Interior Design Major? Here’s Where You Need to Be

If you are pursuing a degree in interior design, you’re on a good track. Interior design is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and, if previous trends continue, is in a state of steady growth that should continue as more and more of the population moves into urban areas. In fact, over the past three years, the industry has grown at a steady annual rate of 1.9% and in 2018 industry sales were $10.2 billion (with individual companies bringing in average sales of $0.8 million).

The strength of this industry is obvious, however, as with most industries, location is key. Urban areas have the highest demand for interior design services, but which cities are the most lucrative for interior designers in today’s age?

If you’re looking for a job in interior design to start off your life as a post-grad, it’s important to look in the right places. Using metrics such as number of interior designers per capita, number of new hires per capita, number of home furnishings stores per capita, median hourly wage and percentage growth in interior design graduates from 2013-2016, the furniture company Joybird was able to compile a list of the best cities for interior design.

Coming in as number one (and therefore a place that should be at the top of your job search list) was Seattle, Washington. This may come as no surprise considering the trendy and highly educated population that is concentrated there. Not to mention, it wouldn’t be a bad place to live. In their ranking of best places to live, U.S. News ranked Seattle the 9th best place to live out of the top 125 metro areas. Not only do Seattlites live up to their reputation of being courteous, laid back and down to earth, but the city itself and the incredibly scenic natural areas surrounding it (the coastline and mountains on either side) are a huge draw for people considering a move. Also, if its reputation of being constantly rainy is a drawback for you, it actually receives less annual rainfall than Boston, New York, Miami, and several other popular metropolitan areas.

Regionally, the West Coast is definitely the place to be in terms of pursuing a career in interior design. The region was littered with top places for interior design, being home to five of the ten best cities interior design. In addition to Seattle, these included San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland.

If you’re more attuned to the East Coast and would prefer to find work there, two cities from the region made the top 10: Jacksonville, FL, and Charlotte, NC. Other cities that are ideal for interior designers are Denver, Milwaukee, and Salt Lake City.

Looking in any of these cities for jobs or internships in the field of interior design will likely yield you more positive results than other areas around the US. For example, applying to jobs in Cleveland, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh and Hartford are more than likely a waste of your time as these cities composed the tail-end of the list, making them some of the worst cities for a career in interior design.

Oftentimes, a job search can seem as fruitful as looking for a needle in a haystack. However, as you begin to near the end of your college career, remember the importance of location when looking for jobs. You’ll have much more luck finding a needle in a haystack if there is an abundance of needles.

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