The ultimate guide to Interior design apprenticeships (in 2023)

They say ‘home is where the heart is’.

Home is also where people’s personalities, inspirations, passions and interests are reflected in a design that makes the homeowners happy as soon as they step through the door. 

Getting your foot in the door of the world of interiors can lead to an exciting and fulfilling careers. There’s just one slight problem with interior design apprenticeships… they’re hard to find.

Thankfully, we’ve done the leg work for you and found the best opportunities on offer right now. 

Types of jobs in interior design

Interior designer

Interior designers use colours, furniture, lighting and more to create aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces that suit their clients’ individual tastes.

As well as making spaces look amazing, designers have the added responsibility of ensuring that the building is safe and practical for its allocated use. Interior designers are highly creative people who are usually great at technical or artistic drawing, plus they have a keen eye for detail, trends and style. 

Furniture designer

Furniture designers create concepts and designs of furniture items like sofas and coffee tables. You could work for large companies that mass-produce items, or for small businesses that craft furniture by hand.

There’s more to this job than just drawing an armchair – you’ll need to consider the function of the item, the material and any safety features to create marketable, appealing and well-designed pieces. 

Kitchen and bathroom designer

Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most-used rooms in your house, and clients often spend the most money on designing these spaces. Kitchen and bathroom designers use software like CAD to create a digital model of the customer’s room and then create a design that is specifically tailored to their home.

This is different from furniture designing because furniture is usually created on a one-size-fits-all basis, whereas kitchens and bathrooms are personalised and built into the customer’s existing rooms. 

Interior design apprenticeships

Gov.uk

As well as providing a wealth of information about the field of interior design, the gov.uk website is a great resource for finding interior design apprenticeships. Some of the recently available opportunities include a Kitchen Designer and CAD Designer. 

MKM Building Supplies Ltd

MKM is a nationwide building merchant, which means they sell all kinds of building and household supplies from taps to timber and tiles. They’re looking for creative individuals to join their Level 3 Showroom Design (Kitchen and Bathroom) Apprenticeship and Level 3 Design Technician (Kitchen and Bathroom) Apprenticeship programmes, which are based in York and Lincoln.

You can also look at some recent interior and home design projects using MKM products on their website, which could give you inspiration for your own creations. 

Progress Furnishing

Interior design business Progress Furnishing takes on one apprentice per year for a coveted Interior Design Apprenticeship. It’s a 12-month placement that will teach you everything you need to know about space planning, 2D and 3D CAD design, CGI and more.

The best part is that Progress Furnishing will help you get your next job after you’ve finished your apprenticeship thanks to their great connections and network. 

Wren Kitchens

During National Apprenticeship Week 2022 back in Feb, Wren Kitchens announced 100 new apprenticeship vacancies across the UK. While they hire full-time kitchen design teams, as of now there aren’t any kitchen design apprenticeship programmes available – but that will change, so keep an eye on their website

Entry requirements

All apprenticeships expect candidates to have a minimum of five GCSEs (including English, Maths, Science and a technical subject) at grades 4-9. 

It goes without saying that creativity is key in this field, but knowing how to channel your creativity is the main hurdle you’ll need to overcome when you apply for apprenticeships. You’ll need to listen closely to your employer to ensure that safety and usability are at the centre of your design – yes, those two factors are even more important than the design itself. 

Extra tips

Interior design isn’t a 9-5 job. Instead, you might be setting up events or viewings in the evenings and travelling to meet clients at the weekends. In order to succeed, you’ll need to be flexible with timings depending on your clients’ needs. 

Have you ever watched a show like Grand Designs and said ‘it’s nice, but I wouldn’t do that in my home’? That’s a completely normal reaction – your home is incredibly personal and should reflect your individual tastes. That’s why most of an interior designer’s job involves understanding the client’s personality, requirements and tastes to make sure you create a space that they will love. There’s a surprising amount of psychology required in this role – you’ll really need to get inside your client’s mind, so great communication and listening skills will take you far in this industry. 

Design your dream career with an apprenticeship

Don’t worry if you can’t find an interior design apprenticeship that appeals to you – they’re as hard to find as unicorns. But the scarcity of interior design opportunities won’t hinder your future career in this field – instead, look at apprenticeships in industries like retail, media or engineering to learn a bunch of transferable skills that could lead you on a path to interior design.