Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Interior Designers in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for interior designers in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 1,550 working interior designers in Maryland; this should grow 19% to 1,850 working interior designers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for interior designers are expected to grow by about 19.4%. Interior designers generally plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.

Income for interior designers is about $25 per hour or $52,450 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,950 annually. Incomes for interior designers are better than in the overall category of Art and Design in Maryland, and not quite as good as the overall Art and Design category nationally. Jobs in this field include: residential designer, color and materials designer, and director of interiors.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as an interior designer. The most common level of education for interior designers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be an interior designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Interior Designer

Interior Designer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, interior designers plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. They also formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style.

Interior designers talk with clients to establish factors affecting planning interior environments, such as budget and function. They also advise clients on interior design factors such as space planning, layout and utilization of furnishings or equipment, and color coordination. Equally important, interior designers have to render layout concepts in form of paste-ups or drawings. They are often called upon to estimate material requirements and costs, and present layouts to clients for approval. They are expected to formulate environmental plans to be practical and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity or selling products. Finally, interior designers use computer-aided drafting (CAD) and related software to produce construction documents.

Every day, interior designers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to be creative and generate new ideas. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for interior designers to formulate and layout interior environments for boats and other enclosed spaces. Somewhat less frequently, interior designers are also expected to direct other professionals, such as contractors and plumbers, to insure job success.

They also have to be able to inspect and detail shop drawings for construction plans And finally, they sometimes have to render layout concepts in form of paste-ups or drawings.

Like many other jobs, interior designers must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Interior Designer Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated four students in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Interior Design which graduated five and six students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year program in Interior Design which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Interior Design which graduated fifty-three and nine students respectively in 2008.

Corcoran College of Art and Design - Washington, DC

Corcoran College of Art and Design, 500 Seventeenth St NW, Washington, DC 20006-4804. Corcoran College of Art and Design is a small college located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 943 students and an admission rate of 59%. Corcoran College of Art and Design has less than one year, associate's degree, and master's degree programs in Interior Design which graduated zero, three, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Interior Design which graduated eleven and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has an associate's degree program in Interior Design which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Westwood College-Annandale - Annandale, VA

Westwood College-Annandale, 7619 Little River Turnpike, 5th Floor, Annandale, VA 22003. Westwood College-Annandale is a small college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 362 students. Westwood College-Annandale has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design.

The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA

The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston - Arlington, VA

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston, 4300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22203. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 293 students. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston has a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design.

Maryland Institute College of Art - Baltimore, MD

Maryland Institute College of Art, 1300 Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217-4134. Maryland Institute College of Art is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,176 students and an admission rate of 52%. Maryland Institute College of Art has a one to two year and a bachelor's degree program in Interior Design which graduated sixteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Kitchen Designer: CKDs specialize in the design, planning and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Bath Designer: CBDs specialize in the design, planning and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and prove advanced knowledge of technical and personal communication skills required to succeed as a design specialist.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer: AKBDs are industry professionals with documented experience and education in the kitchen and bath industry.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Kitchen Educator : A Certified Kitchen Educator is a college instructor who specialize in teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Bathroom Educator: A Certified Bathroom Educator is a college instructors who specialize in teaching residential kitchen and/or bathroom design.

For more information, see the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.

Certified Decorator: A decorator at this level and for this designation prepares and finishes sweet baked goods for a commercial bakery.

For more information, see the Retail Bakers of America website.

LICENSES

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Licensing agency: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Address: Board of Interior Designers, 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: (410) 230-6259
Website: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Board of Interior Designers

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.