IIDA Releases 2021 Interior Design Compensation Report

The 50-page report highlights findings to help designers value their skills and experience, negotiate salaries and raises, and make smart choices about their careers.

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Photo by recha oktaviani on Unsplash
Photo by recha oktaviani on Unsplash

IIDA announces the release of the 2021 IIDA Interior Design Compensation Report, an analysis of salary and benefit information aimed at arming designers and A&D professionals with the most current metrics and data available to the industry. The 50-page report highlights business and employment findings to help designers value their skills and experience, negotiate salaries and raises, and make smart choices about their careers. The findings of the Compensation Report also assist leaders in hiring, recruiting talent, and making informed business decisions.

“Understanding of the marketplace is a powerful tool; IIDA is proud to provide this comprehensive report to help both design professionals and their employers navigate through the ever-changing landscape of the industry,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “The results of this year’s report are a testament to the resiliency and determination our industry has shown as we continue to endure, educate, and evolve.”

The 2021 findings show an overall increase in average salary from the previous report in 2019, with varying degrees of increase depending on geography, certifications, and multidisciplinary abilities.

Key compensation-related results include:

  • The average design professional reported an annual base salary of between $60,000 and $99,000, with higher reported salaries in the West and Northeast. 
  • Employees of multidisciplinary design firms reported the highest increases in average salary, along with more desirable benefit packages.
  • Those with a NCIDQ, LEED or CID certification reported a median salary $17,000 greater than those without.

“It’s encouraging to see designers placing an emphasis on accelerating their careers through continued education and certifications,” said IIDA Director of Member Services Monae Redmond. “Our mission is to connect, inform, and empower our members so they have the tools to further build connections within their community, nurture their vocation, and ultimately advance their industry.”

The pool of over 2,000 respondents from IIDA membership who participated in the survey cover all levels of industry experience and were all full-time employees or self-employed in design or a design-related position in the United States as of September 1, 2020 or indicated they were furloughed or laid off as a result of the pandemic.

Included with the Compensation Report is access to the updated IIDA Compensation Calculator. This interactive calculator provides a full salary spread of the industry, exclusively to IIDA members, based on many variables including education and professional credentials, and compares 2020 survey data with previous data from 2018 and 2016. All others may view the national average salary by job title. To download the full digital report ($75 IIDA Members, $175 non-members), please visit IIDA.org.

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