Starting pay for most interior designers begins on the low end of the pay scale; in 2012, the lowest-paid interior designers made less than $25,760 per year, while the highest-paid in the field earned $86,900, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Median pay for the profession was $47,600.
Wages paid to interior designers vary widely among the top five industries that employ them. The top five industries for interior designers and their median annual wages include architectural, engineering and related services ($54,360); merchant wholesalers ($48,500); specialized design services ($47,090); construction ($44,320); and furniture stores ($39,930).
Most people employed as interior designers work a full-time schedule, and they may work in both commercial and residential settings. The role often requires adjustment of their schedules to meet the needs of their clients. This often means working weekends and evening hours. Travel is also usually a requirement of the job. Around three of every 10 interior designers are self-employed, which is four times greater than for any other professional occupations. The American Society of Interior Designers notes that the interior designer needs to be artistic, imaginative and creative, but must also be skilled business people with good organizational skills and discipline.