Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States
"Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety, and aesthetics of interior spaces. Their main concerns are with how different colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and space work together to meet the needs of a building's occupants. Designers plan interior spaces of almost every type of building, including offices, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Good design can boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more relaxing hospital stay, or increase a building's market value.
"Traditionally, most interior designers focused on decorating—choosing a style and color palette and then selecting appropriate furniture, floor and window coverings, artwork, and lighting. However, an increasing number of designers are becoming involved in architectural detailing, such as crown molding and built-in bookshelves, and in planning layouts of buildings undergoing renovation, including helping to determine the location of windows, stairways, escalators, and walkways...."
First, the good news: Interior designers work in fairly comfortable surroundings (usually), and are paid to be creative.
Now, the bad news: Interior designers deal with deadlines, budgets, and clients who may or may not be all that reasonable. Or agree with the interior designer about what's "creative" and what's "crazy."
Still, it looks like nice work - if you can get it. That's another thing: A whole lot of very talented folks want to be interior designers. Which means that newcomers to the field will have a lot of company - and a finite number of clients.
Turns out that some states make interior designers get licenses. What the legislators are afraid of, I don't know: exposure to clashing colors, maybe.
- "Licensed to Design: Tennessee and Interior Designers"
(August 18, 2010)