A passion for aesthetics and spatial problem-solving can fuel a rewarding career in interior design. Beyond creative fulfillment, many interior design jobs also offer lucrative salaries.
The highest paying interior design roles reward professionals who pair artistic vision with business acumen, technical expertise, project management skills, and an instinct for elevating wellness and user experience through built environments.
Read on to learn about the most high paying interior design jobs and specializations. Discover how to position yourself for top earning potential through targeted skills, portfolio development, networking, and leveraging online hiring platforms.
Why Interior Designer Salaries Vary
Interior design is a broad field encompassing many types of projects and specializations. Salaries fluctuate based on:
- Role - Titles like interior designer, senior designer, creative director, and principal carry different compensation ranges. Leadership roles earn more.
- Experience - Entry-level salaries typically start lower but increase with each year of accumulated expertise.
- Firm size - Large prominent companies and studios pay more for top talent.
- Project types - Commercial, healthcare, workplace, and luxury designs earn higher fees than residential.
- Location - Major metro areas offer more lucrative incomes for interior designers.
- Specialization - Expertise in high-value niches like healthcare and workplaces boost incomes.
- Licensure - Earning a license leads to higher potential pay.
- Ownership - Principals and partners in firms earn income from company profits.
- Network - Relationships with affluent clients provide access to large projects.
- Credentials - Advanced certifications signal expertise for premium fees.
- Business development - Designers who land new clients gain negotiation power for higher pay.
- Management scope - Overseeing large teams and major projects equates bigger salaries.
To maximize earnings, interior designers should continually develop expertise and relationships to qualify for the most prestigious and profitable projects. Salary potential grows in tandem with the size, visibility, and impact of designs.
Highest Paying Interior Design Jobs
Many interior design roles offer six-figure salaries or close to it. Here are some of the very top paying interior design jobs:
Principal Interior Designer
Median Salary: $107,000
The role of principal encompasses business ownership along with design. Principals manage firm strategy, profitability, talent recruitment, and new business. They oversee design concepts and partner with clients as ultimate decision makers. With substantial experience and rainmakingabilities, principal designers earn incomes that reflect their senior status and commercial contributions.
Median Salary: $105,000
Creative directors shape overall aesthetic direction and standards for projects and client accounts. They lead multidisciplinary teams to ensure holistic, consistent design outcomes. Creative directors are creative visionaries who inspire innovation while meeting business objectives. Their discerning eye for compelling environments earns significant compensation.
Senior Healthcare Interior Designer
Median Salary: $100,000
Senior designers in healthcare specialize in building healing, humanistic spaces in hospitals, clinics, elder care facilities, research labs, and related healthcare settings. Expertise in safety, infection control, accessibility, sustainability, branding, and other health-specific domains allows these designers to deliver exceptional wellness-supporting environments. Their niche skills drive top salaries.
Workplace Strategy Director
Median Salary: $98,000
Workplace strategy directors optimize built environ ments for employee productivity, technology integration, brand alignment, and evolving needs. They research work patterns, survey end users, analyze data, and provide strategic recommendations. As workplace strategy gains importance, these experts earn robust compensation.
Commercial Landscape Designer
Median Salary: $95,000
Commercial landscape designers mastermind aestheticallypleasing and functional outdoor business spaces. Their expertise beautifies and adds value to corporate campuses, retail centers, hotels, healthcare facilitie sand more through plantings, hardscapes, lighting, and features. High technical and business acumen fuels top salaries.
Hospitality Design Director
Median Salary: $93,000
Directors of hospitality design lead project vision and strategy for hotels, restaurants, casinos, cruise ships, and other hospitality properties. Their concepts entice guests through renowned ambiance, luxury materials, impeccable service flow, and lavish amenities. Directors carry significant responsibility for delighted patrons, reflected in compensation.
Kitchen & Bath Designer
Median Salary: $92,000
Kitchen and bath remodels are prime high-dollar residential projects. Designers with expertise in storage, lighting, appliances, plumbing, millwork, and luxury finishes thrive in this specialty. With keen attention to detail and efficiency to maximize margins, kitchen and bath designers earn substantial incomes from private clients.
Senior Living Interior Designer
Median Salary: $90,000
Designing senior living communities poses complex technical, medical, and psychological considerations. Senior living designers a deptly blend safety, accessibility, wayfinding, brand identity, and residential appeal. With a growing aging population, these specialist designers see high demand and compensation.
