Working as an interior designer is rewarding, allows for creativity and gives you the chance to enjoy job stability and a steady, good income. To become an interior designer in Canada, you will need to earn a degree, get work experience through an internship and pass certification exams.
What is an Interior Designer?
An interior designer is a professional who designs functional, safe and attractive interior spaces in homes, businesses and industrial buildings. They work with clients to design and craft a space that meets their needs and budgets. They create models using computer software and may revise designs based on feedback. Designers spend time in an office developing designs, meeting with clients, and on building sites.
Why Should I Become an Interior Designer?
There are several good reasons to get into this career. It’s a great option if you enjoy being creative and like art and design. This is a career in which you will work independently some of the time but also collaborate and work with other people.
Interior design will also provide a stable career and a good income. Across Canada, there is expected to be a shortage in qualified designers. Ontario is expected to see very good growth in positions available. Throughout Canada, the median hourly wage for interior designers is $21.00, while the top earners make $34.62 per hour. In Ontario and around Toronto, those rates are just a little bit lower.
Start with an Education
According to Interior Design Canada (IDC), there are three steps to becoming an interior designer: education, experience and examination. All provinces except Quebec require that you complete a four-year degree program as your first step.
Choose a program that is approved by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the organization that sets the standards for interior design programs throughout North America. You can search the CIDA website to find an accredited program in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and most U.S. states.
Participate in an Internship
The second step to a career in interior design is to get some real-world work experience. Most programs include this as part of the coursework, but you can also set up your own internship. The requirements are that you work with a supervisor who is registered with their provincial design association, a licensed architect or holds National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification.
Pass the Certification Exam and Get Registered
Finally, you’ll be ready to work as an independent interior designer once you pass the NCIDQ certification exam. The exam is administered by the Council for interior Design Qualification and includes three parts: Fundamentals Exam, Professional Exam and Practicum Exam.
Once you have passed the certification exam, you can join your province’s interior design association. Registration with this group is necessary for you to begin working independently.
The path to becoming an interior designer can take a few years, but it leads to a great creative career. If you love creating things and working with people to craft beautiful, useful spaces, this may be your dream career.