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Occupational Profile

Interior Decorator

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

  • Avg. Salary $54,186.00
  • Avg. Wage $28.09
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 59,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Customer Service Representative, Decorator, Home Stager

NOC & Interest Codes
The Interior Decorator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks
NOC code: 6421
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

Mount Royal University

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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 Decorator are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5242: Interior designers and interior decorators.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Interior designers and interior decorators occupational group earned on average from $19.71 to $38.72 an hour. The overall average wage was $28.09 an hour. For more information, see the Interior designers and interior decorators wage profile.

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, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works 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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