When you first start preparing to take the NCIDQ Exams, we can more or less categorize the type of questions you throw our way from the most basic, “What do you offer?”
to a confusing, “My screen went black, what should I do?”
And there's the cost versus value, “I really want to start preparing but I can’t afford it right now. Do you offer any discounts?”
We understand the amount of preparation you have to go through. The money, the books, the practice tests, and the time!
You can easily spend a good 4 months or more preparing for one exam administration. Plus once you add work and family into the mix — it can push anyone to feel overwhelmed. So yeah, we totally get your questions.
But when we are too immersed in all the studying and taking practice tests, we sometimes tend to forget the most important point of all:
Why spend this much and what do you spend it for? Let’s wipe the fatigue off your face first and look at this formula:
A report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that professionals who earn certification (apart from their college and university-awarded degrees) can earn 21.38% more than their counterpart with only an educational certificate. They also do better by 33.9% than those without any educational certificate.
The data underscore the importance of the NCIDQ Certification in differentiating the most competent and qualified interior designers from their non-certified counterparts.
“Our mission of protecting the public by identifying and then testing an appropriately educated and experienced interior designer’s competencies in health, safety and public welfare is at the forefront in all of our test development and certification activities,” she said.Dr. Carol Williams-Nickelson, past Executive Director, CIDQ
There are strong, longstanding trends suggesting that people who hire interior designers seek out those who are NCIDQ Certified and are willing to pay more for that quality assurance.
The American Society of Interior Designer’s 2019 “Interior Design Salaries and Benefits General Report” reported the median salary for those with the NCIDQ Certificate at USD 16,000 greater, and the 2021 IIDA Survey reported certifications increased salaries by $17,000. Similarly, a IDC (Interior Designers of Canada) report showed an approximately $10,000 CDN higher salary than the national median.
While the U.S. Census Bureau's data supports this, the industry data supports it, too. So all the trouble you're going through is, in fact, an investment. We'll be watching for the next census report and update this with what we learn.
Getting your NCIDQ Certificate not only marks your level of competency and credibility, but just like our Qpractice members have experienced, it can also help you earn more money.
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.