IIDA releases 2019 Design Compensation Report

March 06, 2019

Chicago— IIDA released the 2019 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.

“IIDA has served as the leading resource and steward for the commercial design community for 25 years,” said IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “We’re proud to provide the industry with this comprehensive resource rich with tangible data and relevant information that will ultimately help firms and practitioners shape the future of design.”

The 40-page report highlights business and employment findings to help designers better value their skills and experience, negotiate salaries and raises and make smart choices about their careers. The findings of the report also assist leaders in hiring, recruiting talent and making informed business decisions. Respondents include 2,200 IIDA members who cover all levels of industry experience and are all full-time employed or self-employed in design or a design-related position in the U.S.

According to the IIDA, the report underscores the strength and health of the interior design industry. The findings show there was a 6.6% increase in average annual base salary in 2018 compared to 2016. The data also points to sustained industry growth, further substantiating forecasts from the 2018 IIDA Index Report, released last November. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics supports this notion as well, reporting that the profession will grow an additional 4% over the next 10 years—ultimately suggesting designers and design-related professionals will remain in high demand. 

Key compensation-related results include:

  • The average design professional reported an annual base salary of $78,100, an increase from $73,300 reported in 2016.
  • 81% of designers reported receiving additional cash compensation beyond their base salaries.
  • Those with an NCIDQ certification reported a median salary $15,000 greater than those without.

Additional findings based on respondent’s career reflections include:

  • 78% of design professionals are satisfied with their careers.
  • 69% of design professionals are likely or very likely to recommend the profession to a high school or college student.

“It’s encouraging to find that design professionals are continuing to report positive indicators – from business growth to professional value and achievement,” said IIDA Deputy Director and Senior Vice President John Czarnecki, Hon. IIDA, Assoc. AIA. “The findings of this year’s report also point to an improved understanding and broader recognition of the profession, as well as a respect for the purpose and power behind good design in the places where we live and work.”

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