Lighting Design Director
Median Salary: $89,000
Lighting directors sculpt spaces through illumination. They design lighting schematics, select fixture types and placement, and stage lighting demonstrations. Lighting is central to spatial experience and function. The ability to craft lighting plans that meet aesthetic and technical goals results in significant income potential.
Commercial Real Estate Design Consultant
Median Salary: $86,000
Commercial real estate designers add value through office build outs, retail interiors, and branding. Designs boost leasing potential and rents. Consultants work with developers and tenants from project inception through completion, requiring business savvy and diverse skills. The impact on asset performance earns high consultant fees.
Steps to Increase Your Interior Designer Salary
Beyond job titles and descriptions, what steps can elevate an interior designer's salary potential over time?
1. Earn a degree and get licensed
A formal education including a Bachelor's or Master's degree in interior design, architecture, or environmental design lays essential groundwork for advanced roles. Earning a license proves expertise. Licensure requirements vary by state. Both degrees and licensure signal qualifications for higher salaries.
2. Gain specialization
Develop niche skills in a domain like healthcare, workplace, hospitality, or acoustics. Specialists earn more. Back specialization with niche certifications and portfolio examples.
3. Master software and tech
Fluency in design software like AutoCAD, Revit, and SketchUp is required for senior roles. Continue learning new technologies like VR rendering and design apps. Tech skills enable higher productivity and capabilities.
4. Understand building systems
Grasp technical facets like lighting, HVAC, acoustics, plumbing, sustainability, engineering, and construction administration. This knowledge transcends pure aesthetics for functional spaces.
5. Cultivate project management abilities
From schedules to budgets to team coordination, strong project management is mandatory for designers overseeing large initiatives. Leadership capabilities translate to greater responsibility and pay.
6. Build client relationships
Develop a reputation with past clients and centers of influence for repeat and referral business. Strong professional relation ships open doors to lucrative projects.
7. Join industry groups
Participate in professional organizations like the American Society of Interior Designers for networking, credentials, and continuing education. Leadership roles in groups signal expertise.
8. Pursue ongoing education
Never stop learning. Take courses and seminars to stay atop trends in design aesthetics, processes, technology, regulations, and business practices.
9. Seek leadership roles
Advance from entry-level designer to senior designer, creative director, principal, or other leadership titles with expanded responsibility. Lead designers earn at the top of pay scales.
10. Negotiate unapologetically
Know your worth and negotiate salaries, fees, and contracts without apology. Ask for compensation commensurate with the value you bring.
The most prestigious and highly paid interior design jobs go to professionals who couple artistic abilities with business insight, niche skills, technical mastery, leadership qualities, continuing education, and negotiation strength. Continually expand your capabilities for income growth.
Finding High Paying Remote Interior Design Jobs
The booming remote work trend opens new avenues for interior designers to earn substantial salaries through remote jobs with location flexibility.
Top companies are now hiring remote interior designers across the US and worldwide. These jobs offer pay rates equivalent to or greater than traditional on-site roles.
For example, a Senior Healthcare Interior Designer remote position may pay $95,000 - $120,000 plus benefits. A Commercial Real Estate Design Consultant opening could offer $90,000 - $110,000 as a remote employee.
The leading source for high quality remote interior design jobs is RemoteHub.
With RemoteHub's intelligent search and alerts, interior designers can easily find high paying remote openings based on:
- Job title
- Salary range
- Work hours
- Travel requirements
- And more
Visit RemoteHub today to find your next high paying remote interior design position! With the right qualifications and RemoteHub's support, you can earn an enviable income from anywhere.
Interior designers with wide-ranging expertise, niche specialization, leadership capabilities, and business acumen can achieve salaries exceeding $100,000. Many lucrative roles exist for experienced professionals.
By honing technical abilities, establishing client relationships, pursuing ongoing education, earning key certifications, and confidently negotiating, interior designers boost earning potential over time.
Remote work expands opportunities to earn higher salaries with location flexibility. RemoteHub makes it easy for interior designers to identify and land high paying remote jobs at leading firms.
Capitalize on the combination of specialized skills and remote work to propel your interior design income. With passion for great design and smart career moves, lucrative compensation can become reality. Pursue your interior design career goals with conviction!