How to Become a Wallpaper Designer

How to Become a Wallpaper Designer: Career Path Guide

Arranging an internship opportunity with a wallpaper, wall cover, or related design company while you’re still a student is a great way to get a head start on becoming a wallpaper designer, as this will help you gain valuable industry experience and make important contacts.


Speak with your instructors and your school’s career services office, as they may be able to help you identify and apply for such opportunities. If you are not able to land an internship, fear not, as having internship experience gives you a head start in your career but is not a necessity.


There are many designers who will accept graduates without any internship experience. Make a list of wallpaper design companies you would like to work for and contact their hiring managers to inquire about any available positions.


Ensure that you keep track of who you spoke to and when, as you should follow up with each of them every few weeks to see if they have found a position for you.


Jobs in the design field can often be found by searching internet job boards, employer websites and newspapers, so make sure to use these resources.


If you are unable to find any jobs with wallpaper design companies, you can include related design companies such as flooring, accessories, furniture and interior design companies. You can always cross-over into the realm of wallpaper design later on.



Education and Training Required to Become a Wallpaper Designer

The education and training requirements to become a wallpaper designer can vary, depending on the discretion of the employer or client, and there is certainly no set path to take in order to become formally qualified.


Generally, the more education and training an aspiring wallpaper designer has, the greater their potential to obtain employment or develop a client base.


Educational Requirements May Include:


• A Bachelor’s degree with a focus in surface design, illustration, material and textiles, or a related subject.

• Certification from an art or design trade school or college with a surface design specialization

• Coursework or familiarity with colour theory, computer assisted design software, studio art classes and art history




Wallpaper Designer Job Description

Wallpaper designers develop illustrative images specifically for wallpaper and other wall coverings. They may be employed as in-house designers for a textile or wall covering manufacturer, or work as a freelancer. Wallpaper designers require an education that focuses on surface design.



Wallpaper Designer Job Duties

• Liaise with managers or clients to discuss possible designs

• Use computer aided design software to enter patterns into digital format

• Sketches ideas for patterns, which are then given to a design committee for approval

• Once approved, the wallpaper designer sends the sketches to the factory for printing

• May apply designs to matching décor items

• May be required to travel to attend trade shows



Who Creates Jobs for Wallpaper Designers?

Wallpaper designers typically work as in-house designers for a textile or wall-covering manufacturer or work as freelance designers.


Working as an in-house designer - Pros and cons

• Working as an in-house employee typically comes with job security and a good benefits package, although these can vary greatly from employer to employer

• Lack of freedom in selecting design projects


Working as a freelance wallpaper designer - Pros and cons

• Freedom to choose projects and rate of pay

• Marketing skill is required to gain clientele

• Job security is lower than working for an established employer




Is a Career as a Wallpaper Designer Right for You?

Below is a list of positive and negative attributes pertaining to a career as a wallpaper designer artist that everyone who’s serious about getting into this field should consider:


• Being creative isn’t just a great skill to bring to the table; it’s a requirement

• Using problem solving skills and creativity to solve artistic problems can be highly satisfying

• Dealing with clients can be stressful when they only have a conceptual idea of what they want created.

• Patience is required when commencing a project, as there will be a lot of trial and error

• Travel to New York and London is typically involved in this line of work

• Wallpaper designers need a solid aesthetic sense as well as a finely tuned creative eye that can recognize, direct and execute unique designs



Wallpaper Designer Career - Working Conditions

Setting: Wallpaper designers typically work in a studio or office during regular business hours.


Personnel: They may work alone or in a small team with other wallpaper or surface designers. They may also need to work with the manufacturer, the marketing team and production staff (during wallpaper printing).


Travel: Some travel may be required to present collections to buyers in New York or London, as these are the two main centers of the wall-covering trade. Wallpaper designers may also be required to visit the factory where their materials are produced in order to check samples and perform quality control.


Hours of Work: Some wallpaper designers work standard weekday working hours. Others, especially freelancers, may set their own hours and work irregular hours.


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Wallpaper Designer Salary

The earning potential of a wallpaper designer can vary quite a bit, and is dependent on many variables, such as who the employer is, how experienced the designer is and the reputation of the designer (freelance).


Some Quick Figures:


• According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wallpaper Designers, as part of the occupational group Graphic Designers earn a median salary of $43,500 USD. 

• If using an agent to sell designs and design services, they may charge a commission of up to 40%

• Freelance designers typically charge per design or collection, and rates may vary from $400 to $800 per unique wallpaper



Careers Similar to Wallpaper Designer

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Wallpaper Designer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Billboard Designer

Fabric Designer

Fashion Designer

Graphic Designer

Interior Designer



Become a Wallpaper Designer: References

Please consult the following resources for more information on a career as a wallpaper designer:


Occupations in Alberta: Graphic Designer.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

Arts & Design:Graphic Designers.” (March 20, 2018). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

Blog:So, you want to be a designer?.” (n.d.). Wallpaper Direct website. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

Notes on Design:Sessions College.” Jill Meyer (April 17, 2019) Notes on Design website. Retrieved January 15, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Wallpaper Designer

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Wallpaper Designer can be found on the following pages:


Clothing, Textiles and Material Culture Scholarships

Fine Arts Scholarships

Graphic Design Scholarships

Interior Design Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Wallpaper Designer: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a wallpaper designer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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