If you've got a flair for designing spaces, consider becoming a professional home designer. You'll get paid to do what you love and your clients will be grateful for your work to bring style to their homes. Follow these steps to get started on your path to become a professional home designer.
Get certified. Although most states do not govern professional home designers or make them possess a license, you will still want to prove your qualifications to clients. You can do this by applying for your National Council of Building Designers certification. You'll need to study for this certification and pass the test that ensures you meet the level of standards recognized by professional home designers around the globe.
Get experience. Paid or unpaid, experience is what is going to get your foot in the door in the competitive industry of professional home design. Apply to local home design firms and if you're lucky, you'll secure a paid position there. Take advantage of the expertise of your co-workers, and learn the elements of the construction trade. Even if you don't have any jobs of your own secured, you can still tag along with the pros to learn all the details of the job. This will be critical knowledge for you to have in order to truly become a professional home designer.
Understand the technical side. Far from the days of hand calculations, much of the work of a professional home designer can be done using home design software. Experiment with a few different programs until you find the home design software that you prefer. It will save you time with calculations, and will help you to make fewer errors.
Have your portfolio ready. To become a professional home designer, you'll need to have more than just a résumé ready. A portfolio is what will truly showcase your ability as a professional home designer. It should lay out your education, experience, specialties, and past related experience. If you don't have any pictures of your past work, at least include sketches that illustrate your talent as a professional home designer. If you can, include names and references from previous clients so that interested customers can contact them.
Get your name out there. The best approach to becoming a successful home designer is to become well-known in the industry. Do this by networking with as many home designers as you can. The more people who know about you and your skills, the more likely you are to succeed as a professional home designer.
Now you're on your way to becoming a professional home designer. Don't forget to keep your skills sharp by taking continuing education classes in design from time to time.