How To Apply for an Interior Design Job in Canada from Nigeria

Applying for an interior design job in Canada from Nigeria takes more than just sending out your resume to companies. It needs intensive research, the organization of necessary documents and a strategic job search.

Firstly, you need to make sure that you have the right qualifications for a potential Canadian employee. Beyond the job application, you also need to consider the location where you wish to go. This is because although there are job opportunities for interior designers in the country, some provinces have better opportunities than others. Also, immigration policies may differ a bit across provinces. Hence, you want to take all these factors into consideration.

This article will discuss the steps you need to follow to secure a job in Canada, the overall skills and academic requirements you are expected to have, and the job prospects in different provinces in Canada.

Steps To Take To Secure an Interior Design Job in Canada

1. Do Your Research

Carrying out all-round research is the first step to getting your dream interior design job in Canada. And since you are on this page, you are already following this step. Soon, we will discuss the requirements for getting a job in interior design, the in-demand job titles and the provinces with the best employment opportunities. You can also dig further to learn about interior design-related jobs in Canada and their salaries.

Credential evaluation is a critical part of your research. Because the qualifications in Nigeria are different from those in Canada, you need to evaluate your credentials to make sure that they are the equivalent of what is acceptable in Canada.

2. Investigate Accreditation and Provincial Regulations

Interior design is regulated at the provincial level in Canada. Meaning that each province has its own regulations and requirements for practising as an interior designer. Some provinces have established regulatory bodies that oversee the profession and set standards for education, experience, and examination.

Also, some provinces may require interior designers to be registered or accredited by the relevant regulatory body before they can legally work as professional interior designers. This typically involves meeting specific educational and experience requirements, passing examinations, and possibly demonstrating knowledge of Canadian design standards and codes. Thankfully, some provinces have transitional provisions that allow experienced foreign interior designers to work in the field while pursuing accreditation.

3. Build Your Resume and Portfolio

A well-crafted resume is crucial when applying for an interior design job in Canada. You will need it for any job you wish to apply and it is your chance to make a positive first impression and stand out from other applicants. Hence, you need to maximize the opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, and qualifications. Endeavour to keep your writing clear and to the point. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. So, a poorly formatted resume might miss important keywords that are relevant to the job description.

Two more things that should go with your resume as an interior designer are your portfolio and cover letter (if required). Bring a selection of your best design work together to build your portfolio and make sure you provide a link to them when you apply. Ensure that the portfolio is well-organized and visually appealing. Also, write a compelling cover letter that explains your interest in the specific job and how your skills align with the company’s needs.

4. Search for Jobs

When applying for jobs, don’t just blanket-bomb different companies with the same resume and cover letter. This is the mistake most people make. Choose companies that align with your career goals and values and send tailored applications, highlighting relevant skills and experience.

You can find job openings using online job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, etc. You can also check out company websites and professional networking platforms like LinkedIn.

5. Apply and Get Interviewed

Follow the application instructions provided in the job postings. This may involve submitting your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and any other requested documents. Some companies might request additional information, such as references or design samples.

After the first phase, if you’re shortlisted for an interview, thoroughly research the company and its work. Also, prepare answers to common interview questions and practice discussing your portfolio and design projects.

6. Apply for Work Permit & Visa

If you have secured an interior design job in Canada, the appropriate visa or work permit option will depend on your specific situation, the duration of your intended stay, and the nature of your employment. Here are a few potential options to consider:

Temporary Work Permit

If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you might be eligible for a temporary work permit. This permit allows you to work for a specific employer in Canada for a defined period. However, the employer may need to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to show that there’s a genuine need for a foreign worker and that there are no available Canadians to fill the position.

Some provinces have their own programs for foreign workers, such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which might offer pathways to a work permit.

Express Entry and Permanent Residency

If you’re interested in settling in Canada permanently, you might consider the Express Entry system. While this doesn’t directly provide a work permit, it’s a pathway to permanent residency that could eventually lead to citizenship.

Express Entry is a points-based system that considers factors like age, education, work experience, and language proficiency. If you have enough points, you might receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Intra-Company Transfer

If you work for a multinational company that has a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you might be eligible for an intra-company transfer work permit.

This option allows you to work temporarily in Canada under a specific program, such as the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Open Work Permit for Spouses/Common-Law Partners

If your spouse or common-law partner is coming to Canada on a study or work permit, you might be eligible for an open work permit. This permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada.

