An interior designer may work an hourly rate if self-employed, or may be salaried if working for an architectural or engineering firm. There are plenty of opportunities to make above and beyond this income, however, by aligning themselves with furniture or home décor companies that will gladly pay the designer a percentage of their profits in exchange for driving business to them.
The average interior designer can expect to make a base salary of around $50k, but it may be closer to $65-$70k after all the additional perks and kickbacks are factored into it. And if you're a seasoned, self-employed designer with an impeccable reputation and a vast portfolio of amazing projects, you can easily flirt with the $100k mark.
Of course, the real money is in television. No, we're not suggesting you put down your level, enroll in classes at the Improv, and begin auditioning for car commercials. You have a nice smile, but let's not get carried away. The world of televised design shows has exploded in recent years. If you are a designer at the top of your game, aren’t physically grotesque, and can conduct yourself reasonably well on-camera, you might be able to snag yourself one of these prime cuts of broadcast realty. Your odds are low, so don’t count on it, but if you are one of the lucky ones, you might be able to count yourself as one of the very few million-dollar designers.