Interior designers in Nevada use their creative talents and design skills to make interior spaces functional and beautiful. Relying on their knowledge of building codes, safety issues, and hazards, they formulate spectacular design plans that help both businesses and individuals get the most out of their dwellings.
Although tasks can vary depending on the scope of the job or assignment, or on an interior designer's unique skills, common job duties include:
- Speaking with clients to get a feel for their desired feel, look, and functionality
- Brainstorming ideas to make the most of the space available
- Sketching preliminary design plans and making changes as needed
- Choosing materials and finishes with client approval
- Creating a budget based on the project goals
- Overseeing the project through various phases
- Ensuring client satisfaction with the final product
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most interior designers need a bachelor's degree to find entry-level work, although associate's degrees and graduate-level degrees are also available. Licensure requirements vary by state, although rules are stricter in states where the use of the title "interior designer" is tightly controlled.
In most of these states, interior designers must pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam after completing a bachelor's degree and two years of on-the-job experience.
Fast Facts for Interior Designers in Nevada
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, only 200 interior designers were employed in Nevada in 2014. These workers earned an annual mean wage of $52,080 that year, which works out to approximately $25.04 per hour. The following region employed all of these workers that year:
- Las Vegas - Paradise: 200
Because the field of interior design is expected to continue growing, more jobs may be on the way. According to U.S. Department Labor figures, employment for interior designers in Nevada could increase by as much as 7.9 percent through 2022.
Nevada Interior Designer Salaries
As noted above, interior designers in Nevada earned an annual mean wage of $52,080 in 2014. This figure puts Nevada close to the national annual mean wage for this profession, which was $54,850 that year.
Some industries paid interior designers higher salaries across the board, however. Here are the industries that paid these workers the highest wages in 2014 on a national level:
- Federal Executive Branch: $75,730
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers: $66,320
- Warehousing and Storage: $61,910
- Management of Companies and Enterprises: $60,640
- Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services: $59,940
Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity
Employment per 1,000 Residents
Annual Mean Wage in 2014
Las Vegas - Paradise
To learn more about the field of interior design and what to expect in these programs, we reached out to an interior designer who is heavily involved in interior design work and the industry as a whole. Please enjoy these expert responses from Tricia Huntley from Huntley & Co. Interior Design.
What are some of the unique issues interior designers face?
Residential interior designers face the challenge of maintaining a professional climate in an often intimate setting. We develop very personal relationships with our clients since we are in their homes and among their families. And for some clients, the design process is the one activity in their lives that centers around creativity and beauty; they may see it as "fun" for everyone. Because of this, designers need to set standards and maintain boundaries with their clients to reinforce the professional atmosphere. This is a business.
All interior designers, regardless of branch (residential, contract, hospitality), struggle with the lack of authority we are afforded by the general public and sometimes our clients. Most people do not understand how technical our work is or how valuable our expertise is to a project. This is not going to change and will probably become more prevalent. It is important for designers to have a script in place for how they will respond to nay-sayers and even more important for them to stand by their "billables". Our time and efforts add value and require appropriate compensation without argument.
How do you think this industry has changed in the last 10 years? How might it change in the next ten?
Clearly the biggest change in the last ten years has been the influence of the internet. It has been both a blessing and a curse to our industry. On the one hand, designers are able to source materials and furnishings from all over the world (sans plane ticket), making our projects more sophisticated and dynamic than ever before. The flipside of that benefit is that clients now have access to information formerly reserved for designers and architects without the skill set to apply it properly. I spend a lot of time these days explaining to clients why something they have seen online is not the right choice or would be a mistake. And this is often after a design has been approved and items already purchased. Time is wasted and parties on both sides get frustrated.
Interest in the profession will surely grow over the next ten years creating an even more saturated industry and fierce competition among designers. The need to set one's self apart will be critical. This should lead to more design degrees, continuing education credit coursework and other resume builders. And for those who are interested in launching their own firms, a strong business acumen will be imperative in an environment that will likely be more litigious than it is today. Another trend we may see develop is brand alignment -- - interior designers partnering with or contracting for architects, contractors, furniture companies, etc. Associating with a bigger, more established company can legitimize a small or independent firm in the industry and create job security.
Should students pursue a degree in interior design? Why or why not?
I believe strongly in the value of a degree. I have a master's degree in interior design from George Washington University as well as an undergraduate degree in photography and art history. I use the skills that I learned in these programs on a regular basis in my work and they are part of the reason I am really good at what I do. Every decision I make has a reason and is informed by a wealth of knowledge. It is commonly believed that anyone can become a designer and it's a profession one can pick-up without previous experience. The reality is that the design process is very technical and rife with pitfalls. For example:
- Do you know what the dimensional standards are for circulation in a floorplan?
- Do you know what chiaroscuro is and how to use it to balance an interior space?
- Did you consider the psychological impact of spatial changes when determining ceiling heights in adjacent
- Have you chosen a drapery fabric that will rot in direct sunlight?
- Did you account for the half-drop pattern repeat in your wallcovering yardage estimate?
These are five examples out of five million that can make a difference between a beautiful design and a costly mistake. Moreover, with all the appropriate "tools in your toolbox" you have the opportunity to be not a good designer, but a great one.
What should students look for in an interior design program?
Accreditation is, of course, the number one qualifier for a design program. Other things to consider are:
- Where is it located?
- Is there a strong design presence in the community?
Attending school in a thriving and affluent city means you will have better internship and post-graduate job opportunities. Does the curriculum focus on your area of interest? Some programs focus heavily on contract work or modern design, which is fine, but you should know that if you are interested in classical residential work before you apply.
Architecture should be a key part of the curriculum. The "envelope" is fundamental to design success, so all designers should have a strong, working knowledge of interior architecture. What are the credentials of the teachers? They should have a degree in their specialty and professional experience. It isn't part of every curriculum, but a professional practice course should be requisite for all students prior to graduation.
What is the greatest benefit of working in this industry?
Working with and among creative, talented people. It is incredible to see architects, millworkers, landscapers, decorative painters, etc. all come together and produce their best work for one transformative result.
- Interior Designers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/interior-designers.htm
- Interior Designers, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271025.htm
- Interview with Tricia Huntley from Huntley & Co. Interior Design, December 21, 2015, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nv.htm