We've recently updated our service. Because of this, you'll need to reset your password to log in. It's quick and easy!Reset Password

Interior designer

Create the look for rooms in homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and shops so they are attractive places to live and work.

About skillsGetting in

About the job


Source: National Careers Service



Entry level





Entry level





Entry level




people are currently employed

High growth

200 more jobs in 5 years

These figures refer to this job and similar ones with comparable skills and qualifications. They only apply to Scotland. Source: Oxford Economics

A day in the life — interior designer

What it's like

You would plan and supervise the decoration of people’s homes, offices, hotels, shops and restaurants so they are attractive places to live and work.

It would be your job to come up with designs for the inside of buildings. You’d ask your clients what they’re going to use the room for and create a scheme that is practical as well as beautiful.

You would:

  • Meet clients to discuss their requirements and ideas

  • Develop designs to suit clients' needs, their budget and the type of building

  • Prepare initial sketches or models for the client to approve

  • Advise on colour schemes, fabrics, fittings and furniture

  • Work out costs and prepare estimates

  • Create detailed drawings from the initial sketches, usually using computer-aided design (CAD)

  • Find fittings, furniture, fabrics, and wall and floor coverings

The client may ask you to recommend or hire people to carry out the work on site.

If so, then you’d contact the necessary people, explain the requirements and schedule the work. You’d need to organise deliveries of the materials and supervise the progress of the work, sorting out unforeseen problems.

As well as being creative and artistic, you will also need to make sure you are organised and aware of building and safety regulations.


You may need to work long, irregular hours, which could include evenings and weekends.


You will usually be based in a studio, but will also spend a lot of time visiting clients and sites. As a freelance designer, you may work from home, share offices or rent a studio.


You will spend a lot of time visiting clients and sites.

Explore more information about this job

Here are some useful links to learn more about this career:

Other careers that you might like

  • Costume designer
  • Fashion designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Jewellery designer
  • Product designer
  • Set designer
  • Textile designer
Browse all job profiles

Related industries

Many jobs can be done in lots of different industries. We've highlighted the ones we think are most important for this job.

  • Digital technologies
  • Creative
View all industries

Top skills

Skills are things you're good at. Whether you know what yours are or not, everyone has them!

It's useful to learn which ones are important in a job so you know the areas you need to brush up on. It can also help you work out if you're suited to a career.

Here are some of the skills you'll need to do this job:

  • problem solving
  • creative
  • designing
  • researching
  • verbal communication
  • attention to detail
  • developing a plan
  • making decisions

Your skills are important

Our unique skillsets are what make us stand out from the crowd. Learn about each skill in depth and discover what employers look for in your applications and interviews.

Discover skills

Getting in

Explore the sections shown for more information about getting into this career.

You might have qualifications which are not shown here but will allow you access to a course. You can compare your qualifications by looking at their SCQF Level. For more information about this, check out the SCQF website.

Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Colleges and universities will list subjects you'll need for entry to a course. Some useful subjects include:

  • Art and Design

  • Design and Manufacture

  • Graphic Communication

  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Creative and Digital Media

You can get a head start in this career by doing a Foundation Apprenticeship in S5 and S6.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification which is the same level as a Higher. You'll also learn new skills and gain valuable experience in a work environment.

Discover what's on offer at your school on  Apprenticeships.scot.

Most interior designers have a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Interior Design, 3D Design or Art and Design.

You can enter some Interior Design, Art and Design or 3D Design National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF level 5) with no formal qualifications but most courses require National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCFQ level 9/10) requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

A portfolio of your work when applying to courses and to jobs.

Explore over 22,000 courses in Scotland

Find the perfect course to boost your career.

View all courses

Search jobs and apprenticeships

View work opportunities