An interior designer is in charge of the layout and contents of interior rooms. They must balance compliance with safety standards, attractiveness, and functionality to create the best rooms possible within their allotted space. An interior designer can choose things like the colors, lighting, and furniture. They need to understand how to create an attractive look and maximize useful space while also maintaining building codes and other rules. We look at the requirements of the interior designer job description. We will also speak about the training and education you need to become an interior designer, the skills and expertise a designer has, and the prospects for growth as a designer.
Job Overview: What Does An Interior Designer Do?
The role of an interior designer is to assemble useful spaces while balancing the three key constraints of their environment: safety, usefulness, and appearance. These sometimes complement each other but often clash, so a good designer must work within safety laws and codes to make a useful, efficient room that will have a pleasant appearance. They will generally have a bachelor’s in design and can work either on their own or for a bigger company. They tend to work normal working hours.
In the following section we will describe the essentials of the interior designer job description.
Interior Designer Job Duties
- Bid on projects to complete them within a certain budget
Learn the intended use of the room, its capacity, its connection to surrounding spaces, and how people might flow in and out of the space
- Collaborate with engineers and builders to build a plan for the space that makes the best use of it within building codes
- Select materials, colors, and designs of space elements to create an overall theme that connects to the purpose of the room and to the themes of the larger space
- Maintain cost control and work with contractors to complete the project
Interior Designer Essential Skills
Creativity. Interior designers have to be able to see how a space will look with different colors, styles, and themes, and they must be able to make creative choices about how things will look.
Knowledge. Part of being a good designer is the ability to draw on knowledge of art, architecture, industrial design, and safety laws so they have inspiration from a variety of sources.
Collaboration. Interior designers have to work with several different kinds of engineers, with builders and architects, with contractors, and of course with clients. All of these relationships have unique challenges.
Becoming an Interior Designer
The road to interior design starts in college with design courses and a bachelor’s at an accredited school. After that, it is a matter of accumulating experience on the job and building expertise in a certain area of focus, as well as making connections with contractors and clients.
Qualifications and Training
The most important entry point is a bachelor’s degree. The specific field does not matter as much as which courses you take. These should include classes in design, art and art history, architecture, computer-aided design software, and anything else of interest. Not all schools are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design. Applying to a design school might entail building a portfolio of potential designs and sketches. For designers who specialize in kitchen and bath work, there is a separate National Kitchen and Bath Association that accredits schools for that specialty. After graduation, there is generally little more in the way of certification or formal training. A few schools offer master’s degrees in interior design but these are generally not necessary and their reputation in the industry is variable.
The process of going through a design program is a key qualification for applying to new design jobs. A typical career path will involve going through such a program, potentially having one or more design internships during the program, and taking a job at a company upon graduation. After accumualting some experience and a collection of clients some interior designers choose to start their own companies and work for themselves, but most remain employees of design firms and other employers. A portfolio of past work quickly becomes a crucial part of any application process to design jobs and for bidding on projects, as are recommendations.
The working hours for a designer tend to be ordinary, but can change. For example, working on a deadline might require extra late hours or weekend work. Working at a job site or in a busy building might also force some unusual hours just to get free access to the site, although most design time is done in an office. Self-employed interior designers are free to set their own hours as they see fit and more senior designers sometimes have more flexibility about sticking to standard hours.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
The two main paths for advancement are starting an independent firm or rising to more senior and managerial positions within a company. Both of them present their own advantages, and it comes down to a preference between the freedom to pursue your own entrepreneurial style or a desire to have more stability and hierarchy. Independent designers can also manage and hire their own junior designers, but it is more common to see small firms of one or a few interior designers rather than a more structured approach.
Interior designers have the complex task of dictating how a room will look and feel by balancing the three requirements of safety, function, and style. The workspace can be anything from an office space that needs a full install to a building that needs to be renovated to be elder-friendly to a brand-new building that needs a sustainable and Eco-friendly design. There are several specializations of interior design and each one offers its own toolkit and set of challenges. It is creative work that also gives itself structure and is closely tied to business processes like bidding, managing a team, and project management, so it demands a diverse skill set as well as innate flexibility.