How to become an Interior Designer


Does walking into a well-designed home take your breath away? Can’t stand furniture that doesn’t match or conform to the latest style and fashion? Do you want to turn your passion for design into a career? If so, this guide is for you. Here, we will discuss the steps needed to become an interior designer in Australia and how to make sure that your business is a top success.

Step 1: Turn your passion into skills

The first step that aspiring interior designers need to undertake is to determine what qualifications they wish to get. You can either get a degree from an accredited university or a certificate from a private college. A degree typically takes three years, while certificates can be completed within one year. Whichever path you choose, make sure that it is accredited by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). This will ensure that your qualifications are recognised Australia wide. There is even a dedicated Interior Design Institute of Australia that has courses starting from under $50 a week.  


Step 2: Gather the right job experience

Once you have earned the necessary qualifications, it’s time to start collecting experience. While some client may hire inexperienced designers who have just earned their degrees or certificates, having some experience under your belt can set you apart from other businesses and increase your chances of getting hired. Consider interning at a design firm or collaborating with other experienced professionals on projects. Doing so will give you valuable experience and help build up your portfolio of work.  

Step 3: Develop your network

As your career takes shape, it’s important to develop relationships with professional organisations such as DIA and the Australian Institute of Interior Designers (AIID). Joining these industry groups will create networking opportunities with other professionals in the industry and provide access to job postings that may not be available elsewhere. Additionally, attending conferences and events hosted by these groups can help familiarise yourself with current trends and technologies used in the field which could give you an advantage over other consultants when applying for jobs.

Step 4: Establish your business

Now comes the fun part. You can use your creativity in design and apply it to the set-up of your business. Start by coming up with a cool name and brand identity. You can then register for an ABN, and GST if you expect to earn over $75,000 a year. You’ll need to open a business bank account to start keeping track of your income and expenses. Thriday is a great tool for interior designers, as it takes away the burden and time wasted on financial admin by automating banking, accounting and tax. You can sign up today and enjoy a free 30-day trial. To see how much time Thriday can save you on tax, take this quick tax quiz.

Step 5: Perfect your craft

Interior design is constantly evolving and there are always new trends and styles to keep up with. A good way to stay informed is to register with the Interior Designer Association (IDA). They provide regular communications, updates and have events you can tap into for the latest news in the industry. You will need to be familiar with Australian building codes and regulations and keep any eye on any new suppliers and manufacturers. Computer-aided design (CAD) software also continues to improve, and learning which tools are the best in the market can save your hours or make your business more profitable.

Becoming an interior designer in Australia is an increasingly popular career choice for those that want to work in the property industry, and it can lead to a rewarding career path filled with possibilities. The key is to earn the necessary qualifications, gather experience through internships or collaboration with more experienced professionals, and network with other professionals. Follow these steps, stay disciplined throughout your journey, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Becoming an interior designer is only a sliding door away.

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