Tracking Your Work Experience

The career path of a professional interior designer involves three aspects: finishing a formal education, gaining qualified work experience, and passing the NCIDQ Exam. Qualified work experience is also required for licensure, registration and certification in many of the states that regulate the profession of interior design.

To help you meet the necessary work requirements, CIDQ provides an outline matrix to help entry-level professionals see what broad range of quality professional experience they should consider earning. The matrix provides a structure for the essential transition between formal education and professional practice, recognizing the differences between classroom and workplace.

The matrix provides the following:

  • Helps you to acquire professional discipline, skills and knowledge.
  • Prepares participants for the NCIDQ Exam.
  • Enhances the professional practice of interior design.

Tracking this work experience creates value for participants by facilitating the development of competent interior designers who can provide exemplary interior design services and work solo or as professional team members in designing the built environment.


The Work Experience Matrix provides a complete and balanced work curriculum for the first years of work after graduation. It can help you:

  • Gain two or three years of critical experience targeted to your specialty area (the amount of experience you need will depend on the length of your design education).
  • Prepare for the NCIDQ Exam, and for licensure and registration.

To begin, download the matrix of suggest work hours by clicking here. Be sure to keep track of your work hours using a tool that is easily updated - CIDQ suggests using Microsoft Excel or Google Drive Sheets to keep a log of work hours.