Having your NCIDQ certificate can help you earn more — up to 34% more, and can also help you differentiate yourself in the interior design marketplace. With more than half the states in the US, Puerto Rico and the Canadian Provinces having some form of interior design legislation, it's important to understand how this makes a difference.
To use your NCIDQ Certificate as a way to expand your horizons as a certified or registered interior designer, you must first fill out a (rather lengthy) application.
Fortunately, there is something applicants can do to shorten the following state registration process.
Registered, licensed, or certified interior designers in some states can sign, seal, and submit drawings for permitting.
Getting your NCIDQ Certificate is a prerequisite for many of these laws, but there is also an application process and other steps to take. Qpractice can help you navigate these waters.
Step 1: Research State Interior Design Laws
Because the NCIDQ application will be the same no matter where you take it, your first step is to determine the variable – your state's requirements. While both ASID and IIDA have done a great job of compiling state data, understanding these laws and how they apply to your unique situation is ultimately your responsibility.
Once you have your state's application information, you can now begin filling out both forms together.
Where to find out the interior design laws in your state
Pin this to save for later or download a copy of this map of Interior Design Legislation in the US and Canada:
IIDA has compiled this list of Interior Design legislation
IIDA list of protected state titles for interior design
Step 2: Complete the Applications
From transcripts to recommendations, collecting the exact number of copies you need for both the NCIDQ and the state in one go is far less stressful than trying to get the same information twice. Both usually ask for professional recommendations, official transcripts and various forms of work verification.
If you live in a state with a protected title for interior design, this will also be where you find the application process to use that protected title.So You Passed the NCIDQ Exam…Now What? Here's the next step to get your license.Click To Tweet
Step 3: Send them In
Don't state licensing boards need your NCIDQ scores?
The answer is yes, but that doesn't mean your application goes into the trash without your scores. Instead, the state will hold the application, noting that your scores are needed, or you may see the term “deficient” when you review the status of your application online.
Upon completion, your test results will be sent to the state and they can then ratify your certification with your passing the NCIDQ. But you do need to confirm this process and follow up on it.
Need a copy of your certificate to verify your results? Download it from your myNCIDQ account here:
Qpractice Tips to help you get your interior design license or registration
We've had many Qpractice members go through the process of getting their license or registration after passing the NCIDQ Exam, so we've decided to share some of their experiences with you, to help make it easier.
Lauren got her license in the State of Florida and also became a professional member of ASID. She received a nice pay increase. “The process is pretty straightforward and if you have everything all together at one time – will go very quickly. They will send you correspondence when they receive information from you and will let you know if there are any deficiencies in your application.”
Join designers like Lauren, and get the new NCIDQ Exam Cheat Sheet and a free study guide.
Example application process #1
State of Florida, Licensed Interior Designer
- Complete the online application at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or print it and send in.
- Submit non-refundable fee of $30. You may pay this online or mail in check.
- Submit all college transcripts. Provide course curriculum for non-accredited programs for evaluation. I requested sealed official transcript from my college – this could take a while so plan ahead if you want to send everything all at once.
- Submit proof of passing the NCIDQ. Go to your myNCIDQ account, click “Verify Your Credential Online” and follow the instructions.
- Submit the Interior Design Experience Verification Form. This needs to be filled out by either a registered interior designer, registered architect or someone who has passed the NCIDQ, or the AID. I had two forms submitted by an architect and interior designer. In order to qualify for licensure you must have experience in at least (8) of the following areas – designs, consultations, studies, drawings, specifications, administration of design construction contracts, reflected ceiling plans, space planning, furnishings or fabrication of nonstructural elements within and surrounding interior spaces of buildings.
Once you fill out the initial application, you will receive an application number – make sure to write that on all information you send in by mail.
Ariane is now a Certified Interior Designer in Minnesota, and has certain stamp and seal privileges per state law. She received a raise and was promoted to associate!
Pass the NCIDQ Exam like Ariane — get the new NCIDQ Exam Cheat Sheet and a free study guide.
Example application process #2
State of Minnesota, Certified Interior Designer
- Download application from Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
- Complete the application and send it into the Board. The application includes (1) One signed and dated copy of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a list of your professional work experience verifying experience in all content areas required, and one page that must be signed in front of a notary public.
- Request an official transcript to be sent to the Board from the college or university where you received your degree. In Minnesota, graduation from a four-year CIDA accredited program is required. More information on education requirements in the State of Minnesota can be found in Statute 1800.2100 Whenever requesting a transcript, remember that it must be sent directly to the recipient, unopened.
- Include (5) recommendations, with a minimum of (3) from Certified Interior Designers. At least (2) of your recommendations must come from employers who can verify the work experience you list in your application.
- Verification of passing the NCIDQ exam. Go to your myNCIDQ account, click “Verify Your Credential Online” and follow the instructions.
Remember, it's easiest when you start before you pass the NCIDQ Exam.
Much of the paperwork that you'll need to get your license, certification or registration is similar to what you need when you apply to take the NCIDQ Exam.
Save time later be reviewing this for your state and requesting multiple copies of your transcripts and work records as you need them. We hope this gives you an idea of the process for your state – it's likely pretty similar. At least now you'll know where to start to find out more information.
It's always better to start the process sooner, so you can find out what information YOU need to collect.
Good Luck! And remember, we're here to help you on your journey. Have questions? Just send me an email~Lisa