Are you interested in becoming a professional interior designer? Within this greater overall industry, there are plenty of interesting niche interior design career opportunities you should explore as you determine which sounds like the best fit. Depending on your interests and natural talents, you could find yourself in a great interior design sweet spot, specializing in something you specifically excel at.
Getting started, after graduating from an interior design course like NYIAD's, you could find an established local designer or design firm in your area, and approach this organization/ individual to discuss some collaboration opportunities. Especially if you are interested in gaining some hands-on, internship type experience, this is a great route worth pursuing (even while you're still a student).
Within a role such as this one, which is very commonly referred to as a “design associate” role, you would handle certain interior design projects under the direction of the lead designer, or of the firm director. For example, say you ask an independent local designer if you can work as a design associate with them, he or she may ask you to help select fabrics or paint colors for a specific project.
Another interesting interior design career option is to work as what is commonly called a “resident designer.” This type of interior designer works in a furnishing or home goods store. Your job within this role would be to consult with the store's customers in helping them pick out pieces as they shop to furnish a given space.
Not surprisingly, one of the most popular career paths (especially for NYIAD students) is to actually take the reigns and launch your own independent interior design business. When you actually have the power and training necessary to run your own business, you don't have to report to a higher-level designer, you get to be your own boss, pursuing projects and clients at your own discretion. As the director of your own firm, you can find clients of your own, draw up your own interior design agreements and execute all the planning entirely on your own.