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Interior Decorator

Interior decorators assist clients in coordinating the decorative aspects of interior spaces.

Also Known As

Customer Service Representative, Decorator, Home Stager

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks (6421) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks (G211) 
  • 2011 NOC: Interior designers and interior decorators (5242) 
  • 2016 NOC: Interior designers and interior decorators (5242) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks
2006 NOC : 6421

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

METHODICAL

Interest in computing to maintain sales records for inventory control; and in operating computerised inventory record keeping and re-ordering systems

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading to sell and rent merchandise to customers

directive

Interest in handling to prepare merchandise for purchase, rental and leasing, and to assist in the display of merchandise

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Interior decorators decorate private residences, hotels, restaurants, schools, universities, office buildings, factories and clubs. They may decorate new spaces, re-decorate existing ones or decorate for special events such as weddings.

Many interior decorators specialize in residential interiors. They select, co-ordinate or place:

  • finishes, such as lighting, paint, and wall and floor coverings
  • window treatments
  • furnishings
  • pictures and decorative accessories.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, interior decorators:

  • consult with clients to determine colour and style preferences, needs and budgetary requirements
  • submit decorating recommendations, colours and samples for approval
  • select appropriate materials and colours on their own or with the client
  • supervise the purchase of materials
  • co-ordinate the delivery and installation of materials.

Interior decorators employed in department stores, furniture stores and other retail establishments sell the store’s merchandise through the decorating service. This often involves designing generic or product specific displays. Some decorators represent a particular manufacturer’s product line.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Working conditions for interior decorators vary depending on their place of employment. They may work days, evenings and weekends, and spend a great deal of time in clients’ homes. Hours of work can be irregular where decorators have to adapt their schedules to suit client needs.

In some work settings frequent lifting of items weighing up to 10 kilograms and heavier may be required. Installing lighting and window or wall coverings may require working from ladders to measure dimensions or help installers.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Interior decorators need:

  • a keen interest in fashion and home decor
  • patience and flexibility
  • creativity and drawing ability to communicate design ideas
  • spatial perception and an ability to visualize 3-dimensions from 2-dimensional drawings
  • verbal and written communication skills, especially to listen carefully and communicate clearly
  • mathematical skills
  • sales ability
  • the ability to work well with all types of people
  • the ability to deal with the pressure of deadlines

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work, selling merchandise and working with a variety of materials.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Interior designers and interior decorators
NOC code: 5242

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 18 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 29, 2021 and May 11, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Create interior spaces that reflect clients' needs and tastes
Consult with clients to determine needs, preferences, safety requirements and purpose of space
Advise on selection of colours, finishes and materials, lighting, furniture and other items, taking into account ergonomic and occupational health standards
Develop plans, elevations, cross sections and detailed drawings
Estimate cost of projects and prepare detailed specifications
Develop detailed plans and 3-D models showing arrangement of walls, dividers, displays, lighting and other fixtures
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Organized
Computer Experience: AutoCAD
Area of Specialization: Interior design (general)
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Minimum Education Varies

To acquire the necessary skills in identifying colour, proportion, balance and detail, interior decorators may learn on the job or take related training programs. In general, employers prefer to hire applicants who have:

  • a high school diploma
  • related post-secondary education (or equivalent experience)
  • sales experience
  • a vehicle for business use.

Many employers prefer to hire graduates of post-secondary programs in interior design or visual arts.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017
  • Certification Not Regulated

The Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada) offers accredited membership to individuals who:

  • have the required work experience OR
  • have graduated from an institution recognized by DDA Canada for its programs in the field of decorating and design.

For an up-to-date list of recognized institutions, visit the DDA Canada website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Most interior decorators are self-employed. Others are employed by:

  • decorating, design and architecture firms
  • department stores
  • paint and wall covering retail outlets
  • furniture stores
  • carpet outlets
  • fabric and window covering suppliers
  • construction industry suppliers (for example, kitchen cabinets, lighting or bathroom fixtures)
  • construction and manufacturing firms.

Some interior decorators work on a freelance basis and purchase merchandise from retail outlets. Establishing a successful decorating service requires extensive work experience, good business skills, equipment such as a digital camera and colour printer, and sufficient funds to purchase supplies before customers pay for them.

Interior decorators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5242: Interior designers and interior decorators. In Alberta, 77% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5242: Interior designers and interior decorators occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

After completing their on-the-job training, most interior decorators work on a commission basis. Incomes therefore vary greatly from one person to another and from one month to another. A decorator who works on commission may be required to pay for costs if they make a mistake.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Interior designers and interior decorators

2016 NOC : 5242
Average Wage
$31.29
Per Hour
Average Salary
$62,883.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5242 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.31 $30.77 $23.26 $23.08
Overall $23.54 $44.71 $31.29 $32.62
Top $25.96 $53.85 $41.41 $39.32

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

15%
15%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) website: www.aaa.ab.ca

Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada) website: ddacanada.com

Interior Designers of Alberta (IDA) website: www.idalberta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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