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Interior Decorator

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

  • Avg. Salary $60,599.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.08
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • 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
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

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

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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 Dec 15, 2016

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 Dec 15, 2016

Interior decorators need the following characteristics:

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

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Alberta

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Interior decorators are employed by:

  • 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) 
  • decorating, design and architecture firms
  • 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 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 that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 59,200 Albertans are employed in the Retail salespersons and sales clerks occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 1,125 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As interior decorators form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for interior decorators.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.90 $28.85 $21.48 $21.63
Overall $18.38 $45.67 $30.08 $29.97
Top $21.77 $55.38 $36.63 $34.62

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
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

39%
39%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

43%
43%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Canada's National Association for Decorators & Designers (CDECA) website: www.cdeca.com

Interior Designers of Alberta website: www.idalberta.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 21, 2015. 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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