Introduction Space for residential and commercial places is shrinking due to rapid urbanisation. This anomalous situation calls for professional help to make the living and working space more comfortable, beautiful and practical. Earlier, it was the task of an architect to do the entire exteriors along with the interiors of a house, office or any other functionally useful edifice. Now-a-days people have become more and more particular about the designs and the layout of the living or working area. This has led to an increasing requirement for professionals in interior designing. As an interior designer, you will be trained to design exclusive furniture artefacts and fittings besides learning managerial skills. With the help of a course in interior designing, you will come out with a professional designing solution that is efficient, eye-catching and at the same time safe. The basic job of an interior designer is to make optimal utilisation of available space. Further, you have to make the space more functional and in accordance with the taste and budget of the client. Besides visualising and conceptualising the designs for new structures, interior designers also plan the interiors of existing structures that are undergoing renovation or extension. Step-by-Step The popularity of interior designing as a discipline is not confined to urban cities but it has rapidly spread to small town and cities across the nation. This is largely because of the changing lifestyle of people and their want to customise their residence with the help of an expert who can understand their taste and preference. Numerous reputed institutions all over India are offering study programs in interior designing. The basic qualification to get into most of these programs is a 10+2. Moreover, you will also have to get through an entrance examination that judges your drawing and design skills. It is advisable to prepare a portfolio of your creative work and display it at the time of admission to these study programs. Architecture and design colleges generally offer study programs in interior designing. Most of these are diploma programs. You can also pursue an interior design course from a polytechnic or a private institution that provides specialisation in a particular area of interior designing. Furthermore, entry into this profession is also possible through other areas of study such as graduation in architecture, fine arts, design, environment planning or a post-graduate program in a similar field. Specialisation in a particular area of interior designing can be done depending on your choice. For example; you can excel in business design, residential design or landscape designing. You can further gain expertise for yourself in particular area of a building such as bedrooms, kitchens or baths. There is enormous demand for qualified interior designers in India. So to be professionally qualified from a reputed institution is a must. With professional qualification comes the assurance of a good job. And with adequate experience, you can start your own interior decoration business. Start Early The earliest you can start for a career in interior designing is 10+2. However, it is essential to have excellent drawing and designing skills to get into this job profile. Furthermore, if you have knowledge of decorative items, home improvement products and basics of architecture, then it becomes easier to follow this particular career path. Is it the Right Career for Me? The key ingredient to be a successful interior designer is client satisfaction. In this context, all you need is creative thinking, excellent communication skills, originality, good listening capability and a keen interest in transforming a simple place to a beautiful one by adding extra zing to it. If you think you have it in you, then this is the right career for you. An understanding of fashion, cultural preferences and good management skills are also equally important aspects expected for a career in the interior designing business. A professional course helps you to develop and polish these traits. What would it Cost Me? You can get into this profession at different levels of your academic life be it a 10+2 or a post-graduate program. However, most of the students generally opt for short and long term diploma courses. All these courses can cost you around Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000 roughly. Funding/Scholarship Different institutions offer scholarships to students from the weaker sections of the society, children of defence personnel and physically challenged candidates on the basis of merit. Job Prospects There is a scarcity of professional interior designers in our country. With more and more people willing to get their residence and working areas designed according to their taste, there has been a great demand for experienced interior designers. Employment prospects are plentiful and in various fields. Setting up your own business is also a very lucrative option in this industry. Pay Packet Some features that affect the pay packet of an interior designer are regional differences, name, repute, experience and demand. For beginners the salary can be around Rs 10,000. For experienced professionals the monthly pay cheque can vary from Rs 30, 000 to Rs 75,000. After gaining some experience, you can start up your own business. Self-employment is very profitable as when you become an established interior designer you can ask for the moon. Demand and Supply There is an imbalance between the demand and supply of professionals in this field. The demand for experienced interior designers is on a high in spite of the recent global economic slowdown that hit almost all sectors of the world economy. The increasing construction activity in urban areas and small towns has only added to the demand for these professionals. The demand for interior designers has surpassed the supply. Market Watch Market for interior designing in India is all set to absorb new and aspiring talent. Due to the rising significance of interior design, this profession has become one of the best ever emergent fields in India. Job opportunities are immense in both private and public sector for a qualified interior designer. Large architectural firms, building contractors, hotels and resorts are constantly on a look out for eligible professionals in this field. International Focus International markets are opening up for interior designers now. And if you are highly creative, have a good communication skills and advance knowledge in this field then you can also look to work with international firms. Positives/Negatives +ives The profession of interior designing is such that you can carry on consultancy activities independently with minimum investment. For hardworking people, name, fame and money is assured in this profession. There is a great probability to meet celebrities and well known people in your line of work. -ives Interior designing is a hectic and a very demanding profession. Many a times the working hours can become erratic and that too when deadlines are stiff. This profession involves both working at sites and in the office. You should be able to complete a task in a given time span with deadlines. Creativity is fine but you will have to do the needful for the client keeping their budget in mind. The initial years are really tough and you must not lose heart. You must not be disheartened by the fact that this profession has not yet received its due in the society. Different Roles, Different Names The different roles of interior designers are as follows: Teaching in a government or a private institute that offer courses in interior designing Being self-employed Employment in private or public sector firms Top Companies Work with top notch architects and architectural firms Work with renowned builders Hospitals and other medial facilities Town and city planning bureaus Hotels and health resorts Design studios and exhibition organisers Event management companies Innumerable public and private sector establishments Tips for Getting Hired It is advisable that you should have completed an internship or some sort of apprenticeship under the tutelage of an interior designer or a firm. You should acquire good knowledge of Auto CAD and other computer related programs which can help you give new dimensions to your career. Strong business skills, personal networking, as well as flair and perseverance are likely to impress prospective employers. Last, but not the least, it is essential to complete an interior designing course from a reputed institute.