. Creating Your Career Path3. Working on Projects That Are Not Your Style
4. Potential for a High Salary4. Long Hours (Especially In The Beginning)
5. The Chance to Choose Your Hours5. Overall Stress
6. Diversity6. Working Within a Limited Budget
7. Doing What You Love7. Advancing Takes Time

On that note, let’s ask the real question:

Should You Become an Interior Designer?

Like with any other career, there are many pros and cons to becoming an interior designer.

But the question you must ask yourself is “Do the pros outweigh the cons?”

By following this career path, you may be doing what you love on a daily basis.

If you’re passionate about the idea of redesigning a house, office, or classroom, going furniture shopping, and working with a diverse clientele, this may be the right career for you.

However, working as an interior designer means more than just putting your creativity to the test.

It also involves project-related stress, client miscommunication, and working long hours, especially when you’re first getting started.

In conclusion, if you’re considering becoming an interior designer, compare the pros against the cons!

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