I Want to Be an Interior Designer

Not all states require people who are interior designers to be licensed. In Nevada there are three ways to provide interior design services.

Registered Interior Designer: Licensed design professional who can work in a commercial or residential setting and submit plans to building departments. Registered interior designers are licensed by this agency.

Certified Interior Designer: Certified through the Nevada State Fire Marshall and can specify fixtures, furniture and equipment for commercial projects, but cannot provide space planning or specify modular furniture over 69” in height. For more information please contact the Nevada State Fire Marshall.

Interior Designer/Interior Decorator: Can work in residential projects that are not regulated by building code.

Career Path for Registered Interior Designers

If you want to be able to practice in residential and commercial settings and submit your plans to the building department, you'll need to become a registered interior designer. The path to licensure is different in every state. In Nevada you need to meet three requirements: education, experience and examination.


The first step is finding a college or university that is a good fit for you. To become an registered interior designer you must graduate from a program that is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). There are many CIDA programs across this country to choose from and find the perfect fit for you. Start the process here (CIDA).

If you already have a degree from an interior design program that is not accredited by CIDA, there is still a path for you. Please refer to the "Substantially Equivalent Programs" section on our website.

If you'd like to stay in-state, there is a CIDA-accredited program at the UNLV School of Architecture. Learn about it here (UNLV School of Architecture).


The second step is earning two years of comprehensive, verified, interior design work experience. You will need to verify your work experience through the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). Find out about verified work experience here (CIDQ).

You can start earning your verified work experience while you're in college, so if you're in college and getting experience in the field, start tracking it now.


The final step is passing the NCIDQ Exam. The NCIDQ Exam tests future interior designers to make sure they have the knowledge and skill necessary to practice independently.

Learn more about the NCIDQ Exam here (CIDQ).

If you have other questions about becoming a regsitered interior designer in Nevada, you can email us at nsbaidrd@nsbaidrd.nv.gov or call (702) 486-7300.

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Residential Designers