If you have a creative streak and a passion for decoration and design, you can channel your artistic talents into a paying career.
Becoming an interior designer in Iowa will require some determination.
However, you will succeed if you learn from qualified instructors and stay open-minded about local opportunities available to you.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 States Requirements for Interior Designers
- 2 5 Interior Design Schools in Iowa
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
States Requirements for Interior Designers
The Iowa State Licensing Bureau may require anyone who aspires to practice interior design in this location to have a license.
However, you can check with your instructors to find out what the most current regulations are if you are not sure.
The state also has a registration examination reciprocity program that accommodates persons who earned an Interior Design Certificate in another state.
Iowa interior design certification licenses may cost between $275-$300, and you have to renew them at least once every two years.
Before you apply for one, however, you must pass all sections of the National Council Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, but that is not all.
You must gain a minimum of two years of experience and education before you take the NCIDQ exam.
However, you can earn and learn at the same time while working with a licensed interior designer who would supervise you.
While working, you may perform many of the same duties but cannot use the “Interior Designer” title unless you have completed all licensing requirements.
5 Interior Design Schools in Iowa
The best Iowa interior design schools will offer courses in art history, furniture design, space planning, and material selection.
You will also want to make sure the school has a good reputation and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Make sure the NCIDQ board also approves of your training track.
University of Northern Iowa
The University of Northern Iowa offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in interior design or art and technology.
Students who enroll here practice with industry-standard drafting and rendering software to prepare for a successful interior design career.
This school has a rigorous vetting process, which may include a portfolio review after about a year of experience.
Iowa State University
Iowa State graduates become equipped to work in a variety of industries, including residential, commercial, healthcare, and more.
While you work toward an undergraduate or graduate degree, you can also pursue careers as interior decorators or home stagers.
Drake University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Art and Design that prepares students for professional practice or graduate-level study.
The program offers spatial concept courses and computerized drawing techniques you may relate to an interior design career.
Drake also provides training that improves critical thinking skills.
Additionally, you could register for art history classes and learn about classic, modern or contemporary architectural styles.
Some faculty members may have majored in either interior design or architecture in the past.
Kirkwood Community College
Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this school offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Interior Design.
You could fulfill your required training hours by attending classes and gaining work experience before you take your certification exam.
Learn about color combinations, texturing, computerized drawing (CAD), and more.
Training at Kirkwood also includes on-site visits to major architectural firms and significant landmarks found in large metro cities.
Iowa Lakes Community College
Other Iowa schools mentioned also might have online courses, and so does Iowa Lakes Community College.
Here, you will concentrate on color theory, spatial design, floor plans, and more after you complete your interior design basics courses.
Instructors may have degrees in either architecture or interior design, and you can sign up for the six-week or three-month access.
It could prepare you for an interior design certificate earned after passing the NCIDQ exam.
Interior Design Schools in Iowa – Summary Table
|University of Northern Iowa||1227 W 27th St Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614|
|Iowa State University||1800 South Fourth St. Ames, IA 50011|
|Drake University||2507 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311|
|Kirkwood Community College||6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404|
|Iowa Lakes Community College||2111 US-169, Algona, IA 50511|
Your annual starting salary may total about $37,004.
However, you may earn an average of $46,672 per year by the time you completed two years of training.
While in school, you will want to gain as much practical work experience as possible to increase your revenue.
Start your job search in Mount Pleasant, Urbandale, Iowa City, or Des Moines, but you may find opportunities elsewhere.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|West Des Moines||$47,097|
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact if I have more questions about Iowa licensing requirements?
Am I eligible to take the NCIDQ exam yet?
You may be if you have already worked full time in the field for two years and have completed at least 60 hours of classroom training.
However, you will want to review the eligibility requirements before you sign up to take the exam.
Do I have to earn my interior design degree in Iowa?
You do not necessarily need to study interior design in the state, but you will still have to prove certification and apply for an Iowa license.
For instance, you might have the chance to attend an interior design program offered by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln only a little more than an hour away from Omaha, NE.
Then, transfer that certification to Iowa.
Yes, these two career tracks are related.
You can take courses that cross over into either of these disciplines.
What is more, you may also take some interior decorating classes and work on staging room displays before becoming an interior designer or architect.