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Interior Design Courses

Knowing what typical interior design courses qualify you to do is important. Interior design courses in essence teach you to design the interior of a building. While this goes for the interior spaces it also means products. Interior spaces is not just the division of rooms, it would include the setup of a kitchen for example where the new trend has been to place a worktable in the centre of the kitchen to make the kitchen space more efficient.

When considering the various options for interior design courses there are many different types of interiors that you would focus on. For example:


The working space inside an open plan office or a factory or even a shop floor are not just about making the place look good, it is also about functionality. The space needs to be designed to accommodate the flow of work and in this case form definitely will follow the function.

Interior Design CoursesHomes

This is the most obvious category and many students see themselves designing elaborate wall hangings or furnishing vast dining rooms. Interior design courses have paid a lot of attention to the average home and making small spaces efficient since these will be your regular clients. Builders and architects in the construction business are looking for interior designers to make their limitations work.

Interior products

An interior product is essentially furniture. It is about making furniture aesthetically pleasing, making it more functional and useful in small spaces. An example would be an embedded headboard that incorporates a bookshelf and lamp stands. This frees up a lot of floor space that can be sliced off the blueprint saving building materials and space.
What will the course cover?

  • Interior design is not just about creativity, it is about combining that with a knowledge of construction.
  • Being able to present your ideas is key since you are working as part of a team. Interior design courses will teach you how to sketch an artist’s impression, construct models and presentation samples.
  • One of the most important aspects of your course is being able to effectively use interior design software (CAD).
  • The truth is that many interior designers start their own consultancies and you will find that some of the very best courses offer business skills.

Part time or full time

Embarking on a career in interior design may be something you decided to do right after leaving school and in this case your very best bet is to register for a three year diploma which offers the full spectrum of interior design including work opportunities to expose you to the market. Part time interior design courses are also available as a refresher course to currently qualified designers or for those looking for a career path change. These will cover each aspect one at a time and over a period of time give the student a broad base from which to work. No matter your needs you will be able to find a course that is as flexible as you are.

Interior Design Jobs

Interior design jobs vary in their situation and requirements. As an interior designer, there are many kinds of jobs available based on your speciality interest and experience.

Qualifications and experience

Many of the available interior design jobs will be looking for someone with either a three year diploma qualification or for someone who has completed the courses that qualify them for the specific requirements of the job. While many look for experience it is therefore important as a student to involve yourself in as many part time work opportunities as possible. It usually pays off when it comes to looking for full time work.


As a student studying you will be able to find work where you can exercise your skills on small projects that extend over short periods of time. You may be offered a daily rate up to as much as R1,000 or a rate for the entire project. These are usually once off jobs and the rate is not indicative of a full time salary. This type of work is exceptionally important as you enter the job market officially, giving you a wide range of experience as well as contactable references for prospective employers.

Starting your own business

Many interior decorators have resorted to forming partnerships in the industry as a way of determining their own salaries and creating their own interior design jobs. As consultants they have found that by marketing themselves and forming working relationships or even teams with individuals they have been able to tap into lucrative business openings. Since this is a widely accepted practice, many of the interior design courses that are on offer incorporate business skills as well as marketing into their curriculums.

What kind of salary and benefits can be expected?

According to a nationwide survey the salary range is fairly large with starting salaries sitting around R60,000 per annum (R5,000 per month) and going right up to R220,000 which is equivalent to over R18,000 a month). Interior design jobs very rarely offer commission based opportunities although they are usually offered an annual bonus equivalent to just less than 100% of the monthly salary. It is interesting to note that male designers form just 20% of the interior design work force.

It is not common practice to be offered a medical package or any other benefits when you are applying for interior design jobs. Those that do get offered a benefit usually have a medical aid benefit. This happens in only about 20% of the available jobs.

Get the edge over the competition

Being an interior designer you find that you become multi talented, able to take on after hours consulting work in addition to a full time job. It is common practice for those with interior design jobs to add some freelance work to their portfolio since the market is exceptionally competitive and this extra experience could be just what they need to get the next best job or land a top notch client.