Interior design is a great career path where you can use your creative abilities to transform spaces.
Using your creative process and knowledge of architecture, designs, textiles, colors, and more, you can take a boring space and make it something truly special for yourself or for a client.
The requirements and licensing rules for interior designers are different in every state.
Illinois has its own rules about interior designers and how they can work.
Ultimately, it is important to choose an interior design program that fits your needs and teaches you what you need to know to become an interior designer.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Illinois Requirements for Interior Designers
- 2 5 Interior Design Schools in Illinois
- 3 Salary for Interior Designers in Illinois
- 4 Sources
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Illinois Requirements for Interior Designers
Each state has different requirements for interior designers and their licenses.
In the state of Illinois, there are no requirements for calling yourself an interior designer.
However, in order to be a registered interior designer, you will need to have at least an associate’s degree in interior design and four years of experience.
These four years of experience can be in an internship or in an entry-level role.
If you have a higher level of degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, the time of your internship or other entry-level experience is not as long.
After you have completed these requirements, you can sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ).
This exam gives you an interior design license.
Although you do not technically need a license to practice interior design in Illinois, a license will help you get higher-profile jobs, and it will increase your salary in the long run.
5 Interior Design Schools in Illinois
Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University has an accredited interior design program at their Carbondale campus.
It is the oldest accredited program in the country.
The interior design program is part of the larger School of Architecture.
They have a bachelor’s degree program that you can choose to complete in either three years (80 credit hours) or four years (120 credit hours), depending on how big you want your course load to be.
Tuition for Southern Illinois University is about $16,000 for one year, plus room and board fees if you live on campus.
Illinois State University
Illinois State University is located in Normal, Illinois, and offers an interior design major.
This means you can get your bachelor’s degree in interior design.
The program is accredited by the Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), and both the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees qualify you to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, which puts you one step closer to getting your license.
The program is four years long.
Tuition at Illinois State University is a little under $16,000 for one year, plus room and board fees if you live on campus.
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College in Chicago has an interior design program that has a different name: interior architecture.
It is a bachelor of fine arts degree that takes 4 years to complete.
You will be using both manual and digital project work to learn how to work with interior spaces.
Research and design are also included in this program.
Tuition for Columbia College Chicago is approximately $16,000 for the year.
You will need to also account for room and board costs if you plan to live on campus.
College of DuPage
The College of DuPage is located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and offers an associate’s degree in interior design.
They also offer a few specialized certificates for interior designers: kitchen and bath design, advanced lighting design, and advanced computer-aided drafting.
Tuition is about $138 per credit hour, totaling around $9,660 for the associate’s degree, which is 70 credit hours.
Olivet Nazarene University
Olivet Nazarene University is a private university located in Bourbonnais.
They offer a four-year degree for a bachelor of science in interior design.
Each year, Olivet students work with local clients and compete in the Ugly Kitchen Contest.
It is a unique way to gain experience.
Tuition is a little under $19,000 for the year, not including room and board.
Interior Design Schools in Illinois – Summary Table
|Southern Illinois University||1263 Lincoln Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901|
|Illinois State University||100 N University St, Normal, IL 61761|
|Columbia College Chicago||600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605|
|College of DuPage||425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137|
|Olivet Nazarene University||1 University Ave, Bourbonnais, IL 60914|
Salary for Interior Designers in Illinois
The average salary for interior designers in Illinois is $53,000.
If you are just starting out in an entry-level position in interior design, you can expect to make around $27,000.
Highly-paid interior designers can make as much as $80,000, and more if they have prestigious clients.
After working your way up the ladder, you can expect to make around $50,000-60,000 a year.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any annual fees for holding my interior design license?
Yes, there is an annual fee.
Learn the current rates here.
What do I need to do to get my interior design license?
To get your interior design license, you will need to complete at least an associate’s program in interior design and have adequate experience to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.
After passing the exam, you can apply for your Illinois Interior Design License.
Is there any continuing education that is needed to keep my interior design license?
You will need to take 12 hours of continuing education courses every two years to keep your interior design license.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Certified Interior Designer