Interior Design Career Outlook
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Employment change. Employment of interior designers is expected to grow 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. An increasing interest in interior design and awareness of its benefits will increase demand for designers. As businesses realize the improvements that can be made to worker and customer satisfaction through good design, they will use interior designers to redesign their offices and stores.
Homeowners are increasingly using the services of interior designers when they plan new additions, remodel aging kitchens and bathrooms, and update the general décor of their home. Many homeowners also have requested design help in creating year-round outdoor living spaces and home theater systems.
Demand for interior design services from the healthcare industry is expected to be high because of an anticipated increase in demand for facilities that will accommodate the aging population. Designers will be needed to make these facilities as comfortable and homelike as possible for patients. There will also be demand from businesses in the hospitality industry—hotels, resorts, and restaurants—where good design work can help attract more business.
Some interior designers choose to specialize in one design element to create a niche for themselves in an increasingly competitive market. The demand for kitchen and bath design is growing in response to the growing demand for home remodeling. Designs using the latest technology in, for example, home theaters, state-of-the-art conference facilities, and security systems are expected to be especially popular. In addition, demand for home spas, indoor gardens, and outdoor living space should continue to increase.
Extensive knowledge of ergonomics and green design are expected to be in demand. Ergonomic design has gained in popularity with the growth in the elderly population and workplace safety requirements. The public’s growing awareness of environmental quality and the growing number of individuals with allergies and asthma are expected to increase the demand for green design.
Job prospects. Interior designers are expected to face keen competition for available positions because many talented individuals are attracted to this profession. Individuals with little or no formal training in interior design, as well as those lacking creativity and perseverance, will find it very difficult to establish and maintain a career in this occupation. Designers with formal training or experience in green or energy efficient-design in particular are expected to have better job prospects due to increased interest in this area.
As the economy grows, more private businesses and consumers will request the services of interior designers. However, design services are considered a luxury expense and may be subject to fluctuations in the economy. For example, decreases in consumer and business income and spending caused by a slow economy can have a detrimental effect on employment of interior designers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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