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Interior Decorator

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

  • Avg. Salary $62,883.00
  • Avg. Wage $31.29
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 1,800
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Interior Decorator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks

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


Interest in persuading to sell and rent merchandise to customers


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

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 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 More

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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.

Bow Valley College

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Alberta

Visual College of Art and Design of Calgary

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

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.

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.

Interior designers and interior decorators

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
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.

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.

Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

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:

Decorators and Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada) website:

Interior Designers of Alberta (IDA) website:

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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