How Much Do Interior Design Make? A Complete Salary Guide

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How Much Do Interior Design Make? It’s a question that many aspiring designers and homeowners alike ponder. According to recent statistics, the average annual salary for an interior designer in the U.S. is around $56,040. However, this figure can vary widely based on factors like location, experience, and specialization. If you’re considering a career in interior design or simply curious about the financial prospects in this creative field, you’re in the right place. Dive into our comprehensive salary guide to get all the insights.

What Factors Influence an Interior Designer’s Salary?

Ever wondered, “How Much Do Interior Design Make?” Well, it’s not as straightforward as one might think. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and several factors come into play.

Location and Cost of Living

Urban Loft Interior

The city or state where an interior designer works can significantly impact their paycheck. For instance, designers in bustling urban areas like New York or San Francisco might earn more than their counterparts in rural regions. Why? It’s all about the cost of living. A designer’s salary often reflects the economic dynamics of their location. For some real numbers, check out Indeed’s breakdown of salaries in New Jersey.

Experience and Education

Just starting in the interior design world? Expect an entry-level salary. But don’t fret! As you gain experience and perhaps further your education, those numbers can climb. Remember, every design project you complete or course you take adds value to your portfolio and, by extension, your earning potential.

Specialization within Interior Design

Luxury Residential Project

Not all interior design jobs are created equal. Specializing in areas like commercial design or luxury residential projects can lead to heftier paychecks. Think of it as choosing a major in college; some fields simply pay more than others.

Type of Employer or Client Base

Freelancing might offer flexibility, but working for a renowned design firm could mean a more consistent income. Similarly, having high-end clients or commercial contracts often translates to higher fees. It’s all about finding the right balance for your career goals and financial needs.

Average Salary Range for Interior Designers

So, with all these factors in mind, what’s the average salary range for interior designers?

Entry-Level Salaries

Fresh out of design school or just starting your journey? Entry-level interior designers can expect an average annual salary of around $40,000. But remember, this is just the beginning. As per, these figures can vary based on several factors.

Mid-Level and Experienced Designer Salaries

With a few years under your belt, you can anticipate a considerable jump in your earnings. Mid-level designers often earn between $50,000 to $70,000, depending on their expertise and location.

Top-Tier and Celebrity Designer Earnings

Ever dreamt of becoming the next big thing in interior design? Top-tier designers, especially those with celebrity clientele, can command salaries well into the six figures. It’s a testament to the blend of artistry and business acumen that the profession demands.

For more insights and design tips, don’t forget to check out our home decor and interior design ideas.

How Much Do Interior Design Make Across Different States?

Ah, the age-old question: “How Much Do Interior Design Make?” Well, let’s break it down by location, shall we? After all, just like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location!

Highest Paying States for Interior Designers

Ever thought of packing your bags and moving to a state where your design skills might fetch you a heftier paycheck? According to Forbes, states like New York, California, and Massachusetts lead the pack. So, if you’re dreaming of big city lights and even bigger paychecks, you might want to consider these destinations.

States with Average Pay

Not every designer is chasing the highest dollar. Some states offer a comfortable living without the hustle and bustle of the big cities. Think places like Texas, Florida, and Illinois. They offer a balanced blend of opportunity and lifestyle.

States Where Interior Designers Earn Less

On the flip side, states like Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi might not be the gold mines for interior designers. But hey, lower salaries often come with a lower cost of living. Plus, there’s something to be said about the charm of designing in less saturated markets.

Comparing Salaries: Freelancers vs. Agency Employed Designers

The world of interior design isn’t just about where you work, but also how you work. Let’s dive into the freelance vs. agency debate.

Pros and Cons of Freelancing in Interior Design

Freelancing offers flexibility. Want to work in your PJs? No problem! But with great freedom comes great responsibility. As a freelancer, you’re your own boss, marketer, accountant, and more. While the earning potential can be limitless, it’s also unpredictable. For a deeper dive into the world of freelancing, our guide on purchasing a garage door might not be directly related, but it offers insights into the freelance mindset. (Trust us, there’s a connection!)

Benefits of Working for an Agency or Firm

Stability. Benefits. A team. Working for an agency or design firm comes with its perks. Not to mention, a consistent paycheck. According to, agency-employed designers often have a clear growth trajectory and can negotiate better deals with suppliers.

The Role of Education and Certifications in Salary Negotiations

When pondering the question, “How Much Do Interior Design Make?”, it’s essential to consider the role of education and certifications. After all, in the world of design, knowledge isn’t just power—it’s potential income!

Importance of Formal Education in Interior Design

While talent can be innate, the nuances of design often come from formal education. Interior design schools offer a deep dive into the world of colors, textures, and spaces. Graduating from a reputable institution can not only sharpen your skills but also give you a leg up in salary negotiations. As they say, knowledge is currency, and in this case, it’s literal!

Certifications and Their Impact on Earning Potential

Beyond formal education, certifications can be the cherry on top of your design resume. Think of them as badges of honor, showcasing your expertise in specific areas. Whether it’s sustainable design or ergonomics, certifications can significantly boost your market value. For a deeper dive into the world of design education, check out this insightful piece from NEIT.

Future Trends: What’s Next for Interior Designer Salaries?

Virtual Reality Interior Design Visualization

Trends Implications on Salaries
Technology Integration Designers skilled in tech earn higher salaries
Sustainable Designs Demand for eco-friendly designs boosts earnings
Virtual Design Solutions Proficiency in virtual design leads to higher pay

The design world is ever-evolving, and so are the paychecks! Let’s gaze into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for interior designer salaries.

Impact of Technology and Virtual Design

Virtual reality, 3D modeling, and AI-driven design tools are no longer the stuff of sci-fi. They’re here, and they’re revolutionizing the design world. Designers adept at these technologies can command higher salaries, as they bring a unique blend of creativity and tech-savviness to the table. For more on how technology is shaping the industry, our guide on understanding HVAC systems offers a tangential look at tech’s influence.

The Evolving Market Demand and Its Implications

With more people valuing well-designed spaces (thanks, Instagram!), the demand for skilled interior designers is on the rise. Moreover, as sustainable and ergonomic designs gain traction, designers specializing in these areas can expect a bump in their earnings. Curious about the evolving market trends? Indeed’s career advice section offers some juicy tidbits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Interior Design Make on average?

On average, interior designers in the U.S. make around $56,040 annually.

Does location affect an interior designer’s salary?

Yes, location significantly influences how much interior designers earn, with salaries varying across states and cities.

How does experience impact an interior designer’s earnings?

Experience plays a pivotal role. As designers gain more experience, their earning potential typically increases.

Are there specializations within interior design that pay more?

Absolutely. Specializations like commercial design or luxury residential design often command higher salaries.

Do freelance interior designers earn differently than those in firms?

Freelance designers might have variable earnings based on projects, while those in firms might have more stable salaries.

How do certifications affect an interior designer’s salary?

Certifications can boost a designer’s credibility and, in turn, their earning potential.

Is the demand for interior designers expected to grow?

Yes, with evolving design trends and increased real estate activity, the demand for skilled interior designers is expected to rise.


Understanding How Much Do Interior Design Make is crucial for both budding designers and those looking to hire their services. With a myriad of factors influencing earnings, it’s essential to stay informed and updated. Whether you’re charting out a career path or budgeting for a home makeover, having a clear picture of the financial landscape in interior design can guide your decisions.

Thank you for reading!