Study and Work

If you’re interested in upgrading your skills or credentials, you might consider going to Canada as a student. Many study permits also allow you to work part-time during your studies and full-time during breaks.

What Skills Are Required for an Interior Design Job in Canada

If you are in Nigeria and looking for an interior design job in Canada, you should possess a combination of technical, creative, and interpersonal skills to succeed in the field. However, the specific skills required may vary based on the type of interior design projects you’re interested in, whether residential, commercial, hospitality, healthcare, or others. Here are some important skills that can help you stand out as an interior designer in Canada:

1. Design Skills

  • Space Planning: The ability to effectively plan and optimize interior spaces for functionality and aesthetics.
  • Colour Theory: A strong understanding of colour palettes and their effects on mood and ambience.
  • Material Selection: Knowledge of various materials, finishes, and textiles used in interior design and their appropriate applications.
  • Furniture Design: Familiarity with furniture styles, layouts, and how to select and arrange furniture pieces.

2. Technical Proficiency

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD): Proficiency in using software like AutoCAD or SketchUp for creating detailed design plans and 3D models.
  • Rendering and Visualization: Ability to create realistic renderings and visualizations of design concepts using software like 3ds Max or V-Ray.
  • Building Codes and Regulations: Understanding of local building codes, regulations, and standards that govern interior design projects.

3. Creativity and Innovation

  • Conceptual Thinking: Ability to develop creative and innovative design concepts that align with the client’s preferences and project goals.
  • Problem-Solving: Skill in finding creative solutions to design challenges that may arise during the project.

4. Communication and Collaboration

  • Client Interaction: Effective communication and listening skills to understand and interpret clients’ needs and preferences.
  • Teamwork: Collaboration with architects, contractors, engineers, and other professionals involved in the project.
  • Presentation Skills: Ability to present design concepts and ideas to clients and stakeholders in a clear and compelling manner.

5. Project Management

  • Time Management: Organizational skills to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Budgeting: Ability to work within budget constraints and make cost-effective design decisions.
  • Coordination: Managing and coordinating various aspects of the design process, from procurement to installation.

6. Business Acumen

  • Client Relations: Building and maintaining strong relationships with clients to ensure their satisfaction with the design process and outcome.
  • Marketing: Basic understanding of marketing strategies and techniques to promote your design services.

7. Cultural Sensitivity

Ability to design spaces that are culturally sensitive and appropriate for diverse client needs.

What Are the Educational Requirements for an Interior Design Job in Canada

Like with the skills required to get an interior design job in Canada, the educational requirements can vary between provinces, job positions, and employers. It’s important to research the specific requirements of the province where you intend to work.

  1. Minimum Education: A diploma, degree, or equivalent qualification in interior design or a closely related field from a recognized institution is typically required.
  2. Accreditation: While not always mandatory, accreditation or certification from a recognized professional association like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) can enhance job prospects.
  3. Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English (and sometimes French) is essential for effective communication in Canadian workplaces. Language tests like IELTS or CELPIP might be required to demonstrate language skills.
  4. Portfolio: Some employers and programs might require a portfolio showcasing your design skills, creativity, and relevant projects.
  5. Experience: Certain job postings or provinces might require a minimum amount of practical experience or internships.
  6. Knowledge of Canadian Regulations: Familiarity with Canadian building codes, regulations, and industry standards might be necessary depending on the specific role and location.

Which is the Best Province to Apply for an Interior Design Job in Canada?

Job Bank rated different Canadian provinces according to prediction of the employment outlook for interior design in the next 3 years. So, if you are applying for an interior design job in Canada, you may use the rating as a guide in deciding on the province you will want to work in.

Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba got 5-star ratings, making them the locations with very good job prospects. Alberta got 4 stars which makes it a good location. While British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario were considered moderately good with 3 stars.


If you successfully get an interior design job in Canada, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee in Canada. Each province has its own employment standards that govern aspects like working hours, breaks, and minimum wage. Learn about the standards applicable to the province you will be going to.

Also, remember to make further relocation plans like arranging accommodation, understanding the cost of living, and considering any cultural adjustments. Also, healthcare and insurance as well as taxation; tax systems and obligations are important areas you want to look into. Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system, but you may need to wait a certain period before you are eligible for coverage. Research private health insurance options in the meantime.


Sophie is a creative content writer. She loves knitting words together, you can call it writing. She is also a certified Anatomist who is passionate about health and healthy living. She's on this project to share health and lifestyle tips with our readers.

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